Headlines and sub-headings

Headlines are important for SEO and for making web-searchers click on your link, but they must not repeat word for word your first paragraph.

SEO box

Search engines normally show the first 60 characters of a headline

While all the words in a headline will count for SEO, only the first 60 characters (including spaces) are likely to be displayed. So those 60 characters are the most important. Front-load headlines with key words.

Use sub-headings to break up text into chunks. Each sub-heading should relate directly to the content below to tell users what follows. This enables users to scan quickly to find the section they seek.

Correct formatting

Headlines are generally automatically formatted by the content management system (CMS). Sub-headings must be correctly formatted in a heading style.

Headings are formatted using the cascading style sheet (CSS) – with the main navigation headline in h1, and similar page headlines in h2. The first sub-heading size is often h3 but websites with complex reports may run to h5 or more.

Formatting may be done using a drop-down text format tool in the CMS or by using html to write the relevant heading code  around the headline under the html tab – headline 3 is <h3> headline to be coded</h3>.


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