The headings you use on your page plays a role in helping with a search engine understand the content you offer. This in turn plays a role with your website’s SEO rank. Additionally, having headings impacts your user experience too. Not only does it break up the content making it easier to read, but it also breaks up the information into various parts. Headings prevent your website content from looking and feeling monotonous and offers up a way for your reader to skim through the content.
So how do you ensure your content is getting the headers right?
Your headings should be semantically correct, you don’t want them skipping through an H1 to an H6 directly. Search engines understand and keep these headings in mind when answering search queries. The H1 heading is the most important, while the subsequent ones are less important.
Furthermore, semantically correct is important when the content is loaded on feed readers and other third party apps.
Headings have a consistent style so that users are familiar with which heading is which. Consistent heading style will separate a page title from heading and a heading from a sub-heading. Font style, size and color all come into play here.
Your headings helps a user quickly scan through your content. By sticking with a consistent heading style, you create a familiar website environment for him to go through your content swiftly and distinguish between page title, heading and sub-title.
It’s best to place your headings close to the content. While a heading creates a break from monotonous reading, you don’t want to create a large gap between heading and content – it distracts a reader. Such a large gap will break the flow of reading and the user may switch the page. So while the content and heading needs to be close, aim for it to be not too close or too far. Find an acceptable balance, for example – take a look at this article and its header placements.
Your heading needs to be associated with the right content below it. If a search engine finds that the heading and content are not associated, it will negatively affect your SEO rank.
Don’t create your headings lightly. Give it a good amount of thought and as much as possible, add in relevant keywords to your headings. Search engine give more attention to your headings that the main content body, hence, keywords in your heading will have more effect for your content SEO optimization.
Next time your write up a post for your business website, keep these points in mind when setting down headings. They will not just improve the post’s readability, but SEO optimization too.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.