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Why a Good Header Tag is The Most Important Part of Home Page Design

SEO in web design

There are all kinds of bells and whistles that you can add to your home page design, but many are missing the most important ingredient–the ingredient that reduces bounce rate and helps SEO.

That thing is a keyword optimized H1 header tag that tells visitors exactly who your company is and what you do.

An H1 created with a well-researched primary keyword–one that people are searching for, that is relevant to your business and that you can rank on page one of a Google search for–will definitely help in search.

It immediately tells visitors exactly what you can do for them. It cuts down bounce rate by showing visitors that they came to the right place, reducing the ambiguity about what your business does and what this website is about.

One Good and One Bad Example of H1 header tags

Let’s look at a website that could use some improvement, the CMMI Institute. Here is their homepage.

The H1 header says “Build Capability. Deliver Results.” This a problematic H1 because it is so vague.

A Google search for “build capability” turns up wildly divergent results–building organization capability, building management capability, building leadership capability and building IT capability–and those are just one page one of search. This is not a strong keyword to optimize your home page around.

I see mention of “build organizational capability” in smaller text on the page. This is a much more defined primary keyword for the site, and probably a keyword this site should rank on page one of Google for (which they currently don’t).

Failure to address primary business purpose in the H1 and meta title of the homepage can cause major harm, especially if you have local businesses, as Radio Shack learned.

Now, let’s look at a website that is doing a good job with their H1, InnovationPoint.

This is not the most attractive page to look at, but their H1 is right on: “Strategic Innovation and Strategy Development Consulting.” Boom. This tells you exactly what you can expect from them. This pays off in Google search standings as well.

search rankings

This is a website that only has a domain authority of 29, but they rank #3 in search results for strategy development consulting. That’s the strength that comes from proper optimization.

Keep Your H1 Simple

When you are creating an H1 for your homepage (and there should only be one H1), keep it simple. Tell people who you are, what you do and where you are located (if applicable for location-based businesses).

None of the other text on your homepage is that important. It’s usually some crap about “cutting edge solutions” or “taking you to the next level” – all advertising stuff that nobody believes anyway.

Don’t be a braggart; just let your homepage introduce you to customers and tell them what you do, while also making it easier for new customers to find you in search. if you are a good business, the rest will take care of itself.

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