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Ask Yoast WordPress themes and heading structure

Headings play an important role in structuring text, whether it’s on paper or online. Since reading from a screen is already quite difficult, you should make sure you make proper use of headings. There’s a hierarchy in heading tags, with <h1> being the most important, and <h6> the least important. This will help both your visitors (whether they’re reading or using a screen reader!) and search engines understand what’s most essential on a page. But what if your theme only allows the use of one type of heading? Is that bad for your SEO, and what does it mean for your visitors? In this Ask Yoast, I’ll get into that.

Nikola emailed us her question on WordPress themes and heading structure:

My theme has no H1 headings on the homepage (or category and archive pages). All headings are H2. My developer says it isn’t bad for SEO, it’s worse to use multiple H1s on a single page. Is he right?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

A logical order in your heading structure

Is he right? Well he is and he isn’t…it really depends. If you’re using HTML 5, you can have multiple H1s, depending on how your page is structured. At the same time, not having an H1 at all in your page sounds very weird.

On a post page the title of that post should be in the H1. On an archive page the title of that archive should be in the H1. On your homepage your brand name should probably be in the H1. So, I’m not entirely sure that he’s right. I would prefer that he does it right in terms of using one H1, then some H2s, etc.

This is more of an accessibility issue than it is a specific SEO issue. But it’s important for people who are blind, or otherwise have a hard time reading your page, because they can actually follow the structure of the headings on your page. So do think about the headings on your page and make them follow a logical order. Good luck!

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Read more: SEO Basics: How to use headings on your site »


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10 Responses to Ask Yoast: WordPress themes and heading structure

  1. Digember
    Digember  • 1 year ago

    I think that developer guy is somehow right. I use tags for heading on my website. And the content structure goes from to in decreasing order.

  2. Prabhu Ganeshan
    Prabhu Ganeshan  • 1 year ago

    I have been using WordPress for few years but don’t think this a big problem. I think developers point of view is correct. I think this will not affect SEO and but surely it will affect users accessibility. I don’t know what solution is suitable for this.

  3. datafilehost
    datafilehost  • 1 year ago

    Currently am using H2 amd H3 for my heading…is it advisable or should i add other heading tags?

    • Digember
      Digember  • 1 year ago

      What I know for a good structured content, title tag must be tag and other headings can go from to . Mostly, I use h2,h3,h4 tags for the headings.

  4. Lucas
    Lucas  • 1 year ago

    What if your post titles are in an image at the top of the post?

    Should one use an invisible H1 for the title?

  5. nexvan
    nexvan  • 1 year ago

    Hi, the header of the page should be h1 or h2?

    • Javed Isaac
      Javed Isaac  • 1 year ago

      Its too h1

  6. Paul
    Paul  • 1 year ago

    “On the home page, your brand name should probably be in H1”
    So, what if you are using a logo for your brand? Would you style up an invisible H1 title too?

  7. Javed Isaac
    Javed Isaac  • 1 year ago

    Thanks! You have open my Eyes. Belive me am not adding H1 to my Blog post even Blog Title. Now i have make a plan to edit each and every things from my blog and start adding H1 on blog including. Post title and Post First Headering also is H1. So let see, what effect appear in SERP?

  8. Naziman Azlye
    Naziman Azlye  • 1 year ago

    Thanks, Yoast. I have check my blog homepage. Just have one H1 for my blog name. The title of all post is H2. The other like sidebar have H3 and H4. The sidebar has two different heading because of the H4 not from the theme but from plugin widget. Is it okay the structure like that?