Use page headings, subheadings and news story headlines to succinctly summarise the content that follows. Headings help users scan the content and complete their task quicker. They also help users with assistive technology navigate the content on the page.
Headings should be used in order of importance: h1 the most important, h4 the least important. You should not skip heading ranks (for example, never follow an h2 with an h4) or decide which one to use based on visual appearance.
You can read more about heading hierarchy from the w3c website.
Start your heading with the words your audience will be searching for: the reader will get your point from the start and search engines will be able to direct the right traffic to your site.
Headings shouldn't be longer than a few words, so make every one count – break up longer titles with colons to make them easily scannable, like, 'Controlled goods: licences, sanctions and embargoes'.
Use sentence case rather than title case: 'New research to improve health challenges in seven day hospital care', not 'New Research to Improve Health Challenges in Seven Day Hospital Care'.
Don't use a full stop at the end of a heading or subheading.
Don't use a question as a heading, like 'How do I apply?' or 'When do I submit my application?'.
Don't use a quotation as a heading.
You'll need to be economical with your words when writing headings as there is limited space available in the publishing platform.
Try to keep your titles below 65 characters (including spaces) so users can read them in entirety on search results.
Not head-start or headstart.
Use lower case, so 'higher education', not 'Higher Education'. You can also abbreviate it to 'HE'.
Use hyphens to join two words (to make a compound adjective) and qualify the next, for example, 'mid-summer ceremony'.
We also hyphenate some other words as standard to avoid confusion in a sentence, for example:
Here are some words that don't need a hyphen:
- A levels