Today I’m going to be starting a series of blog articles that will help YOU become a website content editing ninja! For this first article I’ll be explaining how to use Headings in your content. Along the way I will also a provide a couple of general tips about the process of writing content. Although the following examples are tailored for the SilverStripe Content Management System (CMS), some rules can be applied to any CMS using a WYSIWYG editor. Read on grasshopper…

Type, then Format.

The first tip on content writing is borrowed from one of my former professors at the NSCC campus in Yarmouth. He recommended typing everything out first and then formatting your document when you were finished.  This helped me immensely when typing up papers/reports. I spent less time fighting with Microsoft Word getting my formatting correct and more time typing what I wanted to say!

Using Headings

In the web world there are six heading styles. They are known as H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6. Using the WYSIWYG editor in SilverStripe you can designate a piece of text to one of these headings using the Format dropdown box.

picture of the format dropdown in SilverStripe

Breaking up and Grouping Text

The best use for headings is to logically break up your content and to group blocks of related content together to make it easy for visitors to read. For example, say you run a health website and you’re writing a blog about 3 different food groups, Vegetables and Fruit, Grain Products, and Meat. In this example we could write our blog like this:

Start by typing everything you want to say, like so:

type your content

Then highlight the text you want designated as a heading:

highlight text

Select your desired heading style from the format dropdown:

Select a heading style from the dropdown

Side Note
In my example, I am starting and writing my content directly in the CMS. While this is fine, we recommend creating the content in a word processing program such as Microsoft Word - web browsers are prone to crashing, and you could easily exit the page before saving your changes resulting in a lot of lost work. (Don't bother to format your content in Word though. Save that step for after you put the content into the CMS.)

The final results should look something like this:

final result - CMS

CMS View

final result - front end

Front end

Highlighting Important Information

Bring attention to important information, or snippets of text by using an eye catching header. Headings on most websites are larger and/or colored differently than standard text on the page which draws attention to them.

Google and Headings

Do you know that Google and other search engines Love headings?! Google uses the words and phrases designated as headings to help determine what your webiste is about (along with several other factors). Including the right keywords and phrases and designating them as headings can help your website show up for relevant search results on Google!

Conclusion

Headings make your site easier to read and help with SEO. If you weren’t using Headings in your blog posts it’s time to start! Stay tuned to the Webbuilders blog for more tips on becoming a content editing master.

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