Multiple H1 tags, SEO and H1 tag being used as site name

I am working on an overhaul of an existing site, and the client has hired a SEO firm. One of the requests was to only have one H1 tag per page. On the homepage, only the site name would have the H1 tag, and on successive pages it would be page specific.

The rub is this, the theme (and a lot of RW themes, and even some WordPress themes) embed the site name as a H1 tag. I can’t see an easy workaround, but from what I have read online the “only one H1 tag per page” kind of fell out of fashion around 2015. My plan is to just either use multiple H1 tags (two), or make all the subpages use H2 tags (second choice).

Does anyone have any experience or opinions to add?

Second question. How important are keywords these days?

Last question. Anyone know when Joe Workman is releasing his SEO stack/plugin?


Multiple H1 tags came along with HTML5.

Many people say, including Google, that multiple H1 tags are ok and shouldn’t affect SEO. However, some SEO “experts” swear by just the one H1 tag.

This might help

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I’m not at a Mac right now, but you should be able to override the title and other tags on a page by page basis in the page inspector.

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Wondering if some of the experts are just clinging to old rules.

Winner winner chicken dinner!
I had noticed the “override default settings” box last night. Going to give that a try.

Looks like that checkbox does not eliminate the site title as the H1 tag. Also just got confirmation from Adam at Elixir on this too.

Foundation does allow you to choose H1-H6 or paragraph tags for the site title.

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Correct. It does not eliminate the H1 tag, it simply allows you to insert your own text inside of the H1 tag to replace the Site Title text on a page-by-page basis.

Moving on, and using the multiple H1s.
THANKS to Adam for your exceptional support as always.

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You can change default site header and slogan on page by page but i’m not aware you can change the header tag also?

Personally, I’d use a blank theme and control your site titles. However I doubt a few extra H1’s would cause Google and problems.

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Changing the tag isn’t possible, it’s a limitation of the RapidWeaver theme developers SDK.
If you’re concerned by having extra h1 tags then use the one the theme provides for the h1 tag(changing the content per page) and use an h2 for the other headline used on the page.

From a SERP prospective, h1s probably have very little weight and the more you use them on a specific page, the less they are weighted for that page.

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The problem with changing the header page by page, is the site title becomes the header and not the site title. Looks like somewhere between 2013-15 multiple H1 tags became less off an issue. I am going to toss the choice of using an H1 or H2 tag to the SEO guy, as it makes no difference to me design wise.

Don’t think I understand what you’re saying here. The site title vs header?
Are you talking about Browser Title vs a headline? They are separate fields. There is really no such thing in the HTML world as a “Site Title”, there are page titles, Meta descriptions, Social meta tags, and heading HTML tags.

Sorry, not the header, I meant an H1 tag is created by the site name. If you overide the title spot, it obviously changes the site name, which won’t work. The request by the SEO guy is for only one H1 tag per page, the home page has the site name for the H1, and every other page would have a different one.

There is no way around this, as mentioned above, as the site name is coded as an H1 in the theme.
I have kicked it back to the SEO guy for a choice between multiple H1’s, or H2’s for each subpage.

There were a number of problematic requests, one of them was using really long and specific html page names. From a user and navigational standpoint, I tend to prefer shorter filenames to avoid multiple lines for each nav item.

The company was grumbling over the fact that it was not built in WordPress too, as they said they could remotely access and change various SEO options. I generally have a mixed view of SEO companies, and this did little to change my opinion. Many companies just use the SEO hook as a gateway for trying to swipe the design and production part as well.

Still not understanding what exactly you mean here. If you override the title it will change the h1 tag, what you want? Where else is the “site name” showing up on the page?

If they are asking for the file name(URL’s) to be descriptive containing key phrases that’s not a bad request. That’s different then the name that displays in navigation. You would change that with the path name in the page inspector, not the “display” name on the left side.

The second tip is good, thanks…

The first, because the the RW SDK, the site name is hard coded into the site as an H1 tag. I can’t change it, without the site name changing on every page as well. Not sure if all themes do this, but the one I am using does. So, if I have a H1 headline on the page, I would have two H1’s (the site name, which is only visible in the source code as an H1, and then the headline as well.

I have been around and around on this, and pestered Adam with enough questions. Moving on with either multiple H1’s, or H2’s instead for the main headline/tags. thanks!

This was a nice series from Google. They even talk about multiple H1 tags being ok in one of the videos. I forget which one though…

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Thanks Joe… I also read your SEO blog post on the same issue. So, rumor has it there new SEO tools in the works from you. Coming soon? thx

Yes! SEO Helper 2 will be released this month.

Great news!