Search Optimisation; Partial H1 With Title Tag

  SimpleSimon1 15:43 23 Jan 2007

All my reading here and in other places suggests that one of the key factors for decent search positioning is making sure your Title and first H1 tag contain the same ‘key words’ phrases which should also appear in your first para, as near the top of the page as possible.

However, assuming this is the case, should the content of the Title and H1 tags be identical or can the H1 tag be a subset of the title without compromising the search ranking? For example, assume the page Title was “Jane Doe: Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist, Newbury, Berkshire: Stop Smoking, Phobias and Stress”. This title contains the key search phrases and is OK as a Window title but seems a bit clunky as the first H1 title on the splash page. From a design point of view, I’d probably want to have the first page title as something like “Jane Doe: Clinical Behavioural Hypnotherapist, Newbury, Berkshire”, with a second H1 title (or maybe H2) “Stop Smoking, Phobias and Stress” immediately following on.

Is this sort of construct likely to affect the search ranking?

Many thanks. All thoughts and musings welcome

  SimpleSimon1 13:06 24 Jan 2007

Thanks for the reply. However, inevitably it raises a whole bunch of extra questions :-)

Obviously you can use different titles and headings on different pages. However, most of the reading I’ve done suggests that, as far as search optimisation goes, it’s the index page which you should be concentrating on. Is this correct?

I’m also interested in your comment of “(only one H1 tag per page)” – is this a convention for web page design or is it something that affects the optimisation algorithm if you have multiple H1 tags on an index page?

In terms of your suggestion of “Jane Doe: Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist” for both title and H1, the reason why I’d suggested “Jane Doe: Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist, Newbury, Berkshire: Stop Smoking, Phobias and Stress” for a title was that, as far as I can see, “Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist”, “Newbury”, “Berkshire” “Stop Smoking” “Phobias” “Stress” are the major search keywords. As such my understanding was that these needed to be in both Title and the H1 (and the first para) for best ranking.

If this is the case, for best ranking, do both the title and the H1 have to be identical or can the H1 be a subset of the Title without too much impact.

BTW, the reason why I don’t see “Jane Doe” as a primary keyword is that anyone who doesn’t know my wife’s name wouldn’t be likely to search on it. Instead, they would be far more likely to search on the other keywords to find a local practice meeting their requirements. Does this reasoning seem sound? If so, whilst I’d probably have Jane Doe in the title (for info purposes), I don’t see it as essential in the first H1 since, from a design point of view, it would probably look better as an H2 immediately underneath.

Does this thinking make any sort of sense or have I got hold of totally the wrong end of the stick?

Many thanks for taking the time to help out a newbie who’s trying to make sense of all this :-)

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