Headings and Subheadings help to create a clear text structure that is easy to read both for users and search engines. In general, headings – and implicitly subheadings – capture attention, provide an organized flow, and highlight the importance of each section.
Moreover, they also make it easier to see different relationships between those sections. Imagine just lines and lines of unstructured text. It is unattractive for your users the same way as it is for search engines.
In fact, search engine crawlers will specifically search for headings and determine which part is pure content, and which part is a title, or a subtitle. This means that if you don’t adapt you will chase your users away and make search engines deduct points from your search ranking.
It is much more pleasant for everyone if readers have an option to quickly navigate through the page and find exactly what they need much quicker. So, by optimizing your headings structure you are not just improving readability, but also your site’s accessibility.
Since they can be clearly seen in HTML code, screen readers can identify and read them easier. This will prove especially helpful when someone has a hard time reading or is unable to see the text.
Effective use of Headings and Subheadings
It is recommended that you always try to stay loyal to a specific structure on your site. Because even when individual pages have correctly formatted headings, it can still get confusing when your style is changed on every page.
Your headings should always contain core information about that specific section. By including incorrect or irrelevant headings and subheadings, you are defeating the whole purpose of optimizing your content. Additionally, it is always a good idea to continue with essential information at the start of the paragraph.
Finally, headings and subheadings provide a good opportunity to put your focus keyword where it matters. By including a keyword, you’re showing search engines that you have relevant paragraphs which will in turn improve your search rankings.
How to structure your headings
The first thing you notice when you’re selecting different headings and subheadings in WordPress for example is that they have a simple hierarchy ranging from H1 to H6. This way, you can easily distinguish between the levels of importance for each paragraph with H1 being the most important and H6 the least important.
H1 is what is known to be a „main heading“ and you can only use it once per each page. Usually, this means that the title of the page will be written in H1. All of the other options (H2-H6) are therefore known as subheadings. A perfect example of headings and subheadings would be a table of contents.
It’s following the same rules with the same goal – making the content easier to navigate.
How to add headings and subheadings to your content
For most content writers, who are using a Content Management System – or CMS – like WordPress, adding headings should be rather easy. Even the most basic editors have an option to either select between different headings directly while writing a paragraph or a simple button. Or, you can switch your Editor view from “visual” to “text” which will trigger the HTML editor.
Don’t worry, even if you want to add headings directly through the HTML editor, the process seems a bit more complicated but in reality, it is still manageable. In fact, is just as simple, it just requires a bit more manual work.
All you need to do is to start your titles and subtitles with “ <h1>, <h2>” and so on and end it with a corresponding number like this: “ </h1>, </h2>”. And that is all it is to it. See, Simple.