Unless it’s on the home page of course.
I’ve been using
<h1> for site name in my designs since forever, and somehow, with all the reading up on SEO and best practices that I’ve been doing, I still managed to miss the fact that that shouldn’t be the case unless it’s on the home page. Of course it completely makes sense and is so obvious I should smack myself upside the head for not seeing this sooner.
Once you’re past the home page and looking over pages with articles, or descriptions of features, or services, or whatever else, the most important thing on the page becomes the heading of the content, not the name of the site, or the company, or individual, or what not. After all, you (i.e. person coming from the home page) already know that. So of course the content title is what should be inside the
<h1> tag, especially in the case of a personal blogs (like this one) where the site name is also the owner’s name.
So why did it take me this long to figure this out? In part I think I just gave the physical location too much importance, i.e. whatever’s higher on page should get the higher priority tag. Of course that doesn’t even make sense since on content pages the site name wouldn’t be using any of the header tags anyway, so
<h1> is still at the top. The other, and I think the main, reason is just my own hubris. Simply put, I thought I knew all there is to know about
<h2> and the other header tags, so why would I need to read up on them, or even think much about their use, after all I’m using them correctly and that’s that. Well, a huge fail on me with a side of facepalm.
Now that I’ve seen the light excuse me while I contact all my past employers to tell them they have to redo all of their sites. I just hope that 2+2 is still 4.