For the sake of SEO

(John S.) #1

… could theme developers please stop putting the RW Site Title field in H1 tags… if the theme is designed for that to be where the company name goes as if it was a logotype logo!!!

Having the website/company name repeated on every page in H1 isn’t doing anything for SEO.

So if your theme puts the Site Title field into the header for use as a text-based logo… PLEASE wrap it in something other than an H1 tag!

To undo this, I end up creating a duplicate copy of the theme so that I can re-work that structure in the theme… which means I am now disconnected from any theme updates, etc. It’s a real pain.

Sorry to vent… thanks for listening!

(NeilUK) #2


As far as I know, Foundation is the only theme/framework that allows us to customise the site title tag.

(Will Woodgate) #3

@RVgeeks It is Realmac Software who are in charge of the theme API. Theme developers can only work within the limits of the API provided. So if for example you want to see the ability to open the page inspector or site settings and change what heading level is applied to the site title via a drop down select, then this can only be implemented by Realmac, at a RapidWeaver level.

Currently the theme API only allows for dropped banners, logo images, style and colour changes. There is currently no mechanism that exists for heading levels to be toggled or to write other HTML modifications into the page template. Regrettably, theme developers do not have that level of control. Of course, I would love to see the API expanded to include such features. But sadly the rate of progress is slow, compared to other APIs (like Stacks).

I suggest that if this is something you want to see, then you speak with Realmac Software about it. If they think your idea is credible and something they are willing to build into RW8 or whatever, then I’m certain many theme developers will work to incorporate it too. Theme developers want to make their products as flexible as possible, but avoid users from needing to meddle too much with custom code or other complexities. For that reason, the site title is normally ‘locked’ within H1 tags and not editable by the average user.

To be honest, I’ve not seen any hard proof that wrapping site titles in H1 tags is bad for SEO. It’s not something I’ve encountered on any of the websites I manage for clients. This has been a standard practice in many themes for over 10 years and not unique to RapidWeaver. Any credible information you can share that proves otherwise would be of interest to myself and others.

Get rid of empty h1 and h2 in basic theme?
(Jan Fuellemann) #4

Why do you just not use the Overwrite default settings? So that the website/company name is not the same and repeated on every page in H1?

(NeilUK) #5

While there’s no proof that having the site title in H1 tags is negative for SEO, I prefer the ability to choose how to wrap the site title.

Personal experience has proved to me that being in complete control of the site title tag is a huge benefit when it comes to ranking the sites I manage.

(...) #7

In the case of the logo that is wrapped in H1 tags it is not an override. It is a second H1 tag on the page. In any article, page, post–grammatically there should only be one main headline. All the rest are sub-heads.

(Will Woodgate) #8

@Flash I’ve not seen a theme that wraps a logo image inside H1 tags. Yes that potentially could give some problems - either with SEO or with HTML validation errors. In those instances, it would probably be best to make contact with the theme developer and discuss it in detail.

I was under the impression that @RVgeeks wanted a toggle control, to choose whether the Site Title is marked-up with H1, H2, H3, H4 or whatever tags. That was the basis of my first response.

And @Fuellemann is totally correct - you can override the global Site Title on a page-by-page basis, by supplying a custom title / slogan in the Page Inspector.

In my own themes, I nearly always markup the site title as an H1 and the slogan / tagline as an H2. I note that other publishing platforms (like Wordpress) do the same thing. I can only think of two themes where I was forced to use different markup. Something else I try to do is to provide a toggle to hide the title and slogan with CSS, in the theme settings. So you can still keep these in the page for SEO, but hide them to display a logo or custom banner instead. This gives a bit more flexibility.

(...) #9

I use the logo and site name interchangeably. I wrap mine in div or spans with classes of “brand” and “brand-description”. Just my opinion. I don’t know how many points it may or may not help with SEO.

(John S.) #10

Thanks, @willwood. I’m aware that a GUI change like that would require Realmac’s involvement… I was referring to the theme designers who code their theme with the %site_title% tag placed inside H1 tags inside the theme index.html file.

Many current theme designs include a top bar that contains the site title as a logotype along with the nav. And, for some reason, they place the %site_title% tag inside an H1 in that location. Look at BLT’s Serenade theme as an example:

This is quite common… and seemingly pointless. Most users will just use the “Site Title” in the Site Settings configurator… which means that every page in the site will have the same content for the first H1 on the page. And considering that good SEO practice is for there to only be ONE h1 on the page, that means every H1 throughout the whole site will be the same: the site title.

Add to that the use of Site Title as a logotype style logo in many theme designs, and you’ve got a bad situation.

(John S.) #11

@Fuellemann - In some theme designs, this is a valid/viable option. But in a lot of current themes, the %site_title% is used in a thin bar along the top of the site to provide a logotype style logo… so you can’t feasibly change it on every page.

(John S.) #12

Thumbs up for the use of divs/spans for logo & site title!

(David Wright) #13

Absolutely, and any work around I have looked at means not using the standard scenario. Altering from default then means there is a blank H1 generated by RW ( when we turn it off at the site configurator ) and a second H1 is added manually, where we want it. Multiple H1’s are marked down in SEO. Bing for 1 sees it as a severe error.

Therefore we are stuck with H1 in the wrong spot ( and typically not a long enough space for it ), or duplicate H1’s… either is a bad thing.

(Malin) #14

We have the same problem with our site! We are stuck with an h1 in the wrong spot (which is not an option for us because it looks terrible on our site), or duplicate h1:s…

I came up with 2 possible solutions, but I don’t know what Google will think of them:

  1. We fill in the h1 and h2 with our “SEO words” so that they’re not empty and we don’t have to duplicate them to get our words in an h1. And then we just put “font-size: 1%;” in the CSS-code so that the text is barely visible. BUT does Google see through this and punish us for it? I know for example that Google doesn’t like when you have hidden SEO-words that are the same colour as the background colour on the page. Will Google as well notice that the text size is too small ro read?

  2. We just fill in a dot in the h1 just to make it not empty. But in that case we have to make duplicate h1:s to get in our SEO-words. But it might be better to have duplicate h1:s than have BOTH duplicate h1:s and one empty h1, right?

What do you think?

(...) #15


Not sure what you mean in this entire section.

Are you able/know-how to edit CSS? If so change the logo tags (h1) (h2) to divs and spans with the same CSS code as the existing h1 and h2 tags that it currently uses. This will retain the same look and feel but with the correct markup. If you don’t know how start a new thread and ask for help. I bet someone has the same theme and can help!

(Psalm66_ Ray) #16

I believe that content should rule, not SEO or whatever else the various “rules committees” or Google or ? dream up to keep non-techies away from the table. This whole thing is bordering on outright stupid.

That’s my opinion. No apologies.