Are Multiple H1 Tags Bad For SEO? | What You Should Look Out For


When it comes to optimising your website for SEO, your title structure is essential to helping Google understand what your pages are describing.

I am often asked about the importance of H1 tags and whether multiple H1 headings can actually harm your rankings.

In this article, we will look at heading tags and whether or not it is bad to use multiple H1 tags within your content.

What is an H1 tag?

  1. What is an H1 tag?
  2. What H1 tags used to be?
  3. Why do we use H1 tags in HTML?
  4. Is it bad to have multiple H1 tags on a page?
  5. Does H1 affect SEO?
  6. How many H1 tags should you have?
  7. Does Google care about H1?
  8. Conclusion

The H1 tag is an HTML heading that’s most commonly used to mark up the web page title.

The H1 tag signals to Google and users what the primary heading on a web page is. This in turn is one of the biggest things that you need to get right on a page in order to rank for the target keywords you are looking to rank for.

what is a h1

In order to find out whether a given page is using a H1 tag, just right-click anywhere on that same webpage and select “View Page Source.”

This will reveal the HTML within the page and inside the “” section is where you will find the metadata. It should look something like this:

What H1 tags used to be?

In terms of how H1’s used to be read, there used to be some golden rules to follow when it came to good title structure practice.

  • Include the most important keyword(s).
  • Don’t use more (or less) than one H1 per page.
  • Make sure the H1 is the first and largest text on a page.

However, Google has changed the way in which it reads content on a page and which factors have the most weight when it comes to shifting rankings.

Websites have evolved and the way they are crawled and engaged with by users has also changed over the years.

How google crawls h1 tags

Why do we use H1 tags in HTML?

Heading tags are an important ranking factor for search engine bots and should display the keyword you’re hoping to rank in front of Google’s eyes.

Google’s John Mueller said that H1 tags help Google to understand the structure of a page. So if you’re using H1s as Google recommends for your page title or content heading, your H1 is effectively telling Google “here’s what my page is about.”

Whilst it is highly debated as to whether multiple H1 tags on a single page impact SEO positively or negatively, it is important to know the purpose of a page title and how it helps both users and Google alike.

Is it bad to have multiple H1 tags on a page?

In terms of using multiple H1’s on a single page, it is highly debated as to whether this can positively or negatively impact your SEO efforts.

According to Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller, he states”our systems don’t have a problem when it comes to multiple H1 headings on a page.” Whilst Google may not necessarily have a problem understanding a page with multiple H1 titles, does this necessarily mean that it is good for SEO?

I believe that whilst multiple H1’s may not necessarily be a bad thing when it comes to reading a page, if you compare a website that has multiple H1’s to a competing page that has one well-written H1, I strongly believe that this is what you should do when building any page.

Does H1 affect SEO?

Whilst H1 tags may not have the influence that they once did on a website’s rankings, they still definitely play a key role in SEO.

There are so many more ranking factors that you need to get right when it comes to a well-optimised website page. You could have the most well written and optimised title for a particular keyword but if you have got poorly written content and a poor internal linking strategy, then it really will not matter.

The majority of site audits will flag poorly written or too many H1’s tags but rarely solve the deep-rooted issues of a website’s poor SEO performance. H1 tags certainly affect SEO if they are poorly written and structured at a site-wide level but I believe that content quality, site architecture and linking strategy play a far bigger role in terms of the biggest SEO impacts.

How many H1 tags should you have?

Generally, it is best practice to keep to one H1 title tag and a well written main headline. However, some websites may use different designs for mobile and tablet and this can lead to additional H1 tags being created.

You should analyse your competitors and see what they are doing for their titles and look to emulate or improve on what it is they are doing.

SEO Meta in 1 click is a great plugin that allows you to look at the header tags that a website page is using. This tool will allow you to analyse a page’s content as well as the titles that they use.

Does Google care about H1?

Heading elements were actual ranking factors and it was necessary for you to add the right kinds of keywords in your H1 titles as well as the rest if you wanted to rank for a particular phrase.

However, Google is changing in terms of the way it understands web content. Search engines are far more advanced and there is so much more that goes into ranking a website in Google. Instead of focusing on the right keywords to use, focus on how you can enhance the experience of your users.

Things like page speed, user experience, engagement with a page and site architecture are going to be far more important to get right.


Whilst H1 tags are still important, they certainly do not carry the same weight as they once did in terms of moving the needle for rankings.

Your approach to SEO needs to be far more comprehensive and your focus should be around enhancing your user experience.

Using good keyword research and looking at competitors will give you a good enough idea in terms of the way you should structure your page titles. However, you ultimately need to be thinking of the bigger picture and how both search engines and users will generally interact with your website.

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