An empty <h1> tag is not recommended. This would be a missed opportunity to give both users and search engines more context as to what your page is about.

If your <h1> tag exists but is empty, you can update it to include text. Here’s how. 

Table of Contents

The Importance of an <h1> Tag

A <h1> tag is highly recommended by most SEOs as a way of further reinforcing the primary focus of the page in addition to the title of the page.

This benefits both users and search engines. When a user lands on a page, the <h1> tag is there to show them that the page matches their intent. For search engine bots, the <h1> provides further context about the contents of the page.

How to Update <h1> Tags

The solution to this specific issue involves checking that an H1 has a text value. When you inspect a page’s HTML, an H1 tag with no text will look like this:


This shows that the tag exists, but is empty. Instead, there should be text between <h1> and </h1>. For example:

<h1>Example H1 Tag That Was Added</h1>

These updates can be made directly in your site’s code by finding and optimizing all instances of <h1></h1>.

If you don’t have access to your site’s code, the dev team should be able to assist you.

How to Update <h1> Tags at Scale

The above optimization can be scaled by leveraging SEO execution platform ClarityAutomate. This way, a few minutes is all it takes to update <h1> tags across your site.  

1. Select what you'd like to optimize: Content

Select “Content” in ClarityAutomate, since this optimization deals with an <h1> tag.

2. Choose how you'd like to optimize it: Update

As opposed to having the tag added or deleted, it needs to be updated.

3. XPath: XPath that points to the <h1> on the page is empty

This step locates the tag that will be updated.

4. Specific location: Add before existing content

The H1 tag will be placed before existing content.

5. New Value: The text for your <h1>

Lastly, drop in the text that will serve as the H1 tag.

Before and After

A few clicks in ClarityAutomate is all it takes to give an empty H1 a proper text value. Here’s a before-and-after example of updating an <h1> tag:

Looking for other heading tag issues?