Use headings in website copy

Nested Headings

Blogs need headings because they provide a visual hierarchy to the page. With this in place, the reader can scan quickly and pick out the information he needs or jump from section to section. If there are no headings, it’s difficult to read and filter out the information. On the other hand, too many headings can mean that there’s not enough content and the page looks ‘top-heavy’.

Since we know that readers make lightning fast decisions about whether they’re staying on a page for a quick look around, or not, the content had better be interesting, organised and well presented and this is helped hugely by using nested headings.

Headings are great for SEO

While search engine spiders are crawling pages, they are looking to see whether the keywords in the header are relevant to the content below it and also that the keywords in the heading match the same keyword(s) in the text. Hierarchically speaking, the most important header is assigned the HTML tag ‘h1’ and since it’s the top-dog, its keywords need to be peppered throughout the whole page. This is different to the keywords of an H2 or H3 heading which need to be directly in the content below.

Headings are great for usability

People use the hierarchy of headings as a visual clue to the page content so that they can skip to the parts that interest them. Nested headings carve up the content in to easily-digestible chunks. The result is an organised piece of writing; well presented.

How to word your heading

A good heading will describe the content below it. It should contain a keyword and that keyword should reappear in the copy below. Here’s how it works; if the spiders see ‘A’ in the heading and ‘A’ +/or ‘a’ +/or ‘… a … ‘ in the text below, then the spider presumes that the content must be about what the heading says it should! And it’s this that contributes to your content rising up the search engine ranking page.

Using the HTML Headings

Having decided on the wording of your heading, time now to create it for your webpage. Headings are created by putting an HTML heading tag at the beginning and end of the heading copy.

H1 through to H6

There are 6 nested headings in HTML, H1 is the most important and H6 the least. In each website’s style sheets (the files which control the look of the site) each Heading is styled to be slightly different from the other. This is so that the larger visual size of an ‘H1’ will match its importance in terms of SEO and nested headings, all the way down to ‘H6’ the smallest and also the least important.

H1 is the top heading for your page or post. It’s what the page is all about and that’s why there should normally be only 1 of these. Then, within your page which is all about H1, carve up the content into sub-areas and, while each is as important as the next, give it a heading with an H2 tag. If you need to carve up an H2 area further, you can use the H3 heading within.

Headings in sidebars or footers can come in H4 or H5. The smallest headings are still useful at H6 – there’s a lot of scope for highlighting a sentence or string of text without shouting too loud!

Headings for styling content

It’s tempting to style a heading with an h3, for example, because the natural style of H3 is to be smaller than H2 and so more words will fit on the line! The heading, if its parent is an H1, should be H2 so that the hirerarchical structure isn’t broken. It is important to keep the nested headings together. To style the look of a heading’s font, color or size, the CSS (style sheets) can be used to control style without affecting the presentation of the structured content.

How to fix a Heading in WordPress

Within WordPress and while editing your post or page,

  1. On the ‘Visual’ tab of the editor, select the text for the heading
  2. Select the pull-down and chose Heading 1 or the heading of your choice
  3. Switch to the ‘Text’ tab and see the <h1> </h1> open and closing HTML tags around your text.

Nested Heading for better productivity

While we use nested headings in our content, we’re helping other people to sift and scan faster which helps them to process information and work faster too.

If you’d like any assistance in redrawing your headings or help in any aspect of content management, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dee 07891 123924