Editorial Style
Start sentences, headings, and links with keywords

Web users generally skim new pages to get an overview of the available content and functionality. Skimming is more efficient when sentences begin with key words and phrases, particularly with regard to editorial landmarks, such as headings and links. In particular, screen reader software offers a page overview via a list option that displays a list of links or headings. The lists are displayed in alphabetical order, which makes the application of initial keywords particularly useful (Figure 14.2).

Figure 14.2: Wikipedia screenshot: inset with Links List and Heading List dialog boxes

Figure 14.2: Wikipedia uses structural markup to identify headings, and uses keywords at the beginning of links and headings. This approach enhances the usability of software features, such as the Links List and Heading List features in JAWS, a screen reader program. www.wikipedia.org

Initial keywords also come in handy when users are seeking a specific content item. For example, upon locating a keyword using the browser’s find or "find-as-you-type" function, users will be positioned to continue reading if their search term is at the beginning of a heading or link.