Tip 11 to Tip 20 In Our Series Of Web Page Creation Tips, Techniques, And Short-Cuts To Help You Create Top Performing Web Pages That Consider People, Search Engines, And The Mobile Web, Especially Useful When You Have A Joomla-Powered Website
Tip 11: Appreciate That Headings And Sub-Heading Are The Most Important Text On Your Web Page
If you're just starting out creating and editing web pages using a web content management system like Joomla, Wordpress, or Drupal, until you are more experienced in creating content, have twice as many sub-headings as you think you'll need.
Why: few visitors may read an entire web page. Instead, they'll skim and scan the page looking for signs and signals - usually in the headings - that point to areas or topics that interest them.
Also, search engine robots place more value on headings and sub-headings than normal body text. So put your best "teaser" content in headings and sub-headings.
Tip 12: Create Enticing, Interesting, Engaging Headings And Sub-Headings
For best effect, try to combine creatively worded headings (to engage people) with headings that contain search keywords and key phrases for the topic (to help search engines rank your page better), but make your heading accurately reflect the content to which it refers
Sometimes a short heading is best; you can follow with a longer more keyword-rich sub-heading if that structure makes sense for the nature of your article.
Tip 13: Resist The Urge To Write Excessively Hype-Rich Statements Unless You Can Immediately Back Up What You're Saying With Third Party Support
Why: if you're not convincing, you can lose your reader / visitor with a single mouse click. Until they have read or scanned your page, you need to keep them connected.
Likewise, as search engine robots become more intuitive, hype once detected can lower your web page quality score undoing previous gains made.
Tip 14: Resist The Desire To Always Centralize Headings For Your Main Content Pages
Why: although centralized headings can work well in print publications, online is a completely different behavioral medium. How: the eyes of left-to-right (western) readers are naturally drawn to the left of a page - whether printed or online. Also, left aligned headings help make skimming and scanning a web page easier on the eye.
Centralized headings break the natural eye expectations and sequence and arguably make reading a web page harder. At the time of writing, few top performing websites use centralized headings. Studies have shown that left aligned headings have proven performance metrics.
However, for short text blocks, like Joomla Modules, centralized minor headings can sometimes provide welcome contrast - or in situations where we want to deliberately slow the reading / scanning speed.
Nevertheless, much depends on the web design used and whether these work well. For right-to-left languages, the same rationale can work in reverse.
Tip 15: In Your WYSIWYG Web Page Editor, Don't Use Ampersands (&) In Your Main H1 Page Headings
Why: each ampersand (&) in a main H1 heading can make the web page address or URL unfriendly to search engines. Instead use the word "and", or consider whether a re-write can avoid the use of "and" altogether.
If you absolutely must use an ampersand, then we can mask / overcome this drawback by creating a redirect when using an add-on Joomla Component such as SEF Advance. However, this requires more work, more management, more complexity. Instead, why not just type the word "and" instead of the symbol "&" instead? Problem solved: quick, simple, effective.
Tip 16: In Your WYSIWYG Web Page Editor, Don't Use Hyphens (-) In Your Main H1 Page Headings
Why: since the main page heading in the WYSIWYG editor is used to also form the page URL, any hyphens can make the resulting final URL unfriendly to search engines and people.
If you absolutely must use a hyphen, then we can mask / overcome this drawback by creating a redirect in SEF Advance as outlined in the previous tip above. However, it is more work, more management, more complexity, compared to just not using a hyphen (quick, easy, effective).
Tip 17: In Your WYSIWYG Web Page Editor, Don't Use Question Marks (?) In Your Main H1 Page Headings, Unless The Question Mark Is At The End Of Your Heading
Why: question marks in a URL can stop some search engines indexing the page, so these make the URL not so friendly. Instead consider using the word "and", or re-write your heading.
If you absolutely must use a question mark, then we can mask / overcome this drawback by creating a redirect in SEF Advance. However, it is more work, more management, more complexity, compared to not using one (quick, easy, effective).
Furthermore, if you create web pages under the Joomla web content management system, using a content creation Component called K2, you can safely include question marks at the end of your H1 titles, and just remove the question mark from "Title alias (URL)" box, since the content in this box is used to form the URL or web address for the page.
Tip 18: In Your WYSIWYG Web Page Editor, Don't Use Apostrophes (') In Your Main H1 Page Headings
Why: since the main H1 heading is also used to form the web address, any apostrophes can break a "flowing" search engine friendly web address. Instead, choose another word that does not use contractions (example: it's), or apostrophes.
Tip 19: Don't Make Any Headings Boldface Manually Using The WYSIWYG Editor
Rather, if required, this can be done in the CSS file once, thereby updating all content pages in a single action. However, H1, H2, and H3 headings are by their nature already stand out and boldfacing such headlines is rarely even visible, or the boldface may already have been set up, so you won't need to put that in again.
Any unnecessary manual boldfacing justs adds more unnecessary extra code and causes the page to take longer to load. Since Google and other search engines can prefer faster loading web pages, so seemingly small steps like this can add up and benefit your web pages.
Tip 20: Always Make Your Headings The Highest Level Whenever Possible
For example, H2 for a topic is better than H3; yet H3 is considered more important than H4, and so on. So if you have a choice between using H2 or H3, use H2. You main page heading should always be formatted at H1 level.