Can I have more than one H1 on a page?

Can I have more than one H1 on a page?

You must only have one <H1> on a page!
The words of "SEO experts" everywhere and the starting point of many tedious discussions about best practise. I often get warned about the penalties of multiple H1 tags and decided it was time I put together some numbers.

Taking a look at over 100 of the most popular websites on the internet I set out to count H1 tags and to see whether only those sites with a single H1 tag would appear at the top Google. Of course, I already knew the results but everyone loves to look at numbers.

H1 found per page

  • One (49)
  • Zero (45)
  • Two (6)
  • Three (4)
  • Four (4)
  • Five (2)
  • Nine (2)
  • Six (1)
  • Seven (1)
  • Eight (1)

From this data we can see that only 43% of websites tested kept to using just one H1 tag on a page and 39% of websites didn't have a single one. 18% of websites contained two or more H1 tags with two sites having nine.

CHANEL decided to use an H1 tag for every menu item.
CHANEL decided to use an H1 tag for every menu item.

So what does this mean?

In all honesty it doesn't mean much, it's just interesting to see how other people are doing it.

If you are always thinking about your content and making decisions based on what is most useful to your user then you will find the SEO benefits you are seeking.

Note. It would be great if you didn't try to build your entire primary and secondary menu out of H1 tags like CHANEL.

Further findings

  • 15 websites had hidden H1 tags on their page
  • 9 websites wrapped their logo in an H1 tag
  • 31 websites used an H1 tag for their company / product name
  • 9 websites filled their H1 tags with only keywords:
    • Bank of America — Banking, Credit Cards, Mortgages and Investing
    • Nick - Free Games for Children, Video clips, Wallpapers, Shows
  • 11 websites had marketing sentences in a single H1 tag:
    • Meetups are neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, share something...
    • Over 225 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities
    • Last week 6,404 companies signed up for Basecamp to manage their projects. Today it’s your turn.