Div ID=”Header” Different SEO Tactics

SMS Text

It is quite natural a header div is one of the most important on-page elements and thus it is in constant focus of SEOs’ attention:

  • it is a sitewide element – it “interlinks” / unites all site subpages (and thus is one of the most important components of your site internal architecture);
  • it is the most prominent part of the site – it is usually located at the top of the page source code (and hence is a good place for your keywords).

Nonetheless not everything is that easy – while having a great SEO potential, a header may cause some serious problems as well:

  • an over-optimized header may cause incorrect rankings (e.g. when home page is ranked higher than a more relevant sub page for example);
  • an over-optimized header may lead to penalties (e.g. many of us saw penalties caused by internal anchor text over-optimization).


Most often questions related to header div SEO include:

  • is it wiser to use a text link or a (linked) image banner?
  • what’s preferable: to use keywords or a brand name as an image alternative text or link anchor text?
  • should “home” link be “nofollowed”?

Here is how most prominent bloggers handle the header SEO:

SourceHeader div typeDetailsOverall tactic
SEL headLinked bannerImage name: header-logo; alternative text: Search Engine Land!; title: Search Engine LandImage banner (alt text cites exactly what image says)
blogstorm-headLinked bannerImage name: logo; alternative text: Search engine optimization from Blogstorm; title: noneImage banner (with a descriptive alt text) + “home” link using “nofollow”
10e20 headerLinked bannerImage name: logo; alternative text: none; title: noneImage banner with no alt text + “Home” text link
stephanspencer headText linkH3-tagged text link; anchor text: Stephan Spencer’s ScatteringsText link (anchor text citing the blog name)
hamletbatista headerText linkanchor text: Home Text link (anchor text non-descriptive)

So as far as you can see, there is no definitive answers. My own take on the header optimization is as follows:

  • don’t have it linked to itself;
  • don’t use “nofollow” attribute for it (while “first-link-is-the-only-that-counts” theory is still questionable, you better stay on the safe side);
  • it’s best not to over-optimize the header with keywords, instead, use your brand name – it’s even better if your main keyword is included in your brand/ domain name (e.g. SEO book, SEO moz).
  • (this needs more testing) try CSS positioning the entire header div after the main content block – thus you will “show” a search crawler each page unique element first and give each page specific keywords more prominence (avoid keyword cannibalization)
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Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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