Why Are H1 Tags Important To Google?

You hear H1 tags being discussed in SEO circles, but why are H1 tags important? And why does Google love them so much?

Setting the scene

I advise clients that an H1 is like a town name - what? I'm quite often asked, but imagine this; You are in a car trying to describe the town that you are into your friend - Who is somewhere completely different.

"Hey Dan, I'm in the town, there is a church, road, Cornershop, a River and a bridge, do you know I am Dan?"

What Town am I in? Wymondham, Dereham?

Dan, it's not going to have a clue, why? Because there are hundreds of towns across the UK each with a river, a church, corner shop and a bridge, so how can we expect Dan to understand or know where we are without giving him any kind of location or town name.

Much in the same way that you would confuse your friend, Google is in the same boat - without direction how can we expect Google to understand the context of your content, it can make presumptions based on your other titles and headings, but to really understand your content that H1 must be clear, precise and accurately categorise your page purpose.

A live example of H1 tag value

I have a very dear friend called Sam and he has an amazing embroidery company which offers T-shirt printing and corporate clothing around Norwich and Norfolk. I have known Sam and his family since 2003, in fact, I built him the first website for his business when it started in 2011.

Recently Sam came to me and asked a few questions about his websites optimisation, with a keen interest some SEO training he started to evaluate, update and change his website, improving its optimisation and visibility, very nicely indeed.

Why H1 tags are so important to google

Why H1 tags are so important to Google


But...Sam was frustrated that his website was slowly gaining traction for some important keywords. After reviewing his website more thoroughly it became clear that the homepage was, in fact, missing the important H1 tag. Immediately I advised that he update this urgently, to which he did that night. (Shown in green above)

The results were incredibly quick and the Empire Printing and Embroidery website began to perform as we both predicted during early conversations going from 14 to 5 virtually overnight.

For me, this shows categorically that Google found the lack of H1 prohibitive to this website, especially on the Home page.


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