The importance of headings is paramount in SEO. Headings are responsible for generating users’ curiosity about the content, and its significance lies in the fact that it has to get to the heart of the text just by using a few words. Headings, unlike icebergs, have to reveal more with nothing to hide. The more revealing is a heading more attractive it will be to viewers because they could easily make out what to expect from the content. The heading tells all as the user understands how much useful the content would be. Viewers pay maximum attention to headings and try to look beyond the printed words to discover what lies beneath it. Headings help people to decide whether they should spend time on the text. Typically, headings should have optimal length, neither too long nor too short. Headings must be informative, meaningful and interesting.
Headings are important for SEO and the reason why it needs special attention. Poor headings can cause more harm to SEO than doing any good. Headings are ideal for placing keywords because it would direct users to the proper places of the website that could provide better SEO results. Strategic placement of keywords in the headings is an accepted practice in SEO link building. In this article, we will discuss the importance of headings from the SEO perspective, understand how headings relate to SEO and why you must take special care in creating headings.
The text structure of headings
Moving away from the literary aspects of creating attractive headings, we will now look at the structural elements that go into creating headings of which the text structure is most important. Headings are like ushers of movie theaters who point out the seats to the audience and direct them towards it. Headings guide readers through the text and people pay utmost attention to headings. Before reading the text, headings help readers to prepare well by creating proper mental awareness necessary for interestingly consuming the content. Headings tell what readers should expect from the paragraph and often help readers to get back on track when they tend to lose the threads of writing that is of poor quality.
Headings acquire special importance when people read from screens, as reading is not as convenient as reading from a printed text. Often, people might lose track of the text and find difficult to maintain continuity. In such situations, by looking at the heading, they can get back on track to understand the message underlying the text.
Features of headings
To facilitate screen readers, it is imperative to create headings that readers find informative. Headings provide a splendid opportunity to tease the audience and even seduce them to keep reading. It can arouse the interest of readers who would feel like staying engaged with the content, which is a basic need for SEO. However, you should not deviate from the primary purpose of headings that must have the power of driving readers to consume the text by paying more attention to it.
Headings have a role to play in SEO
Although it not sure that people can gain in search rankings by placing focus keywords in headings, it is already an accepted practice. While no one can predict the gains, since it does not have any negative effects, placing focus keywords in headings is something that you can follow. The headings must reveal what the content is about and you must place the keywords naturally and not forcefully, just for the sake of it. Although headings might not be a ranking factor, it does impact SEO only because it is essential to users. Since Google takes cues from user behavior, on knowing the users rely on headings to determine the content details, Google would also follow suit.
Headings enhance accessibility
While text discovery is one of the reasons for paying importance to headings, there is another reason why you should never ignore headings. Headings help to make the page more accessible to viewers especially for those who find it difficult to read from screens. Those who have difficulty in reading from screens usually take help from screen readers. Since headings are HTML creations, a screen reader can figure out the outline of the heading and read it aloud. This is a great advantage for people who suffer from visibility problems because by hearing about the heading they can decide whether to continue with the text. As screen readers often hop between headings, it becomes very useful for navigating across the website.
The point that outscores all other benefits of headings is that it generates interest among readers and drives them to read the article. Unless people consume the content, it will never be possible to get the desired payback from it that is so essential for earning good ranks and making progress in SEO.
Nancy Roberts is an SEO specialist with a focus on SEO link building that has become her forte. Nancy is fond of taking a different look at SEO that helps to discover many aspects that we usually tend to overlook. She is also an author having penned a few books and an anthology of stories for children.