Using Titles and Subtitles

Choosing effective titles and subtitles make your articles interesting and easy to read for your readers, but did you know that creating titles (headings) and subtitles (subheadings) correctly is also a powerful way to optimize the SEO for your articles?

Well written and SEO optimized articles get the highest rankings, as your copy-write will appeal to both readers and the search engines.

People Read Titles, Bots Read Header Tags

Essentially, titles and headings are synonymous.

Text Title:  “Using Titles and Subtitles…”

Same Title with Tags: <h2>”Using Titles and Subtitles</h2>

Titles are what we write.  Titles get marked/coded for the search engines to understand.  This translation takes place automatically as you are writing in WordPress and most other CMS or HTML generators.

Headings are simply the text title marked by code called header tags.  There are technically 6 header tags.  We only care about H1 and H2 tags.  3-6 are not very practicle to use.

H1 is the title and is the most important SEO element of your article.  This is the same as the title of your article.  Subtitles are designated as H2 tags and are the second most important SEO value in your article.

Use a Keyword in the Title

Your title, and therefore your header (H1) should contain your keyword.  Your keyword is basically the main subject of the blog post.  For instance, if I am writing an article about bicycles, my title should contain the keyword bicycles.

“Why I love Bicylces” is much better than “Why I Love My New Gift.”

In this case, the computer will look for text bracketed by the H1 tags.  The H1 tag, or title tag, alerts the bots that this article is about bicycles.   Google will then index my article under “bicycles.”

Choosing Subtitles

It’s a great idea to break up your post into different sections.  Each section should have a subtitle.  Use either the same keyword or phrases in the subtitle that relate to the title!

This is not always easy, but let’s try these subheadings for our imaginary article on bicycles;

  • “Bicycles Last Forever”
  • “Environmentally Friendly Transportation”
  • “Low Cost Commuting”

These might be poorer choices because they say nothing inherent about bicycles.  While they may have nuances about bicycles, computers don’t understand nuances (neither does a reader skimming vertically through your article);

  • “It’s the Best Value for the Money!”
  • “Saves the Planet”
  • “Easy on the Wallet!”
By the way, my subtitles are not just a larger font, they are indeed enlarged, but they are also tagged with the  H2 tag.  As I write, I highlight the subtitle and change to “heading 2” in WordPress.  Your own program will have a similar function to code your subtitles.

Where to Place the H1 and H2 Tags?

Translating to HTML tags is done automatically by most programs as we write.

Depending upon the program, you may need to manually install the H1 information, that is, you may need to type the actual title you want used as the Title.

Too many websites and too many webpages are missing Titles!

Make sure each and every article has a title!

Where to Check the HTML?

Right click your mouse on any webpage and choose “view source.”  This is the HTML.  This is the version of your article the search engines read and understand!

You may also try a free analytics program, such as to search your site for a title.

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization




About Keywords

 Keywords are a best SEO Practice, Medical Marketing Enterprises

Maximize your SEO by understanding keywords.  These are the words and phrases entered in a search bar.

Keywords are terms, or words,  used to index and retrieve documents on the Internet and are the beginning of “search” and “search” is the beginning of SEO (search engine optimization).

Keywords Start Search

Keywords are index terms used to find documents, or webpages, related to that specific term or subject. When you start a “search,” you are trying to find webpages that match your keywords.

When you “Google Something,” the words you “Google” are simply keywords.

Used to Index Webpages

Google, and the other search engines, index/categorize/file every web page on the Internet.  Keywords are assigned to every webpage.

Remember, Google ranks webpages, not websites.  This means that every webpage of your website gets indexed and is assigned a “main topic.”

Every time you search, the engines try to find the best webpages that match your keywords.  (The order in which the results are listed is the science of SEO!)

How Search Engines Determine Keywords

In the old days of SEO (or maybe before SEO even started), the webmaster would supply their own  words  that should be used for each page.  These were added as ‘metatags’ which told the search engines the keywords to use for that particular webpage.

Keywords would also be overused within the content of an article.  The more times a word was used in an article, the higher the ranking!

“Keyword Stuffing” became a black hat SEO technique and quickly became an unethical way of trying to manipulate page rankings on search engines.

Nowadays, neither technique works.  In fact, metatags are ignored by Google.  Also, if a particular word represents more than 5.5% of the total words, the SEO value decreases and the page is actually penalized with lower rankings.

Google now has its own algorithm for determining keywords.  There is no longer any gamesmanship and is one of the reasons that good SEO has become so important.

Adding Your Own Keywords

In almost all website design programs, blogging software, HTML generators, etc., there are area where you can manage the SEO of your webpage.  In these areas, you can specifically add titles, descriptions, compose metatags and keywords.

What Can You Do?

In Titles:  Use your keyword within your title.  This not only catches the attention of the search engines, but your readers, too.

In the Description:  Take the extra time to compose a succinct description of your article – no more than 150 words and use your keywords.  The description is the text underneath your webpage title on a SERP (search engine results page).  It will not necessarily improve your SEO, but it will catch the attention of your readers.

Scribe SEO Tool:  I use, and we suggest, purchasing a subscription to Scribe.  Scribe is a plugin for WordPress (and other CMS applications) and makes optimization simple and easy.  It will walk you thorugh setting up your tiltes, analyzing your writing and descriptions, count your keywords and grade each publication.

To the Growth of You and Your Practice!

Randall V. Wong, M.D.