Do You Know Your SEO Title Tags From Your H1 Header Tags?
Some of the technical jargon used amongst the digital media community can be confusing to lay people. Title tags and H1 tags is a prime example. We know, you just want to blog and produce great content.
But you do need to know a few of the basic SEO tips otherwise you could be doing your website more harm than good.
When used correctly, title tags and H1 tags can help improve search engine rankings. Used incorrectly, they can have a negative impact.
The difference between Title tags and H1 tags
The reason why so many website owners get confused with title tags and H1 tags is because they essentially share the same function – helping search engines define the content on any given webpage.
So, we are going to make this explanation as simple as possible. The difference between title tags and H1 tags is where they appear on the page. This is quite simple:
Title tags appear in the title of the page url, the wording you see in your web browser at the top of the screen. It is the title tag search engines use to file the page in their database. This is known as indexing.
So the title tag and url for the page you are reading right now is bossdigital.com/blog/do-you-know-your-title-tags-from-your-H1-header-tags, because that is the title of this article.
Simple enough right!
Whereas title tags appear in the url of a page, H1 tags appear in the title of your article on the actual web page – H1 standing for Header 1. This is typically an automated setting within your Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress.
Thus the text in bold, big letters at the top of this article is the H1 header tag. The H1 tag then automatically becomes the title tag unless you choose to change it manually by editing the title ‘slug’ in your CMS.
As you can see from the WordPress example above, when you click in ‘quick edit’ you can change the title tag (slug) with different keywords.
Why are title tags and H1 tags important?
In order to match webpages with search terms, search engines like Google need to identify what content is contained within a webpage.
One of the signals they use to identify page content is with the use of keywords – words that flag up what the content is about.
The best place to put said keywords is in the title tag as ‘slugs’ carry more weight with search engines than H1 tags.
Therefore if you have a catchy title for your article which engages your reader, but is not include a relevant keyword that is useful for search engines, like the example below, update your title slug.
What is the best practice when writing title slugs?
It is best practice to keep the title tag and the H1 tag the same. Sometimes this means being more creative with your article title to keep it engaging.
However, if you are struggling to create a catchy title that will serve as a suitable header and title tag, update the slug, but include your primary keyword in both tags.
So in the example above, social media is the keyword as that is the main focus of the article, but social media v search marketing is not an engaging title that will appeal to readers or stand out in a competitive market.
There, we told you it was simple. Now you can update your title tags and headings to please both search engines and your readers.
Author: Jonathan Gillespie