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The Importance of Headings in Web Content

headings in web content

When trying to create effective web content, you need to think about more than simply what information that content provides to the reader. You also have to carefully consider formatting and layout questions. Ultimately, quality content is a must, but you can make it more effective if you understand how to set it up and how that layout can impact the reader. In the same way that a printed book uses formatting, white space, chapter headings, page numbers and many other marks to help guide the reader, your web content has to provide them with the proper visual cues. One of the best ways that you can do this is by properly using headings in your content.

Providing an Outline

Per Penn State University, one of the major benefits of headings is that they create an outline for the document. The reader can see at a glance what type of information is contained within it and how it is laid out. Remember that many people are essentially conducting research online. They don't even know if they want to invest time in reading your content yet. Giving them headlines allows them to see the overall breakdown of the information, at which point they can decide if it is relevant enough to go back and read more thoroughly.

Returning to Information

The second way that headings help is that they make it easier for readers to return to specific information that they found helpful. Your site becomes a trusted resource that they'll consult repeatedly. When they do, though, they do not have to read 100% of the information again. Anything you can do to make the process easier for the reader will help them prefer your site to the competition.

Promoting Scanning

Remember, many people opt to scan documents on their phones or on the computer, rather than reading them from start to finish. Some will speed read through each sentence, but others will merely jump around on the page. Headings allow you to highlight important information. You know they're not going to read it all, but you can ensure that they read the most important pieces. You have more control over what they deem important since they're likely to latch onto headlines over blocks of text.

Plus, many people are scanning because they only really have one question. For instance, perhaps you run a site selling televisions. When someone is reading about a model and considering making a purchase, they may only be interested in something specific, like whether or not it has built-in streaming software. They already know that they like the size, display type, design style, etc. If it's too hard to find the answer quickly, they're not going to read through a lot of information they don't need. They'll just shop somewhere else. Headings can help you guide them to the right information, creating conversions.

The Impact on SEO

Finally, you need to consider SEO. Subheadings give you an ideal place to work in your primary keywords, helping you get more targeted keywords on the site in an organic fashion. On top of that, they can decrease bounce rates, or the rate at which people quickly exit a site as soon as it loads. A lower bounce rate can be a big boost for SEO and naturally makes your site appear more valuable to search engines.

Your Content Needs

Here at Content Customs, we understand what your content needs to be successful. The use of headings can impact the reader experience, your SEO strategy and much more. Get in touch with us today and we would love to tell you more about how we can create the perfect content for your site.

Jonathan Schlosser

Posted on 1st July, 2020 by Jonathan Schlosser

About Jonathan Schlosser

Jon Schlosser is a professional writer and SEO specialist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

View all posts by Jonathan Schlosser