how to use headings in your website to boost readability & SEO

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Why use headings?

Headings within your page/post act as signposts to help guide your visitor, so they can scan and quickly find the sections important to them.

Therefore headings are very important to your site for readability, accessibility, and SEO. Not using headings to break up your text can have a negative impact on readability and user experience.

Heading tags (not to be confused with the HTML tag or HTTP headers) are used to present structure on the page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important.

Google

Heading Tags go from H1 to H6 in hierarchical order, H1 being the most important. H1 is the name for the page/post title and H2 is for the next important headings on the page

Example of the hierarchical order of headings

Using headings that create higher quality content is better for your users, therefore better for your SEO. If they can’t find what they are looking for they will leave your site, increasing your bounce rate, which can negatively impact your SEO.

Header tags are still a strong signal for SEO. Google’s John Mueller said it himself:

“[W]hen it comes to text on a page, a heading is a really strong signal telling us this part of the page is about this topic.”

John Mueller

The general rule is If your headings let users know what your article is about, they’ll help Google understand your content, too.

Top Tips For Using Headings

  • Each page should have one H1 – the title of the page
  • Use H2 and H3 subheadings for different sections of your page/post
  • Always maintain hierarchy when using heading tags, use H2 followed by H3 then H4 etc
  • Include keywords in some headings
  • Use smaller font sizes as you go down the hierarchy of the headings, help visually.
  • Do not use heading tags for styling!
  • Do not use heading tags for paragraphs.
  • Make sure headings are informative to the reader.
  • Make sure headings are related and represent the paragraph it represents.
  • Set global settings for the font size of each Heading tag, this can be set in your theme customizer for example.

conclusion

When Heading tags are used right, they will help with readability, and help your page/post get found on search engines.

There are many plugins that can help with readability or your heading including SEO and headline analyzer.

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