More than one H1: find and change them

The single H1 assessment tracks down your H1 headings. H1 is another term for the title of your post or page. Having more than one H1 is like saying: “Hey, this text is actually about two topics that are of equal importance.” That’s not only confusing but also not very efficient. It would have been much clearer if you had written two texts instead. That’s why Yoast SEO will warn you with a red feedback bullet if you use more than one H1 heading. Now, it’s up to you to find these unwanted H1 headings and change them into a lower level. We’ll explain how you can do this, in this article.
 
Learn more about this check in Yoast SEO in our explanation of the single H1 assessment.

Heading structure and SEO

But let’s first start with a question: is it really that bad for your SEO to have more than one H1 heading? Yes, it is. Here are three reasons why:

  • Headings help Google understand your text. In case of multiple H1 headings, Google might get confused.
  • Headings help readers understand your text. If your text is poorly structured, people might get confused, distracted or even frustrated. As a result, they may leave your site.
  • Headings make your text more accessible. Think of visually impaired people who use screen readers. These devices can use headings to navigate through your text.

Creating headings

In our SEO copywriting course we’ll teach you how to create a clear heading structure. In this article, we’ll stick to the practical side. Changing and creating headings is a similar process, so we’ll take you through the process of creating headers first. We’ve taken both the classic editor and the block editor into account.

If you are using the classic editor

If you add a new post in the classic WordPress editor, you can enter the title of your post at the top. This is your H1 heading.
Add title box in WordPress Classic editor

Let’s say you then add a paragraph to introduce your topic. If you start typing your post, the classic editor will automatically use the layout for a paragraph (because that’s the default setting). If you click the drop-down menu, you can change this into six different heading levels.

Turning selected text into a heading in WordPress classic editor

If you are using the block editor

If you create a new post in the WordPress block editor, this is the first thing you see.

Default editor screen in WordPress block editor

By adding a title right at the top, you will create an H1 heading. So far, so good. Now, there are several ways to add more headings throughout your text:

  1. You can type a / sign to choose a block and then select the Heading block.
  2. You can click the + sign and then select the Heading block.
  3. You can click the T symbol to add a heading.

Screenshot of WordPress block editor showing + sign on the left and T sign on the right

Each new heading you add will be H2 by default. You can turn your H2 heading into an H3 or H4 by clicking the symbols in the menu bar above your block. You can also change the level of your headers in the Heading Settings of the sidebar. Here, you will have more options to chose from: you can select levels from H1 to H6.

Changing the level of a heading through the menu bar above a block
Change the level of a heading through the Heading Settings in the sidebar of the WordPress block editor

Finding and changing your H1 headings

Now that you know how to create headings, it’s easy to find and change them. Let’s take a look at how this works in both editors.

If you are using the classic editor

If you click one of your headers in the classic editor, the drop-down menu will show the heading level you’ve selected. You can change it just as easily to another level. If the Yoast SEO feedback indicates that your text contains more than one H1 heading, simply check all your headings by clicking them. Then select another level to change your H1 into H2 or something else.

If you are using the block editor

If you want to check and/or change the level of your headings, just click them. The menu bar above the block will show you the level of the heading. That is, if this heading is an H2, H3 or H4. If it’s an H1, H5 or H6, you can only see this in the Headings Settings in the sidebar. If Yoast SEO provided you with a red feedback bullet for the single H1 assessment, then simply go through all your headings by clicking them. Then select another level to change your H1 into H2 or something else.