Are Your Headings heading for Disaster?

The bigger the heading, the more important it is

The bigger the heading, the more important it is

Are you using headings effectively on your website? Over at buildInternetZach Dunn has written a quick article about how to use the HTML Header Tags properly for headings. Header tags are numbered starting at 1, with h1 being the biggest and most important. He created the great graphic above, and you should read his article here.

A newspaper is a classic example of heading hierarchy. The name of the newspaper is biggest, boldest, and at the top of the front page. Then, a bit smaller in size is the front page main story’s heading. And the other stories have smaller headings – the smaller the heading, the shorter and less important the story appears to be.

I’ve added arrows and boxes to this photo of a newspaper’s front page to illustrate the point.

Headings in a newspaper

Headings in a newspaper

If this newspaper was a website, the headings in the newspaper would follow this hierarchy:

H1 – White

H2 – Yellow

H3 – Orange

H4 – Blue (same size as orange but not bold)

H5 – Green

If you look at this website below, you’ll see that the headings get smaller for each subsection:

Website headings

Website headings

Is your site very user-friendly for your visitors? Do you have your information neatly organized under proper headings and subheadings?

More resources on headings/headers:

Variety in Heading and Body Fonts

Optimal HTML Headings for Proper Information Hierarchy in WordPress Blogs


  1. says

    If you read Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide! found here

    They put a large amount of emphasis on correctly using tags. Apparently Google’s crawlers can even determine where on a page your content is (by the pixel) and give it rank accordingly.

    Of course it isn’t all about page rank and how google see’s your site. User functionality and interaction is what it’s about. Though good page rank can’t hurt.

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