Tag Archives: H1

The dissapearance of H1

I was writing the other day about the importancy of the H1 heading and the necessity to use quality headings and content.

I started to search for big-names-earning-money-from-good-websites in order to find good examples of smart headings in their index pages. In case anyone would ask: “Ok smart….girl, show me a million dollar website if your’re so….” I would definitely say: “Look at Amazon or HP or BMW you…..” They have the money to buy web experts in case they don’t have an in-house department. They shoud know better than anyone how important is to have a good website.

But I can’t. Amazon, HP and BMW all have something in common. They all start their index page with a H2. Well it’s not the end of the world. Their pages still look good and at least they don’t say “welcome” 🙂

What do big guys say? H2 speaking…

Amazon says: “Shop Laptops at 20% Off or More”

HP US says: “Primary content tabs” or “Messaging banner” or “HP Newsroom links”…all for accessibility purposes…..

These 3 H2 tags are all having a CSS class that hides them. There are some H2 visible though …. In the footer we have “HP Corporate”, “Resources” and “Customer Support”.

BMW US says: “Your Saved Content”, “Your Saved Configurations” and “Sorry!” in case something bad happens. BTW, nice flash banner…..

Let’s find some good guys

Apple has:

H1: the Ipad image, with the message: “iPad is here.”
apple's h1 heading

H2-H6 missing

IBM has:

H1: an image with the message:”If the buildings in LA look smug, they have a good reason. Los Angeles emerges as te winner in the IBM Smarter Buildings Study. Find ut why–and see what else we learned.”
IBMs H1 heading

H2: missing
H3: “Featured topics”, “What IBM can do for…”, “How to buy”, “Products”, “Services”, “Evaluate”, “Design”……a lot….

The interesting thing about these 2 companies is that the H1 tag was also the most proeminent news in the page. They didn’t have, like HP, important tags used only for screen readers with no relation with what was important in the main visible layout.

In the end…

I think we all got the message. Forget about H1, who gives a ….flower about it anyway?

Why is “Welcome” so important?

I’m seeing a lot of websites lately that open their homepage with a big “Welcome” title. The beauty of this title is that usually somebody decides it is so important that it also deserves to be a H1 heading.

From the marketing-girl’s perspective – or the PR-guy if you want – probably welcoming your visitors with such a nice and polite heading is the good thing to do. And when a programmer like me decides your welcome does not worth the H1 and lowers its importancy to H3 (because I’m not allowed to delete it completely) then the war inside the company is about to begin.

When you have nothing else to say

Some people think the most important in your site is YOU. Your company’s name, slogan, discoveries, news…Sometimes the logo is also H1 – sometimes not. And this is where you stop. Not everybody agrees, but all agree that you have to have a H1.

Next in the line is H2. You can use it in any way you want but bear in mind that Google is listening and this H2 will mean a lot for SEO. And now we go back to “Welcome”.

What is Google learning from you when the most important message in your page is “welcome”?

Welcome message in a non existent site

Forget Google, what about information?

From the Information Architecture point of view, the fact that you open your website with a “Welcome” means that you have nothing better to say.

When I see it I think that this company has nothing interesting to write on the index page. The headings help me understand what is the company doing and how it can help me (because this is why I am here, I’m not surfing the net to waste time), so the index page is the most important page in the entire website.

The way it is designed, the content and most of all the headings should make me understand the company’s purpose and activity and convince me NOT to leave the website at once.

Nobody reads, everyone scans

Why are the headings so important? Besides the race to win Google’s heart, it’s all about money! When you have a boring index page with boring headings and insipid content, the huge Flash in the middle of the page won’t help you stop loosing your visitors. If the visitors come, get bored/scared/indiferent then they go somewhere else. And they take the wallet with them.

In case you don’t give a….flower on a web specialist’s opinion about your website then this argument should win. The analitycs were invented with a purpose. Knowing how many vistors come and go, how much time they spend on your website and why are they leaving after 30 seconds it’s suppose to make you win or at least stop loosing money. If you’re even more insensitive than that, think about them as wallets. The visitor goes = the money goes.

Does this make you more interested in the Web Architect’s opinion?

Check the Spanish version of this post:
Porqué “Binevenida” es tan importante?