How to Format Headings
Headings allow users and search engines to understand the text. Moreover, headings also define the contents of your work as well as what the important topics are and how the topics are interconnected. In this article, we will explore the importance of using headings and how they can be created in the text using different language programming tools.
What are Headings
Before learning how to use headings, you must learn what they are. Headings are considered titles to your writing as well as the text within it. They range from H1 to H6, H1 being the most prominent and important while H6 is the least prominent heading.
- H1: This heading works as the title of your content/site. Each site needs to have an H1 tag. A tip to keep in mind is that an H1 heading is only used once in each content text.
- H2: These headings are considered subheadings to the main topic and are used throughout the content.
- H3-H6: These are also subheadings used to break the text down further. This allows you to consolidate relevant text.
Why Should You Use Headings while Formatting?
Identifies the Topic
Readers and search engines both make use of headings to identify the subject of the content. This allows the readers to determine whether or not the content is relevant to what they need, and it enables search engines to identify the subject of the content. Establishing the topic is necessary for sites such as Google, Yahoo and Bing as they rank the content based on search queries.
People often do not have the time to read through an entire blog, post or article and sift out the relevant information for themselves. Therefore, they rely on headings. If the H1 (main heading) appeals to them, they will scan through the subheadings and get the information they require. Headings give structure to content by breaking it into smaller groupings of text, promoting easier reading. If it’s difficult for a reader to sift out information, they will likely move on to another website for information.
Headings are especially important for viewers who use screen readers and similar functions. Considering that headers are in HTML format, screen-reading tools can break down the structure of the content and read it aloud.
Although making use of headings is not directly related to SEO, it can nevertheless have a direct impact. Using effective headings increases the quality of the text. Better text promotes more readability which, in turn, is better for SEO. If a reader cannot find what they are looking for, they will move on to another post or page. This results in a higher bounce rate which negatively affects the ranking of the site. Therefore, headings give structure, improve quality and indirectly have a positive influence on SEO.
How to Create Headings
The process of creating headings may sound difficult, but it is surprisingly easy. Below are a few steps to follow to create headings in various programs.
Creating Headings in Microsoft Word
Select the text intend to use as a heading and click one of the following options, depending on which type of heading it is.
Creating Headings in LibreOffice
Select the text to be converted into a heading and go to the formatting bar. Click the dropdown menu for the paragraph style and select the heading that you need. If you cannot find the proper heading, just click “Options”.
To create a heading in Google Docs, select the text that you would like to convert into a heading. Then click “Normal text” from the dropdown menu and select the heading that you require e.g. “Heading 1”, “Heading 2”, “Heading 3” etc.
An Example Framework for Using Headings
H1: All You Need to Know About Cats (Main Title)
H2: Types of Cats (Subheading)
H3: Domestic Cats (A subheading; note that a domestic cat is a type of cat so it is listed under H2 as H3)
H4: Persian (Note that Persian, Siamese, and Birman cats are all different breeds of domestic cats which is why they are listed under H3 as H4)
H5: Punch face (Note that there are two types of Persian cats; therefore, information about Persian cats has been listed under two different H5 headings)
H5: Double Coat
H3: Wild Cats
H3: Mixed Cats
H2: Myths and Legends About Cats
H2: Should You Get a Cat?
- Headings are tags associated with the titles of the content
- They range from H1-H6 thereby indicating a unit of importance. This means that H1 is regarded as the most important heading while H6 is regarded as the least important one
- Making use of efficient headings is important to attain the interest of readers and for SEO purposes as they help identify the topic, improve readability, provide easier accessibility and overall improve SEO
- For MS Word, use the main toolbar to create headings
- To create a heading in LibreOffice, select your text and click the paragraph dropdown menu and apply the suitable heading style
- To create a heading in Google Docs, simply change the style through the main tool bar under the “Normal text” option