Picture this: you’ve spent hours working on a well-informed blog post, only to later discover that it produces high bounce rates. It’s happened to all of us and it might be due to one very small oversight.
If you’re writing long blog posts, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: navigation. Research has shown that most readers skim through articles. More importantly, they are searching for very particular answers – and these might very well be hidden deep within your blog post.
The best way to solve this problem is to introduce a table of contents. This feature can help readers navigate longer articles and bring essential sections of your content to the forefront. This, therefore, allows readers to skip to specific sections within your post.
How a Table of Contents Can Help Your SEO
Tables of contents have one more additional feature – they’re great for SEO. According to RankMath, search engines “will notice the engagement and reward you with better rankings.”
Apart from that, Google will detect a table of contents and may also include a “Jump To” link in search engine results. Here’s an example:
Table of Contents Plugins
In this article, I’ll review 4 of the best and most visually pleasing table of contents plugins.
Let’s jump right in!
Elementor’s Table of Contents
If you’re interested in setting up your posts using Elementor, then you’re in luck. This page builder provides a table of contents block when you sign up to the Pro version. In true Elementor fashion, you have loads of options that allow you to come up with your own particular design.
Here at WP Mayor, we’ve been using Elementor’s Table of Contents block in all single post templates. We’ve opted for a sidebar table of contents that sticks to the top of the screen on desktop devices. This makes it easier for readers to quickly access it at any point while scrolling through articles.
While this setup works for us, you can also set the block up to show up at the top of posts before your content, in your hero section or anywhere else you deem fit.
The plugin lets you define which headings to include or exclude, design your icons to perfectly integrate with your site’s design, and opt to collapse your subitems.
The following video explains how to set up your Elementor table of contents widget:
If you’re familiar with Elementor – then this plugin is the one for you.
Table of Contents Block For Gutenberg Editor by Ultimate Blocks
Table of Contents Block has been designed to work seamlessly with the Gutenberg Editor, so if you’re set on the classic editor, move on right ahead to the next plugin. This plugin is easy to use and has a no-frill set-up which I like.
All you need to do is add the table of contents block within the editor and adjust the settings. That’s it! The plugin allows you to have multiple columns, choose between numerical or bullet lists, or remove the bullet icon altogether (although this last setting didn’t work on my staging site at the time of writing). Align the title the way you like and add the optional toggle.
The benefit of using the block editor is that you can save your block’s settings, name the block, and use it in all your future posts.
LuckyWP Table of Contents
The LuckyWP plugin is perhaps the best plugin when it comes to switching between the Gutenberg and classic editor. It comes with a number of options in the backend with an easy to use interface. The plugin lets you choose which headings to show (e.g. H2 only), add numeration, and a toggle button.
You can also design your table of contents by using their ready-made templates, inherit the design from your theme, or override it to create your own.
The plugin lets you auto-insert the table of contents into all your posts, should you require it. One of the great features of this plugin is that once you insert it into your post, you can override any of the default settings. The plugin also lets you skip headings by manually typing them in.
This plugin with its clean design is perhaps one of my favorite of the bunch!
Easy Table of Contents
With over 100,000 active installations, Easy Table of Contents is pretty much the most commonly used plugin to display a table of contents. Although it is very easy to use, this plugin falls short for me.
The design is not particularly pleasing, and although you can play around with a few settings on the back-end, it still leaves much to be desired. The back-end dashboard itself is not particularly intuitive and it would benefit from tooltips.
In any case, this plugin does its job. Simply head over to the settings dashboard to set up your table of contents and the plugin does the rest for you. You’ll find a tab below your editor in which you can decide whether or not to display the table and which heading tags to show. The plugin also comes with a toggle feature.
In this article, I’ve reviewed some of the main plugins for any of the following scenarios:
- Elementor Plugins: Building your site using Elementor? Check out Elementor’s Table of Contents for a table of contents that seamlessly integrates with your site’s design.
- The Gutenberg Editor Plugin: If you’re looking for a plugin that works seamlessly with the Gutenberg Editor, then the Table of Contents Block For Gutenberg Editor by Ultimate Blocks is for you.
- The Classic/Block Editor Plugin: If you’re still on the fence about the Gutenberg Editor or you would like the ability to switch between this and the classic editor, then the LuckyWP Table of Contents is the perfect option for you.
- The No-Fuss Plugin: If you’re not that bothered by the way your table of contents looks, the Easy Table of Contents is perhaps the best fit for you. This no-fuss plugin gets the job done!
If you have any questions about the plugins reviewed, or you’ve come across another plugin that we’ve missed, leave a comment in the comments section below!