Have you looked at a newspaper recently? Have you noticed the unique way it is presented to a reader? It is a brilliantly designed yet simply placed piece of information that allows a reader to literally just look at a few words and get the gist of what is being said. This was always important since most readers wanted information fast, easy, and with minimal effort on their part. Headings are still headings, and subheadings are still subheadings just on a different platform now.
What are Headings and Subheadings in HTML?
If you are brand new to this world of HTML, headings and subheadings, let me try to make it easier for you. Headings are the newspaper headlines – those big and bold words that catch your attention right away.
That’s the basic introduction of headings: to be attention-getters. Subheadings on the other hand, are used in order to highlight certain key pieces and parts of information that need to be read by the reader. The same goes for websites – headings, with their flashy statements “hook in” readers to their website, while subheadings is the bait that keeps them there.
Headings (also known as Headlines) are created with the <hn> tag, in which “n” is a number between 1 and 6. For example:
<h1>This is Heading 1</h1>
H1 determine the most important heading, item and titles in your content. H1 is the biggest font size as default and other levels of heading are slightly smaller respectively.
Headings are very important. They have to be flashy and attention grabbing for a reason but now, in today’s technological oriented world, they also need to be search engine friendly. We will elaborate on this later on.
Subheadings are just as important. Information here is broken down into manageable sizes for people to read, getting the important points across quickly and effectively to them. Nobody wants to read a meandering article just to get a piece of information at the very end. People no longer have the time or the luxury.
Five Basic Principles about HTML Headings
As a beginner to the world of HTML, this may feel daunting to you at first. But it really isn’t all that hard. In this section, we will be giving five basic principles about HTML headings that you will always need to know.
- H1 – This should be your most important heading on your page.
- It is better to have only one H1 on a each page because otherwise, it will be too confusing for the reader as well as search engine spiders.
- H2’s and H3’s are sub-headings and sub-sub-headings respectively. Same goes with the other subheadings in your outline.
- Every heading must contain important keywords! That is important space that you will end up wasting if you do not utilize it correctly.
- Lastly, for longer articles, a single heading is what helps the reader pinpoint which parts he or she wants to read.
If you are able to keep these five principles in mind while making your web content, you should be fine.
The Best Heading Structure for Your Site
From what we’ve gathered, there isn’t just one, universal heading structure that will fit any and every kind of site because every site, depending on what it is for, operates a little differently from another site. Also, you have to make a heading structure based on what is logical for you and your readers. If it looks and seems confusing to you, then best chances are, it will be confusing for anyone else reading your webpage or site.
Generally it depend on your theme’s developer and how he constructed theme’s HTML body code. In the same time, there is general heading structure that may apply for most websites.
Homepage Heading Structure
- H1: Website’s title (brand name)
- H2: All your recent posts that appear in home page
- H3: Sidebar Widgets
- H4: Footer Widgets
- H5 / H6: All Unrelated headings in your site
Single Page / Single Post Heading Structure
- H1: Page or post title
- H2: Subheadings
- H3: Sub-subheadings
- H4: Sidebar Widgets / Footer Widgets
- H5 / H6: Same for homepage structure
Category / Taxonomy Heading Structure
- H1: Category or tag title
- H2: Posts titles
- H3: Website’s title
- H4: Sidebar Widgets / Footer Widgets
- H5 / H6: Same as above for posts
Be SEO-friendly: Get Better Results Using Keywords in Your Heading Tags
As we have mentioned before, headings need to be search engine-friendly. Headings indicate what is most important on a webpage and should appear when a person scans search results. Besides your title, your heading is the most important part.
Relevant keywords: In order to do so, inserting important keywords in your heading tags will be able to create better SEO results for you. Take your time with coming up with headings because search engines look for words that are relevant to what the reader is looking for. It should give them an immediate idea that this website or article is the one that they need. Placing keywords in the heading tags will help them a lot and of course generate more viewers to your content as well. It’s a win-win sort of situation.
Be unique: Remember that when you are putting your heading tags in HTML, it should be unique and specific to a given page. Do not be excessive when making headings because the search engines won’t be able to determine what has more importance. For example, if your page is already assigned the heading “All-Time Best Books,” refrain from using the same heading for another page on your website.
Don’t use keyword stuffing: On the flip side, stuffing your headings with keywords isn’t the best solution either. It won’t help you generate more views and most people who end up viewing the page will probably think it is spam.
View your page as normal user: When creating your heading structure, think of yourself as the person looking for content. You see, the World Wide Web is big and contains a wide multitude of information to search – this can be time consuming, even when search engines are there to help.
Make it easy for your visitors: Go ahead and make it easier for visitors to find your content by placing appropriate headings on all your pages. Taking time to make unique and appropriate headings will help the users be able to quickly find the information they are looking for.
- Don’t use headings to make text BIG or bold because heading HTML tags for headings only.
- Search engines use headings to index your page’s structure and content of your site. So, give it more attention for better SEO.
- Headings can be your best friends when making web content. Make everything more manageable for your visitors and search engine crawlers by using appropriate, unique, and specific headings.