Headings

Your users will most likely scan your page for important information before deciding what to read. Your headings are key to encouraging them to read further. Headings make your page organized, break up the text for visual appeal, and help your user navigate easily through the page.

Writing Good Headings

Headings should introduce paragraphs or sections, so that readers understand what the paragraph or section is about. Once you've written your headings and your content, review the page, first by scanning the headings, then by reading the content and making sure that the heading accurately describes the paragraph or section below it.

Example:

Multidisciplinary Support at a World-Class Medical Center

Since lupus can affect almost any organ in the body, effective and comprehensive care often calls for cooperation across a variety of medical fields, including neurology, gastroenterology, and dermatology. Our doctors collaborate with experts from all disciplines to ensure that you receive the best care possible. We work closely with the Mothers Center, which provides multidisciplinary care for women with high-risk pregnancies.

Heading Structure

Headings are usually described in terms of H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. Here's how it works.

The title of your page is your H1 heading. H1 headings are used only once per page.

H2 and H3 headings divide the page further. You can continue to structure your content using H3, H4, etc, but you will probably find that you mostly use H2 and H3. The structure is hierarchical, like an outline, so you will not use an H3 unless you've already used H2. Here's an example:

  1. Lupus Treatment <H1>
    1. How is lupus treated? <H2>
      1. Treatment for Mild Lupus <H3>
      2. Treatment for Moderate Lupus <H3>
      3. Treatment for Severe Lupus <H3>
      4. Biological Therapies <H3>

Headings and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There are many things that contribute to SEO and good headings are one of them. A page that has robust, clear content and headings that are structured correctly will be easy to read by your users, which means it will also be easy to scan by Google.

You can include keywords in your headings for SEO, but they need to feel natural. If it's obvious that you've forced keywords into the heading, your users and Google will pick up on it.

Headings and Accessibility

Headings are critical for accessibility, especially for people who are visually impaired. Headings are created in HTML, which means that a screenreader can make an outline and read them out loud. A visually impaired user can use that information to decide whether or not to read the page, or to navigate through the headings. Therefore both your heading structure and your choice of words is very important.