Tap Subheads for Topnotch Writing

Underused, but plenty effective, subheads can prove a top tool to tap in business writing. When you partner with Business Writing That Counts! for our "Train the Trainer" licensing program, you can gain a polished and effective writing trainer and a subhead champion. A subhead is a mini-headline that appears throughout a document before blocks of texts or sections. Why do subheads work?

Preview Topics If you want readers leafing through lots of pages to take note of a particular article or topic, use subheads to draw them into the page. As attention spans become ever-shorter, readers need to quickly spot the information they seek. Accurate subheads can do this, supplementing the main headline and emphasizing key points. Break up Text Visually Even if text is relatively short, including more than about 4 or 5 sentences looks way too long and chunky, especially in emails and online content. Subheads improve page visibility. Even in print, add subheads to make a page look more organized and with white space, in addition to helping readers find and follow information. Guide Readers In addition to helping readers spot information by previewing topics, subheads are effective at guiding them through the text. Think of them as bullet points for large blocks of text. For example, if you are selling a service for people who live in both apartments and houses, but the service varies depending on dwelling type, a subhead can help readers quickly locate the portion that applies to their situation: house or apartment. Optimize SEO When writing for search engines, subheads add another bonus: optimizing searches to find your content. The same structure and guidance subheads offer in print materials can help keep readers on a webpage longer, since they can find information quickly. That improves (lowers) your bounce rate. Clear, effective subheads with occasional keywords help search engines find your content, especially when combined with head levels available in online publishing platforms like WordPress. Check Organization Finally, here's a great use for subheads: to help you proofread and organize information. When you get going writing—especially on a topic with which you have deep knowledge—you can meander. If you must write over days or weeks to prepare long material, you're more likely to repeat some points. One of the most effective tools you can use is to add subheads after completing your first draft. If you come to a section of text that seems to defy a logical subhead, you might have gone off on a tangent. Identify the main theme of the section and then cut and paste sentences to move off-topic points up or down to the appropriate area. Then set your subhead for the cleaned-up text based on that main theme.

If you're not sure how to make subheads effective, (see our part two: Make the Most of Subheads in two weeks!). Learn more about subheads and other ways to ensure your business has highly relevant and incredibly engaging content through our licensing program. Call us today if you have questions: 425.485.3221.

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