The title of your post or page usually gets the H1 heading tag. It’s only logical to give your post one title, right? Having more than one H1 is like saying: “Hey, this text is actually about two topics that are of equal importance.” That’s why Yoast SEO warns you with a red feedback bullet if you use more than one H1 heading. Here, we’ll explain why we believe your post or page doesn’t need multiple H1 headings.
Heading structure and SEO
In a lot of CMSs like WordPress or Shopify, headings are ordered in ranks (or levels). The highest rank is H1, and that is the title of your post or page. In the rest of the text, you use H2 – H6 headings. With them, you indicate the importance of each section and how it relates to the rest of the text. So, when a reader lands on your page, the headings help them make sense of the content. It helps readers to scan the text and learn how it fits together.
Search engines also “read” headings and try to understand the structure of your text. Instead of the regular text that you and I read, they go to the HTML version of your site and read the HTML heading tags. The headings help them comprehend the relative importance of a (sub)topic of your text.
One or multiple H1s?
As mentioned above, the H1 is the title of your post (not to be confused with the SEO title). We advise using the H1 heading only once. We believe that’s the best choice, because:
- Headings help readers and Google understand your text. If there are multiple H1 headings, your readers and Google might get confused. When there’s no clear distinction between main and subtopics, people might get confused, distracted, or even frustrated. As a result, they may leave your site.
- Proper use of headings makes your text more accessible. Think of visually impaired people who use screen readers. These devices can use headings to navigate through your text. More than one H1 in one article complicates this and without visual cues it might confuse people even more.
Of course, it is perfectly acceptable to use the other headings as much as you need. Still, you should keep in mind that headings are hierarchical. For example, you should use H2 before you use H3 within a particular topic. Check out this extensive guide on headings and SEO if you want to use them optimally.
What does the single H1 heading check in Yoast SEO do?
The single H1 assessment of Yoast SEO (both in our WordPress plugin and Shopify app) checks whether the body of your text contains an H1 heading at any position other than the very beginning. If Yoast SEO detects an H1 heading in the body of your text, it gives you a red bullet in the feedback. Luckily, solving this issue is straightforward.
Finding and changing your H1 headings
To make sure your post doesn’t contain double titles, you will need to find all H1s in your text and change them to a lower heading level.
Changing an H1 heading in the classic editor in WordPress
If you click one of your headings in the classic editor, the clickable drop-down menu in the upper left corner will show the heading level you’ve selected. You can change it to another level by opening the drop-down menu and selecting 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 another appropriate heading.
Changing an H1 heading in the block editor in WordPress
If you want to check or change the level of your headings, just click them. The menu bar above the block shows 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 another appropriate heading.
Changing an H1 heading in Shopify
When you go to one of your products or blog posts in the backend of Shopify, you’ll notice the ‘Title’ field at the top. This is where you fill in your title (which is automatically your H1 on that page). In the description field below you can write your product description or blog post and add headings by clicking on the ‘Paragraph’ button above the content field. This dropdown allows you to add headings of different levels. If you get a red feedback bullet for your single H1 assessment in Yoast SEO, check all your headings by clicking on them. When you’ve found the H1 in your content, change it into H2 or another appropriate heading.
Using headings in the right way helps your SEO. What you learned with this post is quite simple. An H1 heading is the title of your post. You don’t want double or triple titles, so make sure to use the H1 heading only once. In case you forget about it, Yoast is here to help you!
If you’re on Shopify, the Yoast SEO app can help keep an eye on your headings and other important SEO elements. In addition, it gives you access to all of our SEO courses to really master the art of SEO! When you’re on WordPress and ready to take your SEO to the next level, go Premium to get access to all the features in Yoast SEO and all of our SEO courses. This will help you further optimize your site for your site visitors and the search engines.
Go Premium and get free access to our SEO courses!
Learn how to write great content for SEO and unlock lots of features with Yoast SEO Premium:
Read more: Complete beginner’s guide to SEO »
Become a Yoast SEO pro series
Coming up next!
- Stay tuned Keep an eye on our site and social media to stay up-to-date. See where you can find us next »
- SEO webinar 20 December 2022 Our head of SEO, Jono Alderson, will keep you up-to-date about everything that happens in the world of SEO and WordPress. All Yoast SEO webinars »