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Keyword use in H1 headline texts


The <h1> html tag is another original HTML element which has a great impact on search engine optimisation.

The specification suggests this tag should be used as a main heading for a page, but technically it can be used more than once.

History of the <h1> tag

The <h1> tag is one of the core HTML tags which have been within HTML pages since day one.

The h1 tag is one of the six H (heading) tags and is designed to head paragraphs of text.

The h1 tag is considered the most important and by default is rendered extra large to show its importance.

The h1 tag is also considered to be a heading for the whole page and although technically it can be used more than once, can be seen as spam if used more than once by Google.

Google places weight on any text in a heading tag as normally this area would summarise the text below and therefore it is reasonable for Google to take this into account while deciding page rank in its index. (SERPS)

As with all signals Google sees as important, this tag has been used to spam in the past and ‘over doing’ the SEO on the h tags can backfire.

Google proof your search engine optimisation for the <h1> tag

While it is true that no one outside of Google knows the mechanism for determining rank in its search engine listing, we do know Google likes the top ten pages for a given phrase for a reason, and it is this fact we can use to formulate our strategy.

The reason for looking at the top ten as a whole is that it allows us to remove the ‘freak’ results of any one website.

Optimising the body text for the phrase Nintendo wii games on 6th December 2012 on Google UK

We could look at any phrase but it makes sense to look at a popular term. It’s also important to note that the internet is a fluid place and analysis on one day and with one search engine can be different on another day on another engine.

Looking at the top ten results the following can be seen

Search term: “nintendo wii games”
Number of keywords: 0 to 1
Keyword density: 0% to 100%

Search term: “nintendo”
Number of keywords: 0 to 1
Keyword density: 0% to 50%

Search term: “wii”
Number of keywords: 0 to 1
Keyword density: 0% to 100%

Search term: “games”
Number of keywords: 0 to 1
Keyword density: 0% to 33%

Keywords “nintendo”, “wii” or “games”
Number of keywords: 0 to 3
Keyword density: 0% to 33%

Generally you would look to get as high in the above range as possible without going over the largest figure. If you were to work though the above you would quickly discover if you tried to hit the top of the range for ‘nintendo wii  games’ you may not be able to hit the individual elements within the long tail search term.

In this instance the best way forward would be work out ‘your best fit’, wait for Google to reindex and re evaluate that that point.