Building a table of contents is an easy way to augment your content for SEO, User Experience, and the middle ground that exists between the two.
If you’re looking to improve your content for both SEO and user experience, a table of contents is an easy way to do so.
The Table of Contents can make it much easier for readers to find what they’re looking for in long-form content, such as an article or blog post. It may also be useful for SEO purposes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned coder or a complete novice when it comes to adding a table of contents, the following methods are very easy to implement.
Table of Contents: What Are the Benefits?
Improves the User Experience — Your website visitors want to know what you’re talking about as soon as possible when they stumble across one of your posts. It is easier for readers to find what they are looking for if the table of contents (ToC) is right in front of them. Visitor boredom is less likely to set in within the first five seconds when a Table of Contents is used.
CTR Enhancement and Featured Snippet — Including a table of contents in a post can help improve your chances of being featured in the search engine results page’s featured snippet. Featured snippets may link to an anchor link in your Table of Contents when users search for specific long-tail phrases and keywords in Google. When a keyword appears in a sub-title, Google creates structured links to that page (if done as a table of contents). Your site’s URL may show up in search results with a “Jump to Section” link beside it.
Links to different sections of the article — You can make it easy for users to share links to sections of your site that they find interesting.
Method 1 — WordPress Plugin for creating a Table of Contents
Adding a table of contents to your posts or pages has never been easier than with using a custom plugin for your WordPress Website. A free plugin called Easy Table of Contents generates a table of contents based on the headings in your text.
Install Easy Table of Contents plugin
Start by going to the Plugins section of the WordPress website and click on Add a New Plugin. Click on the Install Now and Activate buttons after you’ve found the plugin ( Easy Table of Contents).
Fine tune the plugin’s settings
To see all of your options, go to Settings > Table of Contents.
The plugin allows you to choose which post types it will support. Any combination of the available settings can be selected as the default.
As a next step, you can decide which posts automatically generate and insert an index table of contents. You must first enable support for each post type for which you want a table of contents to be produced.
The table of contents can then be placed in the desired location. It can be inserted after the first heading or at the top or bottom of the post.
The table of contents can also be hidden by default by checking the Initial View checkbox. As a result, for information to be displayed, users will have to click on a button.
The table’s hierarchy and counters can be adjusted in the final general setting. The table of contents will show subheadings as well as your primary headings if you select Show as Hierarchy.
The following set of options allows you to customize the appearance of your table of contents. For example, you can choose to have the table appear on the right, left, or center of the screen.
Make sure to click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page after making any changes. Depending on your configuration, a table of contents should appear automatically.
Method 2 — Create a Table of Contents using WordPress Blocks
With the default WordPress Block Editor, you can create a table of contents fast and easy.
Install Spectra — WordPress Gutenberg Blocks plugin
Navigate to the Plugins section of your WordPress website and click on Add a New Plugin. Search for Spectra — WordPress Gutenberg Blocks and click on the Install Now and Activate buttons.
Table of Contents can be added by clicking the plus sign and searching for Table of Contents while working in the Block Editor. This block will generate a table based on the headings in your post, but you can also play around with the various options.
You can choose which heading levels to include in the table from the General options. To keep your table of contents looking tidy, you may want to remove the lower levels.
Adding your table of contents as a block gives you the flexibility to style each table as you see fit.
Table of Contents example:
Even though creating a table of contents may not seem important to some, large posts with a lot of headings necessitate it.