First, do you know what an H1 tag is? In short, H1 tags are simply html code that call out and format certain text as a heading. Many SEOers say that it’s important, for good SEO, to have an H1 tag set on every page with the primary keyword phrase within the tag. Is that true?
As a standard rule of thumb, for good on page SEO, you need to pick out what your primary keyword phrases you’re targeting are going to be. Next you need to make sure it’s in your title tag and in your meta description. You can put your primary keyword in your meta keywords, but it really isn’t important anymore. We just do it because it makes us feel better :). Then, make sure the keyword is mentioned throughout the page. Include it in an H1 tag and then mention it a couple of times on that page. You might even put it in bold, italics and/or make it a link.
All that’s just standard practice for on page SEO but it’s not crucial! Any SEOer worth his salt knows the most important factor in SEO is linking. The fact is, you can have a page ranked #1 without the keyword even being on the page, as long as you have enough good quality inbound links.
So, where do H1 tags fall in the hierarchy of things which have an influence over your rankings then? SEOmoz.com has done some research and found that there’s little correlation between changing your H1 tags and an increase in rankings. Hmmm, isn’t that interesting?
So, when doing on page optimization, in order of priority, having the keyword in the title is the most important thing. Then you want to have the keyword in the meta description and then in the H1 tag. Below this is having that keyword on the page in the content, where it can be bolded or italicized. So, as you can see, it’s really not “that important” especially when you consider on page optimization makes up only 20% of the whole SEO equation.
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