H1 Title Tags and SEO: Are they important?

I had a client ask some great questions this week about SEO, specifically around the page title (H1).

  • “How important is it?”
  • “Should we spend a lot of time optimizing it for keywords we want to rank for?”
  • “Does Google consider H1 Title Tags in SEO?”

The answer is that it’s complicated.

Keywords and SEO

SEO is no longer about keywords (and if your agency is talking about them, you should fire them). Google has moved wayyyyyy beyond specific words and is focused on the intent of the user.

You know, you search for “hamburger” and it just assumes you meant “a restaurant near me that serves hamburgers and is probably open right now.”

Is technical SEO important?

Yes, technical SEO is so important. Google’s Page Experience Update (rolling out in the April of 2021) proves that we need to care about things like page speed.

But what we don’t discuss enough is CONTENT that is valuable, well-written, original, thoughtful, engaging (video, infographics, etc.), and is structured (lists, H2s, H3s, tables, etc.).

When talking about Core Web Vitals, Google explicitly said, “Our systems will continue to prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.”

So, are H1 Title Tags important for SEO?

Yes, they are.

But technical SEO can’t take precedence over a good user experience. The process we follow is:

  1. Identify who your target audience is. This is done through customer research and analytics.
  2. Identify what the people you are trying to reach are searching for. This process utilizes similar customer research and analytics processes but includes search analysis and customer interviews.
  3. Go write content around that.

If you follow this approach, you’ll find the SEO you’re looking for.

You might also enjoy