Section Headings for SEO Success

Pay attention to your blog section headings

Firstly, writing a blog should be easy right? Isn’t it just a case of getting ideas and then pressing publish? Well, no, sadly writing web content needs attention to detail. Title heading are one thing that require thought and action. In a way the Google algorithm is like an annoying parent that requires every web bedroom to be ordered and tidy. You can also put it this way, Google is like an even more annoying librarian demanding that all books are catalogued in a specific way. Your section headings will alert Google so read on and find out what you should be doing.

Section Headings History

Once upon a time you would use section heading elements, these are things we know as H1, H2 etc., would be used as text resizers. The H1 was always used to denote a title and that it should be bigger than anything else on the page. That makes sense but by the end of the 1990s things changed. CSS or cascading style sheets hit the town. It took over and began to be used to denote this kind of functionality. Any HTML tags were then being utilised to show people how an article was being laid out – just as you would see in a book’s table of contents. Googlebot, being the kind of completest it is began to smile (do bots smile?) and all was well with the world.

Why was Googlebot so happy in SEO Land?

As I mentioned, Googlebot is a tidiness freak and it likes to ensure that it understands just what’s going on within a page. If you leave your content all over the floor it’s difficult to know just how to categorise it. If your content is a mess it just won’t rank. Sub headers do a great job of signposting how your article develops. It also understands any contextual issues and how its organised. So instead of hoping for the best think about:

  • What your article is about
  • What the main point is
  • What you want your readers to learn
  • How easy it is for readers to navigate your page
  • How you are going to keep Googlebot smiling

Do not offer your readers a wall of text – be reader friendly

There are still some crazy people who love reading. I include myself in that category and often post book reviews. However, when I am on a mission I want information that’s well organised, straight to the point and easy to read. Basically I don’t have time to wade through something that’s not going to help me. I don’t think I am alone in this. My decision to write in a light-hearted manner was because section headings are boring. I wanted you to read this and think, ‘oh right, I get it now’

Section headings can organise information into bite-sized chunk

You are probably like me and skim read an article before taking the plunge. I check and decide if it’s worth giving it my time. If the text is categorised, easy to navigate, has a few double readership techniques and looks educational then I’m in. If I’m feeling really generous I might even share it on social media. Certainly section headings can help people stay on site and read ( good for dwell time) and also understand what it is you want to teach them. It will also help attract more organic results and we all know how organic is better for us!

So look at things this way:

Section Headings aid SEO Success has an H1 tag. So what can we glean from that? It is the major subject here. Read it and you will learn all you need to know.

H2 section, Section Heading History is giving some context and then we follow on with H3s that help you to read and learn. In addition to this I can also insert an internal link to something I have written previously that may well be highly relevant – like this piece on the importance of great meta descriptions. These internal links are basically hyperlinks that direct readers to other pages of direct relevance on your site. The key phrase here is direct relevance not SEO. You need to be helpful and enlightening anything else will dilute the user experience and that, dear friends, is you and me.

The importance of long tail keywords within section headings

Of course, as search evolves, how we use our smartphones etc. impacts on the way we ask search engines, smart speakers and voice services for help. Did you know that actually long tail keyword phrases don’t pull up many monthly searches, But, and this is a big but, people who are looking are being very specific in the information they want. That means you are looking at say 10 potential conversions. That’s better than 500 visits and a high bounce rate isn’t it? If you want to know more about the impact of voice search try here

How do I work on section headings, please users and grab long tail searches on my website?

  • The important thing is that your section headings and the copy offers effective answers to search questions.
  • Also keep your reader and searcher in mind at all times
  • Finally understand search questions that align to specific topics and don’t just concentrate on granular keyword phrases at the cost of everything else
  • Aim for an experience where readers feel more involved and engaged. This way you may well turn up in the many long tailed keywords voice search is throwing up. Here are a few more suggestions to improve your content from Neil Patel
Vivienne K Neale

Vivienne K Neale SEO Consultant and Content Editor

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