The first thing I ever check on any new client website is their H1 tag.
What I’m looking for: Does the H1 tag match the keywords they want to rank for?
If it doesn’t, that’s great news for me. By changing just one single line of text, I can get some pretty crazy rank boosts for my client.
(this tends to lead them to believe I have some kind of magical Google powers. I don’t encourage this. But I don’t mind it either)
These kind of results aren’t always typical. But if my client has a strong website with great content and previous backlinks already pointing to it, then a simple tweak of their H1 tag can EASILY have this kind of impact.
Sometimes, the simplest thing can really be holding your website back. And in the case of these 4 clients, it was just that H1.
See, your H1 tag is the most important on-page factor on your website.
You’ve got to be hyper relevant, and the first way to do this is by optimizing that good ol’ H1 title tag.
Before you read on – does your H1 tag match the keywords you want to rank for?
What is my h1 right now?
Here’s how to tell:
- Use this free tool: https://www.overthetopseo.com/free-tools/free-html-headings-checker/ and paste the URL of the page you are trying to rank in Google
- Now you know what your H1 is!
(if you don’t know what keyword you are trying to rank for, that is a problem for a different day)
How Should I Optimize my H1 for Best SEO Practices?
I’ve got it for you in 5-steps.
1) Make sure there is only ONE H1 tag on your site. If there is more than one right now, chances are you are confusing Big G. Turn those secondary H1’s into H2’s, so that you have one overarching H1 that is the main heading/title of the page.
2) Your target keywords MUST be in your H1! This is the single biggest difference between ranking for your keywords and….not.
3) Give the reader what they want to know – satisfy the search intent! Your H1 should instantly tell your reader whether or not they are in the right spot. If your reader can clearly tell, then Google can too. Be clear and concise about what your big idea is!
4) Your H1 should be the most prominent heading on the page. Make sure it stands out. You can usually tell a website’s H1 tag – its the largest set of text on the entire page. This is no coincidence. Bigger = more important. Google knows this! Use long tail keywords too – you may as well. This way you can rank for more combinations of keywords than if you were using just a 2-3 word title.
5) Make it cohesive with your other SEO elements. The H1 tag, meta title, page content, URL, and other H headings should all be on the same topic. They don’t (and shouldn’t) be identical, but natural variations that correlate directly to your main keyword phrase.
…aaaaaannnnnd here’s an infographic to keep it simple: