Headings can be very helpful, but they can't save poorly written, poorly organized text. Going through existing content and putting in a heading every so often does not usually produce a good document. That's actually a good technique as a firststep in revision - a way to become more familiar with the content you are working with. But it's a terrible technique if you stop there.
Whether you are writing new content or revising old content, if you find it difficult to write a heading for a section of text, it probably means that the section is not clear or covers too many points all jumbled together. Clarify the content. Break it up into smaller sections. If you find yourself writing the same heading over different sections of text, it probably means that the material is not well organized. Reorganize it to be logical for your site visitors.
Poor, arbitrary headings may hurt web users rather than help them.
Thanks to Caroline Jarrett for teaching me this technique of putting headings in old content as a first step in revision. Very important: This is just to get a sense of the content and to plan your revision. You will probably want to reorganize and rewrite the content with new headings in a new order.
Was this article helpful?