Keyword in title or H1?

When you SEO a webpage, where do you place the target keyword?Page title? Or the article heading i.e. H1? Or do you keep both same?We prefer to keep both same. Only at times, when we wish to take a creative spin on the the article heading, do we keep page title and H1 different.

Since SEO is the cornerstone of any inbound marketing strategy, we decided to investigate what our colleagues in the webosphere were doing.

But first, lets understand page title and H1.


Take a look at the image below. It is the snapshot of our inbound marketing agency page.

page title and H1 on a webpage

As you would have figured out, H1 is the heading copy of the page. H1 is the one that is immediately visible to the readers. Page title is what appears in the browser’s title bar. Page title is not immediately visible to the readers. Therefore, it may seem that it is only H1 that matters, from a reader’s perspective that is.

As you would have guessed, you cannot completely ignore page title. Because they appear in the SERP results.

Take a look. Here is the SERP for the same page.

serp results for keyword inbound marketing agency

Thus, page title has an important role too. It impacts CTRs on SERP.

So, H1 is for readers who are already on the webpage. Whereas page title is for users who are ‘searching’ for the right content. Which brings us to the question, if the keyword is important for H1 or page title? Logically, it should be page title given its omnipresence on SERP. But, why take the chance? No wonder all our fellow inbound marketing agencies tend to keep H1 and page title same.

But, what really is the best practice to optimize H1 and page title?Searching on the internet presented us with 2 good discussions. One from moz and the other from yoast. The yoast post just described the difference between the two. The moz discussion was definitely interesting with many views and no emphatic conclusion.


Understandably, it is difficult to conclude this ambiguous topic. Nevertheless, we are putting our neck out.

  • No Rules – There is no hard rule that H1 and page title should be treated differently. Yay, more freedom to us marketers.
  • Keyword – The keyword should ideally appear in both. If you do not like the constraint of the keyword in your earth-shattering heading copy, it is best go without the keyword then. After your page or post is about a week to 10 days old, you could then revisit the heading copy and insert the keyword. This dual approach will help you play the reader and the SERP, at the same time. A title is an answer to the perceived keyword question. H1 is more like a headline meant to draw the reader in. If a copy is doing both the things, bingo !!!
  • Only difference – Search engines could append the brand name to the page title tag. The same is not the case with H1.

Have you ever faced this dilemma? Lucky you !!!

Team Znbound
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