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I use this WordPress theme which has subtitle as a suggested plugin so I tried. Everything is normal and perfect, somehow visually my web seems to be a little bit more blog-ish when having this subtitle.

But I was wondering does the subtitle really help SEO?

I mean we have h1 (title) does tremendous SEO/Google title tag and there are plenty of posts teaching us how to create a good title. But what about subtitle, does it help? Is there any related post on using subtitle and SEO?

  • 1
    The H1 and the <title> are two very different things. The title is shown in the browser tab, the H1 is on the page. Titles are very important for SEO, but now using H1 tags is not necessary. Google renders pages. It now pays attention to any large prominent text at the top of the page, it doesn't have to be in a H1 tag. – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 17 '18 at 10:39
  • @StephenOstermiller: using H1 tags is not necessary ... Whether or not H1 Tags are relevant for search engines (Bing and Yahoo etc as well as Google), I would still very much recommend its usage. Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4 and H5 etc) can play a very useful role in both Content Hierarchy and for Stylistic purposes; be it directly on the website or for Documentation purposes such as a Style Guide. At the end of the day, you want the website as organised as possible for all those involved (Visitors, Search Engines, Designers, Developers and the Content Creators to name a few). – Craig Aug 18 '18 at 23:45
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Depends on your content. Does/Would a subtitle help clarify or build on the title for visitors? Does it bring a call to action?

If the subtitles help bring structure and enhance the content, sure.

https://medicalpracticeadministrator.com/2012/04/proper-use-of-subtitles-h2-tags-for-se/

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HTML defines six levels of headings. A heading element implies all the font changes, paragraph breaks before and after, and any white space necessary to render the heading. The heading elements are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 with H1 being the highest (or most important) level and H6 the least.

Use the semantic element of HTML5 such as ARTICLE and/or SECTION together with header elements when you want to make the hierarchical structure of a document explicit. This is needed as header elements themselves only contain the text of the header, and do not imply any structural division of documents into sections.

Example:

Source Headings of W3.

enter image description here

Verify the hierarchy of html on the HTML 5 Outliner:

enter image description here

The guide of Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide informs us:

Use heading tags to emphasize important text Since heading tags typically make text contained in them larger than normal text on the page, this is a visual cue to users that this text is important and could help them understand something about the type of content underneath the heading text. Multiple heading sizes used in order create a hierarchical structure for your content, making it easier for users to navigate through your document.

The semantics HTML5 of which the elements heading (including the element H1) are part is applied to WAI-ARIA for accessibility users with disabilities to the contents of web pages. The documentation of W3 HTML 5.2 W3C Recommendation, 14 December 2017 tells us:

This semantic information is critical to assistive technologies. For example, a screen reader will query the browser for semantic information and use that information to present the document or application in synthetic speech.

In some cases assistive technologies use semantic information to provide additional functionality. A speech recognition tool might provide a voice command for moving focus to the start of the main element for example. When the appropriate HTML element or attribute is not used, it deprives HTML processors of valuable semantic information.

In addition, the hierarchy of your web pages can help you in getting Featured Snippets in the SERP of your website.

Read more A Simple Process To Find Featured Snippets Opportunities of Ignite Visibility.

So my answer to your question: The use of the H1 element and other elements of heading can is valuable for search engine optimization if this is used in conjunction with the semantic HTML5.

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    This doesn't answer the question. Does a subheading below the main heading help SEO? – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 18 '18 at 13:17
  • I corrected and supplemented my answer. – nikant25 Aug 19 '18 at 6:13
  • +1 TLDR, if you make your content easy for people and assistive technologies to read (which parse content to help people find things), you likewise help SEO. – Robert Dundon Aug 20 '18 at 12:47
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Use this as a semantic and meaningful markup.

<header>
    <h1 itemprop="headline">Headline goes here</h1>
    <p>The subtitle and brief description goes here</p>
</header>

Hope this helps.

  • That has nothing to do with SEO though. – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 18 '18 at 13:16
  • I believe that semantic HTML5 is a way to make Google understand the content of a webpage. Though, they will understand in the end but this could be useful. – Shayan Davoodi Aug 18 '18 at 13:21
  • I doubt that semantic HTML will help rankings. Even in the cases where Google does use schema markup, it is for pulling data out of your page to show it specially in the search results. It doesn't help the pages rank better. It is possible semantic HTML will help ranking, but there are no studies that have shown that. At best you can say that it doesn't hurt. Reference: inboundnow.com/html5-semantic-elements-mean-seo – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 18 '18 at 13:26
  • @Stephen Ostermiller. However, Google recommends this in its guide for SEO – nikant25 Aug 18 '18 at 19:01
  • Do you have a link to that guide? – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 18 '18 at 19:33

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