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Yoast SEO assessment: Keyphrase in subheading
What does the keyphrase in subheadings assessment do?
The keyphrase in subheadings assessment checks whether your H2 and H3 subheadings reflect the topic of your text as defined by your keyphrase. Subheadings should describe your subject adequately. For languages with function word support, a subheading is considered to reflect the topic if all content words from the keyphrase are used in it. For languages without function word support, a subheading is considered to reflect the topic if at least half of the words from the keyphrase are used in it. You’ll get a green bullet if your keyphrase is reflected like this in 30 to 75% of your subheadings. If you have Yoast SEO Premium, the plugin can even check your use of synonyms.
Why are keyphrases in subheadings important for SEO?
Including the keyphrases in subheadings shows readers the topic of the specific subparts of the text. In general, while good subheadings with keyphrases in it won’t immediately lead to higher rankings, they are important for SEO copywriting. A subheading describes what comes next in an article — it is the title of the part that follows. By adding your keyphrase in subheadings, you help readers understand your text. Subheadings improve readability. A text without subheadings looks like one massive block. It not only makes your text hard to scan, but also just plain uninviting to read.
Having said that, Yoast SEO not only looks at whether you included your focus keyphrase in headings, but also how you’ve distributed those headings.
Do you want to improve your subheadings?
The first thing you should do is write subheadings that make sense to the reader. They have to be a natural and inviting way to guide the reader on the page. Try to use your focus keyphrase or synonyms in a couple of places, but only if it feels natural. Always keep the reader in mind, not search engines. Yoast SEO will let you know once you’ve overdone it.
Don’t use headings for the fun of it — they should make sense and help to define the structure of the page. When you are defining said structure, think about which heading tag you are going to be using (h2, h3, h4 etc). Hierarchy in text is important, so don’t pick the one that looks nicest. You should also aim to keep the length of your headings within reasonable limits.
Learn more about why you should use your keyphrase in subheadings ▸