< h1 >Why you should have a heading
Headings are much more than a system of font formatting for your site and as a known signal for search results, similar to your page/browser headings, they are definitely important, as much for humans as for the robots. A poorly headed page can also make a visitor leave your content and continue searching elsewhere. You only have a few seconds to convince a visitor that your page is relevant (after they have landed from the search engine results page), and headings can be a very significant influencer as the user quickly scans the page for relevance.
It should be noted that the use of keywords within H1’s may only have a very slight influence on SERP results but it almost certainly has a very positive affect when humans are looking for relevance, so is still important for your user experience. Engaging headings that signal to the user that the content is relevant could in turn reduce bounce rate and increase “linger time” and therefore influence and improve your ranking.
< h2 >What should your headings include?
Your main heading should let your visitor, both spider and human, know what your page is primarily about. Note it’s the topic of the page, not the site as a whole, that the should focus on. You should only ever have one per page, and it shouldn’t be too lengthy – think of it as an overview line summarising the text below. Note that the is not the page title, but rather a reflection of your keywords.
< h3 >Some example heading content structures:
< h1 > H1 = Main Subject line that includes keyword or mission statement < /h1 >
It’s also worth remembering, the paragraph immediately following your H1 heading could serve as an introduction to the content on the page, containing words that explain the information you are trying to cover, as well as relating it to your “mission statement”.
You should also think about using keywords appropriately within the first paragraph – make the most of them while still taking care that you are not oversaturating the text to the point where it looks unnatural and inelegant. Google is constantly improving its understanding of content, so instead of keywording your copy you should let the content flow naturally, only using the keywords between 3 and 6 times. A conversion statement or button early on would also be helpful.
< h2 > H2 = Secondary Information or Second Viewpoint < /h2 >
< h3 > H3,4,5,6 = Last Heading Includes Summary or Closing Arguments < h3 >
If you think of headings in a similar way to their usage in conventional legacy documents – they are nested by relevance and importance. Headings follow a hierarchical structure, where you start off with one < H1 > and then branch off into two < h2 >, which are then split into a couple of each, and so on. < h2 > and < h3 > are particularly useful as a way to separate the CTA or next step at the end of your page from the rest of the text and make it stand out to the user.
< h3 > If you want to find out more about improve your SEO practices and learn how utilising headings and keywords on-site helps your site get noticed, contact us and our team of experts will guide you through the nuances.