• Headings Facilitate Navigation and Add Structure

    Headings communicate the organization of the content on the page. Web browsers, plug-ins, and assistive technologies can use them to provide in-page navigation.  Search Engines order the content of  your page based on your headings.

    Heading ranking

    An image showing headers (h1, h2, h3 etc.) are nested inside each other.

    Headings should be organized according to their rank in numeric order. The most important heading has the highest rank header 1 or <h1> in code.  The lowest ranked heading is header 6 or <h6> in code. There should only be one Header 1 per page, with all less important headings nested logically underneath it. If they are out of order, it is confusing to those using a screen reader. It is also an accessibility violation, which hurts search engine page, document, and site rankings.

    Heading Hierarchy as HTML tags:

    • <h1>Header 1</h1>
      <p>The most important heading, and can only appear once in a document</p>
      • <h2>Header 2<h2>
        • <h3>Header 3</h3>
          • etcetera…

    Headings Organize Your Text

    Long documents should be organized into sections with headings that introduce them. Headings should indicate the organization of the content and facilitate the navigation of the content.

    Use Headings to Convey Meaning and Structure

    Headings should be used to group related paragraphs and content together while clearly describing the sections. A good heading will provide an indication of the content. Avoid using jargon or “insider” acronyms in headings.

    Well-written headings help visitors understand what they should expect from the content of a web page and how that content is organized. Clear and descriptive headings allow users to find information easily and understand the relationships between sections of content. The headings do not need to be (and should not be) lengthy. Headings should provide cues to locate content and understand the structure of the content within the page. Read more about best practices for writing headings.