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What do web agencies use for the H1 on their home page?

Apr 01, 2022

By: Kyle Van Deusen

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☀ Read in Light Mode

A few weeks back I was talking to one of my buddies in the group who was workshopping different ideas for the H1 of his agency's home page.

I told him that one day I wanted to scrape a bunch of agency websites and see what kinds of things are popular, if there are any trends, or find some inspiration.

And today's that day!

My Process for Scraping

Since the H1 of the home page could have a pretty healthy impact on the rankings in search engines, I didn't want to use Google search to find my list of agencies. I knew that depending on what search term I used, that would greatly affect the data I collected.

So, I went with two different options (for two different sets of data).

The Admin Bar Job Board Directory

The TAB Job Board Directory was a quick and easy place to scrape together about 100 different agency websites, since I already had a list of the URLs .

I went through these websites one-by-one collecting the H1 tag from their home page (and no, I didn't just grab the "biggest" headline — I made sure it was the H1 on the page).

Google Business Profile

Since the Job Board is a pretty niche set of data (all WordPress-focused agencies), I wanted to get some more broad results. Instead of turning to Google search, I used Google Business Profiles since that would rely less on "keywords" and more on the category of business they had listed in their profile.

To get a wider swath of data I took ~10 results from major markets across the globe including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, London, and Sydney.

The H1 Data

Later in the article (make sure to read through to the end) I will give some additional commentary on what I found (which was quite shocking), but first, let's take a look at the data.

EDIT: This post has brought up some really interesting conversations inside our group. It's become clear that there is some real misunderstanding on semantic HTML and heading tags. Kevin Powell has an amazing video on this topic, so if you want to learn more about headings (and how they should be used) check out this video:

The Admin Bar Job Board Directory

These results are in no particular order, however I did remove any of the H1's that included the company name, just for anonymity's sake (and since that didn't seem to be super helpful anyway).

Graphic Design & Web Design, Donegal, Ireland.
Hi, I'm Zack
Coding with a fresh cup of coffee
Earn More Money. Work Less Hours. Attract Better Patients
Development for Designers
Website Design & Marketing to Grow Your Business.
Helping businesses and organizations create a strong online presence.
White label WordPress website development for SEOs, designers and digital marketers
White-labelWeb Developmentfor Designers &Agencies
Website Development & Support for Busy Entrepreneurs
We are web development...
Hassle-Free Website Design & Development
Compelling digital experiences that elevate your business.
DIGITAL MARKETING SOLUTIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESS
WordPress Website Design, WordPress Care Plans & Managed Web Hosting
Branding, Design and Accessibility for Nonprofits | DC and Maryland
Website design and digital strategy to support your mission
Amplify Your Online Presence the Right Way
Get More Done With aWP Website Support Teamto Call Your Own
Outside-the-box Website Development
On time, on budget, and beyond expectations.
We make complicated things simple.
Website Design & Brand Design
Helping Small Businesses Get Found Online
Refreshing App Designs.
Like something I coded? Caffeinate me!
the future of tech-design
Nationwide and Tupelo MS Digital Marketing & SEO Agency Located in Baldwyn, MS
We provide UNIQUE marketing SOLUTIONS that bring VALUE to your customers and grow your business.
Brand + Website + Marketing
Kansas Web Design Company
Oakland WordPress Support Services
Web Design Gold Coast
Your business deserves a professional, beautiful website that just works.
Are you a Chicagoland business looking for a reliable website partner?
We Don't Just Design Websites - We Build Sites To Get Results
one-stop website services
WORDPRESS DEVELOPMENT
Digital Marketing Edmonton, AB
Atlanta Web Design AND SEO Marketing Agency
Technology Support for Your Small Business
Beautiful Websites Designed To Get Local Professionals New Clients
Website Design, Care Plans and SEO Marketing Services
White Label Digital Marketing Agency
Eliminate Tech anxiety and Marketing overwhelm
LOCAL MARKETING IS CHALLENGING.WE HELP MAKE IT SIMPLE & PROFITABLE.
Hi, I'm David.
Website + Branding + Design
WordPress web designer with 12+ years of web design experience. I can create new websites, work with existing websites & troubleshoot for you.
Helping you grow your business online
WordPress web design and sales funnels. You run your business.I'll run your website.
Building websites that deliver more leads to your business
What we can do for you
Affordable website design & social media services
Bring your brand to life with eye-catching design
Branding and Website Design
Websites for experts
Business Solutions, LLC
UK Based Local SEO Company
Grow More.Sell More.
Website Design. Website Support.
Website Design & Digital Marketing
Creators of Exceptional Websites & Apps
Reliable Whitelabel WordPress Development for Digital Agencies
Á la Carte Marketing for Small Business
Websites Built for Business
Think, Design, Smile.
Expert malware scanning cleanup & site audits
Freelance WordPress website developer specializing in custom WordPress themes
Building digital experiences for brands who want to reach their ideal customers.
Website Design & Consulting for People Who'd Rather Be Outside
You've worked hard to establish your business.
Websites that Grow Your Business
Web Design in Barnard Castle, Durham
WEBSITES & DIGITAL MARKETING

Major Market Google Business Profile

For the major market category, I put in every H1 I found for the top ~10 results in each market (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, London, & Sydney).

