Headings, and why they're important for your readers and Google

Breaking up large paragraphs makes large bodies of text makes it easier to read. 

You can use Bold or set the font size larger to indicate a heading, but it’s much better to use the Headings (H1, H2,H3 etc) for good SEO, for your readers and it’s easier to control the look throughout a website using this option. Here’s why and how…

What do we mean by headings? - this is one, it’s in H2

And this one is in H3

And this one is in H4 does it feel like I’m talking more quietly like an echo? 

The title of your page should be an H1, you only want one of these. This is the name of your page. For example Headings below this should be H2, and if you have a subheading within that then it should be a heading H3 and so on. In WordPress this can be accessed from the text formatting options in the body like so:

 

Highlight the heading and select one of these options: 

WordPress headings

In Word you can access this option from the top menu and in Google Docs it’s here:

For Search Engines 

Google prefers headings. After all, it's mimicking how a human thinks to improve its results for the humans who visit. So if you have a large article like this one, put headings and sections in to make it easier to read. This also means if someone is after a specific piece of information they can easily scroll down the page to find it. It helps Google understand the document as well as understand the importance of the words in the heading.

Pasting content from Word, Google Docs or any other Word Processing program

Pasting from Word or any other word processing program to your web pages, can mean lots of unwanted code being added to your site. This can cause formatting issues and inconsistent fonts. So you’ll need to remove that formatting after you’ve pasted the text in which means bold headings get lost but if you’ve set them as a heading, they will remain, so less to do when you paste content in.

Easier for website designers

We use style sheets these days, which means we can say for all H1s to be bold 14 pixels in size and grey and this will affect the whole site where ever there is an H1 (Unless another piece of code overrides it). We can use this for any other tag in the coding for the page. This makes life much simpler than it used to be, in the old days we had to set the font style for each bit of text, each time we used it, rather than globally, making any changes to this very tedious. 

Content editors, make life easy for yourself and website us designers

Breaking up your documents with headings is easy to do and it’s good SEO practice.

If you need any help or more advice on this, do let me know abbie@polyspiral.com