Understanding Success Criterion 2.4.6: Headings and Labels

Success Criterion 2.4.6 Headings and Labels (Level AA): Headings and labels describe topic or purpose.


The intent of this Success Criterion is to help users understand what information is contained in Web pages and how that information is organized. When headings are clear and descriptive, users can find the information they seek more easily, and they can understand the relationships between different parts of the content more easily. Descriptive labels help users identify specific components within the content.

Labels and headings do not need to be lengthy. A word, or even a single character, may suffice if it provides an appropriate cue to finding and navigating content.

This success criterion does not require headings or labels. This success criterion requires that if headings or labels are provided, they be descriptive. Also note that, if headings or labels are provided, they must meet 1.3.1: Info and Relationships.



Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.


Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Sufficient Techniques

  1. Providing descriptive headings
  2. Providing descriptive labels

Headings and labels must be programmatically determined, per Success Criterion 1.3.1 .

Advisory Techniques

Although not required for conformance, the following additional techniques should be considered in order to make content more accessible. Not all techniques can be used or would be effective in all situations.

  • Using unique section headings in a Web Page (future link)
  • Starting section headings with unique information (future link)


The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of this Success Criterion by the WCAG Working Group.

Key Terms


text or other component with a text alternative that is presented to a user to identify a component within Web content

A label is presented to all users whereas the name may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology. In many (but not all) cases the name and the label are the same.

The term label is not limited to the label element in HTML.