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H1s Too Short

H1 Too Short

In this guide we describe what this element is (H1 header), what the check is and how it works as well as providing some context as to why this SEO check is performed. This check is performed exclusively on canonical pages (pages with a self-referential canonical tag).


What is a H1 Header?

H1 headers are the primary header on any page and they can yield significant benefits to the SEO of a page when optimised for target keywords. A H1 header is defined at the tag and text contained within the tag:

<h1>example header text goes here</h1>

The H1 header is designed to head all the content on a page and is usually the most prominent text on a page. Typically found at the top of a page and in larger font than the rest of the text.


What is a Canonical Page?

A canonical page is a webpage that has a self-referential canonical tag present on it. A canonical tag advises Google as to the preferred / original version of content. If a page / piece of content is accessible from multiple URLs or is missing across multiple pages, a canonical tag helps to define the ‘canonical’ version.

A canonical tag contains a URL and if that URL matches the URL of the page being accessed, it is defined as a canonical page. Canonical pages are typically the ‘SEO’ pages of a site as they are most likely to appear in the search results. The canonical tag of our homepage looks like this in HTML:

<link rel="canonical" href="">


What Is a H1 that is too short?

If a page has a H1 heading that is less than 6 characters and should be considered as a potential opportunity to improve the header. Headers should contain target keywords and head content, which provides a clue to Google as to what the page is about. If the header is very short, there is a high chance that it is not fully utilised or optimised.

We mark this check as a minor error, as it has the potential to affect the organic visibility of a page within the search results.


What Do We Check & How?

During a website crawl, our tool scrapes data from and about each page of the site. If we find <H1> tags on canonical pages that have less than 6 characters these are flagged with this error.

As mentioned previously, these checks are performed exclusively on canonical pages, so if a non-canonical page has a H1 that is too short, it will not be included within this check. You can see all pages (regardless of their canonicalization) that contain H1’s with less than characters under the ‘headers’ section in the SEO errors report.


What should you do with this data?

Using our SEO tool, you can identify all the pages that have H1 headers that are too short. You can use this data for any of the following purposes:

  • Optimise / improve H1 headers
  • Provide the list of pages with H1 headers that are too short to a client
  • Count the SEO errors on a site