Web page/blog post/online article headings are important for two reasons.
Headings tell your audience how the content relates to them and why they should read on
Headings tell search engines what your content on that page is all about so that they can match your web page to their search queries.
Sometimes you can make a very simple change to heading content to better highlight benefits to the audience, and motivate them to click, read, share, bookmark.
Give your readers more motivating blog titles
Take these example interior decorator’s before and after blog post titles, for example:
Before: Visit to Petersham Nurseries
After: Find your style at Petersham Nurseries
Before: I love Christmas!
After: Show your festive flair this Christmas
Before: My little table
After: Add a splash of colour with a little painted table
Before: My three square feet of space
After: Making the most of a small outdoor space
Before: A big bunch of flowers!
After: Enhance your floral bouquets
Before: Transformation of a butcher’s block
After: Reloved butcher’s block transformed with Annie Sloan
Before: Re-vamp of the hallway
After: Easy ways to restyle your hallway
When formatting content, the structure to follow for people and search engine logic is:
- Heading 1 <h1> : only one per page — this is your title
- Heading 2 <h2> : your primary structural headings
- Heading 3 <h3> and 4 <h4> : these allow you to break down your sections into further subheadings, if necessary. (I wouldn’t really recommend going beyond a fourth-level heading if you can help it).
The structure of headings in this way allows you to bring in reader-friendly white space, as well as guiding them through their journey. Different pages and types of content benefit from different structure, so it’s good to be aware of this to accommodate. For example, information pages, such as those you might find on Gov.uk, tend to help more by being broken into subheadings or subpages to make the journey clear, but a blog post might go for paragraphs without a heading.
For reference, you might like to check out Gov.uk’s What is content design? and why ‘simple, clearer, faster’ is a great philosophy to apply to your content. We’d love to see your before and afters if you give your content a little heading refresh.
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