Heading levels (h1-h6) are hidden labels that attach to your title and subheadings.
They add structure to your content. Think of heading levels or labels like tent poles: They give your posts and documents a structure.
As most readers/users scan a blog post or web page in a couple of seconds, they also act as signposts to your great content.
Headings support good navigation
Heading levels also help users to navigate your content in different ways. Options include:
- visually scanning the blog post.
- using the “tab” key on the keyboard to tab around the post or website.
- enabling your computer to read aloud a list of headings with a screen reader.
On a blog post, a screen reader would read the h1 heading first, which is also the title of the blog post.
By pressing a specific key, the user can then move from heading to heading, enabling them to “scan” the subject areas of the page without having to read every word from top to bottom.
NB: A “screen reader”, computer software that reads aloud the computer screen, can easily recognise the sections within your post if they have heading level labels. It’s not enough just to make it coloured, in italics, in CAPITAL LETTERS, in BOLD.
How to add headings
By default your blogging or website tool will usually make the title of a post Heading 1.
Therefore within a post, make your major subsections in Heading 2, further subsections in Heading 3, and so forth.
To make a heading, write the text of your heading.
Then select your text, click the drop-down Styles menu (often labelled “Paragraph”) on your editing tool bar and select the appropriate heading label.
- WebAim: accessibility help
- BLENNZ Learning library: example of good practice
- Hassell Inclusion.
- JISC Regional Support Centre Scotland.