Home – New Forums Marketing mastery SEO and two heading 1 tags, yes or no?

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  • #997151
    Zava Design
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    So everything I’ve read, including from Google themselves, suggests that having two heading 1 tags on a page, so long as they’re relevant and not abused, does not impact negatively on SEO at all.

    So for example, one heading 1 tag for the website title/logo, the other for the page title.

    However I am currently working with an Aus based SEO professionally that is very well regarded in the industry, and he is strongly insisting that it does make a difference, and that he very strongly recommends only having a single heading 1 tag.

    I’m loath to change my view without some evidence to back another view up, of which he has none, so what do folk think?

    #1210650
    ozcart
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    What was their reasoning for why it makes a difference? As you’ve said Google themselves have indicated there’s no formal penalty for multiple h1 tags in a page (https://www.seroundtable.com/google-h1-tags-23699.html), so could your SEO merely be making their recommendation on the basis that a page with a single h1 gives the clearest possible signal to search engines/visitors about what the page is about?

    #1210651
    Zava Design
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    Interestingly, as someone that does want to know the best method with regards to the technology I’m using, doing a little more googling today I did come across this article, which if you read down to the updates added at the bottom, do give me pause for thought: http://adrianroselli.com/2013/12/the-truth-about-truth-about-multiple-h1.html

    I have also had someone I respect claim that accessibility experts are quite strong in their advice to only have one

    tag per page.

    So some things to think about perhaps…

    #1210652
    John Romaine
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    Having multiple H1 tags won’t have a negative impact, it’s just not good practice.

    Keep it to one.

    #1210653
    Zava Design
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    Why isn’t it “good practice”? I’d certainly prefer to have an empirical reason for doing something, every other “best practice” I follow when coding I do.

    #1210654
    JohnTranter
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    Zava Design, post: 251455, member: 34615 wrote:
    Why isn’t it “good practice”?
    My limited understanding is that multiple H1’s can be confusing for people using screen readers and other assistive technology. (I wouldn’t take that as gospel though)

    If you’ve got a good reason to use multiple H1’s then why not go for it. I assume Single Page Applications might be one use case.
    Personally I try to use a single H1 to signify what the page is for and then H2’s to separate out the sections.

    edit: Just opened the link you posted, it already references the accessibility issue. Sorry to rehash.

    #1210655
    John Romaine
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    Your main header tag should be unique in the fact that it acts as the primary heading element on the page. Again, its just best practice.

    Having multiple H1 tags wont hurt you, but it wont really serve any purpose. Its much like wearing 4 pairs of socks. Its not going to make any difference, but its not something most people do.

    Often, header tags are displayed within the search results as “questions”, so it makes sense to keep that in mind.

    In other words, one H1 tag, and multiple H2, H3 and so on is fine.

    Take a “top down” approach with your pages….

    TITLE
    h1
    h2
    h3
    ….etc etc

    #1210656
    Zava Design
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    The accessibility reason (and I too haven’t found info to definitely confirm this though) seems the only non-subjective reason so far. Even doing some non-scientific research of page 1 google results, it’s a pretty mixed back of the sites that have just a single H1 and those with multiple, which would suggest it makes no difference (and that there are many other developers feeling that way building sites that rank really well on google).

    Outside of accessibility (which I’ll spend a little more time researching) this stills sits as the only “best practice” advocated by some I know of coding-wise that I cannot justify empirically, which doesn’t sit well with me.

    #1210657
    JohnTranter
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    Zava Design, post: 251480, member: 34615 wrote:
    I’ll spend a little more time researching
    The cynical side of me thinks why are you bothering?
    Even if you definitively prove that you’re correct (and I think you are), the people you have to convince are the product team at SEOMoz, SEMRush or whatever other SEO tool your SEO guys are using.
    In practice, the SEO experts will run their automated tool once a month against the website, generate an automated report, make their recommendations and send it to the client. In that automated report will be an item “Multiple H1 tags on page…” because SEORush/SEOMoz/whoever have decided it is a factor.

    Depending on your client, you then have to defend your position every month or so when they receive the report. If the site is under-performing, the SEO team will have you as a scapegoat because you didn’t follow the advice in their reports.

    You’ll be right, but still in the wrong.

    #1210658
    Zava Design
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    Why would I really care what anyone else thinks apart from myself, if I base that on reason and logic?? I’ve never been a fan of many “seo experts” in part because of examples like this, and have never been afraid to explain to clients why, and why they should question what any “experts” tell them without evidence and/or logic to back it up (not just in SEO, any area).

    Indeed this in part is why SEO “experts” have got such a bad rap in many quarters, it wouldn’t be the first thing they’ve told clients they need to do (ie. charge for) to “fix” their SEO that wasn’t actually required.

    #1210659
    Zava Design
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    And don’t get me wrong, 100% support anyone choosing to do something a certain way out of preference, but then it should be presented as that rather than something that should cost extra as a “requirement” if it is not.

    #1210660
    JohnTranter
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    Zava Design, post: 251490, member: 34615 wrote:
    it wouldn’t be the first thing they’ve told clients they need to do (ie. charge for) to “fix” their SEO that wasn’t actually required.

    I totally agree but I do think you have to pick your battles.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but in this case I don’t see a downside to making the change, I’d assume it’s about 10 minutes work and the site won’t suffer because of it.
    Potentially the only person who’ll suffer if you don’t make the change is you.

    #1210661
    Zava Design
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    Actually the SEO team I’m working with had already agreed to drop that part of their requirement from their work and their reporting. That’s doesn’t mean I have any less of a desire to know the facts about something like this that would inform me better in an area that is part of my vocation.

    #1210662
    JohnTranter
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    Zava Design, post: 251495, member: 34615 wrote:
    Actually the SEO team I’m working with had already agreed to drop that part of their requirement from their work and their reporting.

    That’s a good result! Ok, well I was wrong in this case then. :)

    #1210663
    John Romaine
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    Zava you’re overthinking it.

    There are lots of things about SEO that “don’t sit well with me” including the way in which Google works, but unless you have an exact copy of their algorithm sitting on your desk then its always going to be a case of “best practice”.

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