I am often asked about the importance of H1 and H2 titles when it comes to optimising content and whether you can actually use duplicate titles.
H1 and H2 tags are very important when it comes to SEO and help both customers and Google understand what it is your page is describing.
In this article, we will look at whether it will impact websites positively or negatively by using duplicate page titles.
What are H1 and H2 tags?
- What are H1 and H2 tags?
- What is the difference between H1 and H2?
- Does having the same H1 and H2 impact search engine rankings?
- Does your H1 affect SEO?
- Does your H2 affect SEO?
- Should you use duplicate heading tags?
- Best practice for structuring heading tags
Firstly, let’s introduce H1 and H2 tags. Your page titles are sorted by H1, H2, H3 and so on depending on the importance of the heading.
Your H1 tag is your most important and tends to be used to show the name of a page or article. Your H2 tags are then your next most important headings that go on to describe each of your page sections.
Whilst there are many factors that go into ranking a page in Google for a keyword, your page titles are still a very important component of getting your on-page SEO right.
What is the difference between H1 and H2?
H1 tags indicate the most important title of a piece of content and an H2 is used for the less important subheadings. Your headings will certainly have an impact on rankings and it is important that your content is structured in this hierarchical way.
There is also a difference in terms of how many times you should use each title on a single piece of content. Most websites will use a single H1 on a webpage and then use multiple H2 tags for the subheadings.
An H1 tag is usually larger in size visually in comparison to the H2 and works as a way to help readers make sense of the content and understand the importance of each section.
Does having the same H1 and H2 impact search engine rankings?
In terms of using the same H1 and H2 tags for your content, generally, you should avoid using duplicate title names. Your H2 titles should serve the purpose of breaking down the content topic using long-tail variations of the title of the content.
Whilst it may not have a huge impact on ranking, your H2’s and sub-topics allow the opportunity to rank for other potential phrases. If you have enough coverage of the topics related to your piece of content, you can actually rank for multiple phrases and not necessarily the single keyword you are targeting through your page title.
Lets say for instance you have 3 blog pieces that aren’t really generating much traffic but they are related – you can potentially either link these articles to one another or even combine them to create a guide that covers your main topic in more detail. This will provide more coverage on the topic and ultimately show Google that you have gone into much deeper detail on the particular subject.
Does your H1 affect SEO?
Your H1 title will certainly have an impact on SEO and whilst it may not be as big a ranking factor as it once was, it is still important to get it right.
Your H1 tag provides readers with the context of the entire article and ensures that you accurately describe what the piece of content is essential to help readers engage with that particular piece of content.
Of course, you need to make sure that you nail everything else including your metadata, content and other page titles in terms of your on page SEO efforts but your H1 title is still certainly important and will affect your SEO if written poorly.
Does your H2 affect SEO?
Your H2 titles are also going to impact your SEO. Whilst they may not be as important as your H1 in terms of the way they are structured, they are still equally as important as your H1 title to get right.
Your H2 tags provide opportunities to rank for other phrases that are related to the overriding topic of that piece of content.
Having a well written and well-structured piece of content with descriptive H2 titles will help you provide more coverage for a particular topic and it is something that is certainly important to get right.
Should you use duplicate heading tags?
In my opinion, there should never really be any need for you to duplicate any headings. Your content should cover a range of topics and if you have planned it out properly, then you have the opportunity to cover many long-tail variations of your content title. Whilst it may not have a negative impact on your SEO by using duplicate headings, I would simply avoid just because you are actively making a choice to not potentially rank for other related phrases that could bring in more traffic to your website.
Best practice for structuring heading tags
In terms of the best practice when it comes to structuring your heading tags, you should follow these steps to ensure that you give your content the best chance to rank organically and make it as easy to read as possible.
- Stick to using a single H1 tag for your main heading.
- Break up your content as best as you can using subheadings.
- Stick to using anything between H1-H5. You shouldn’t need a title tag smaller than a H5 in most instances.
- Plan your headings before you go on to write the content to give you the structure of your content.
To conclude, can your H1 and H2 tags be the same and not impact SEO?
I believe that it doesn’t have the impact of what it once did and I think if your content is strong enough then you would certainly get away with it.
However, I think that you are missing out on other vital traffic opportunities by limiting your content in this way and you should always be looking to try and expand on your main page topic as best as you can.