University Marketing and Communications

Proper use of headings in page text

When building a page, you must use headings in the proper order to be ADA-compliant.

Headings allow you to organize your content in a hierarchy. For example, you must use Heading 2 first. Then after that content, use Heading 3 and more text, followed by Heading 4 and more text. Think of it as an outline.

Headings are not to be used for styling or design. We don’t choose which heading to use based on what font we like or how large we want the heading.

Heading 1

Heading 1, or H1, is the text that shows up in the blue bar at the top of the page. For search engine optimization and accessibility compliance, you may only have one H1 on a page. It’s often the name of your office, college or department.

The H1 is edited in the file. It is the field named "Department Title." It appears on every page within the containing folder. To learn how to edit the H1, use this tutorial.

Heading 2

Heading 2, or H2, is the header at the top of the page, followed by text. The H2 should clearly state the main topic on the page.

Heading 3

Use Heading 3 if you have additional content sections underneath the H2 topic.

Heading 4

Use Heading 4 if you have additional content sections underneath the H3 topic.

It's the legal - and right - thing to do

Pages with well-structured content and proper headings are essential for web users with disabilities. 

  • People with cognitive and learning disabilities can more easily find and prioritize content on the page.
  • People using screen readers can skip to the main content directly and navigate to sections that are important to them.
  • Keyboard users can browse pages and their sections more efficiently.

An additional benefit to well-structured content: It’s better for search engine optimization. Google and other search engines can more easily find and index our pages and list them in search results.

How to write headings

  • Be brief.
  • Clearly Identify the topic that will be covered in the section.
  • Use keywords or questions that your users may be searching for.


Last Updated: 4/11/24