Design a Website That Converts
Web Design and Marketing Agency
Award Winning Design Services Since 2011
Web Design Company in Los Angeles
Digital Marketing & Web Design Services
READY TO STEP IT UP?
Exhibea
Visualab Design is a Los Angeles,CA based Graphic & Web Design and Digital Marketing Studio.
We create websites that turn your visitors into customers.
Welcome to L.A. Design Studio
Web Agency
Create a custom photography website on WordPress
HIGH ARTE Marketing, Graphic & Web Design
New York City Web Design Firm
New York Website Designer
Website Design & Digital Marketing Agency Sharply Tuned for Growth
Big Drop Inc – Web Design Company
We Build Beautiful & Powerful Websites
WEB DESIGN
Mobile App Design& Development +
NYC's Top IT Solutions, Digital Marketing Agency & E-Commerce Solutions
FULL CONTACT CREATIVE
WEB DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
Marketing & Creative
Houston Web Design Experts
We Build SEO Enhanced WebsitesTo Connect With Your CustomersAnd GROW YOUR BUSINESS RAPIDLY.
Houston Web Design and SEO Company
Custom Designed
Trusted & Reliable Texas Web Design, SEO & Digital Marketing Agency
28+ Years of Website Design
World's leading WordPress agency
Want to add MORE VALUE to your business with better technology? You've come to the right place.
EVERYTHING YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO SUCCEED
Affordable Website Design & Development for Small Business in Chicago
Award-winning Chicago web design and development company
MOST TRUSTED WEB DESIGN & SEO COMPANY IN THE MIDWEST
SEO DESIGN CHICAGO – Chicago , IL
A Chicago web design company since 2009.
Web design for brands
Want to add MORE VALUE to your business with better technology? You've come to the right place.
Phoenix Web Design Company
Fyresite Builds Modern Websites & Mobile Apps
A Phoenix Web Design Company Driven by Results
Phoenix Website Design
A custom website that's easy on your budget
Redesigning a Company Website?Here's Why to Consider Partnering with Us:
Welcome To Phoenix Web Design Pros
Web design London
Web Design WordPress Agency Makes Your Website Works For You ... Fast!
Versatile in what we do
Pro Web Design
Web Design Agency London
WordPress Web Design London
Bringing Brands to Life Digitally.
The original london web design agency
Online Web Design Agency London
Web Design Bath & London
Sydney website design + web development digital agency
WordPress Developers You Can Trust
Branding, Web Design and Marketing Agency Sydney
We're Web Design City
Sydney's Principal Design Agency
You've found the experts in creative web design in Sydney
Web Design Sydney
We're Web Design City

Interesting Tidbits

There were a couple things I found pretty interesting doing this research.

A lot of poor HTML structure exists

I was absolutely shocked at how many sites I visited had some pretty fundamental flaws in the HTML structure, including:

  • No H1
  • Multiple H1's (one site has 16)
  • Other heading levels before their H1
  • H1's that have zero relevance to their work
  • Using <br> tags in the middle of their headline with no spaces, creating words to run together in the code.

We're not talking about a few here or there — I would say at least 50% of the sites I visited had some obvious issues (this number was much higher (like 80%+ of them) on the TAB Directory than it was in my Google Business Profile search).

Creative VS Factual

It was pretty interesting how many people took a "marketing" angle to their H1, using fancier language to try and appeal to their visitor, while others took a much more matter-of-fact approach with H1's like "Web Design".

Which is the right way to go? Well, I'm not going to claim to be an SEO expert and I don't know your business — so it's hard to say!

A lot of agencies don't acquire much business from organic results (where the H1 might have more impact), but rely on referrals and word-of-mouth.

But this creates an interesting chicken or the egg conundrum... Does the H1 not matter so much, since things aren't coming from search? Or, if their H1's were better optimized for search, perhaps they would get more organic traffic?

🤔 🤷

What should your H1 be?

All of this data and research is purely anecdotal — and I'm not sure there is any clear answer. But maybe this post makes you think twice about yours and gives you some inspiration on finding what works best for you!

Here's what ahrefs has to say on the topic, which is (obviously) going to be a lot more authoritative than our general banter.

You might be in a position where you need to attract more visits to your website — in which case, a more factual and straight to the point H1 might be best.

Or, you might be more worried about the impression of the visitor because you already have reliable traffic sources or rankings.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this — so hop on into the group and share in this dedicated thread about this post.

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Kyle Van Deusen
@kylevandeusen

Kyle is the co-host of The Admin Bar, the owner of a agency of one called OGAL Web Design and the co-founder of Docket WP. You’ll likely find him trolling The Admin Bar community.

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