Web content writing might lure you into thinking that it is not so different from the newspaper articles, essays, and anecdotes we are used to seeing in the real world. The truth is, it is a species on its own. A peculiar result of the tech-induced evolution process.
Online Content breaths or dies by the unmerciful hand of its headings and subheadings. No wonder. After all, content writing is a war for attention. Headings and subheadings are the ninja weapons you always wished for.
Why It’s Not Important How Great Is Your Content?
When you pour all your heart and soul into a piece of content, you might fall under a spell the ultimate blogging fantasy. The one, where people magically find your article, fall in love with it and immediately subscribe to your blog or website.
Sounds great but it’s far from reality.
Most people do not even finish reading what they clicked on.
Why Headings and Subheadings Matter?
According to the research conducted by The Nielsen Norman Group, most people who land on your website decide within 10-20 whether or not they will stay. The quality of your content, no matter how divine, cannot charm a person in 10-20 seconds.
In this tiny time frame, a good and an excellent post do not seem so different from each other. It’s the only time you have to make your pitch.
It’s now or never, my friend!
The amount of content available online and the difficulty of reading a screen conditioned people to skim-read. Most visitors will scan your article before they decide it is worthy of their time.
And what do they look at when they lightly scroll down the page?
Your headings and subheadings, or lack thereof.
How To Make People READ your content?
Headings should be the ultimate vaccine to your bounce rate. However, there are a few elemental mistakes writers do. Good web content writing is not just about using headings and subheadings; it is about using them well.
Here are the three headings and subheadings that will drive your ninja weapon through your chest, ending your hopes in a messy kamikaze:
1. The Plain
The plain headings are nothing more than a snooze fest. Just a table of contents sprinkled among the paragraphs. For example, there are hundreds of articles titled “How to write better headlines”. It’s forgettable. However, “The Well-Kept Secret Behind Hooking your Readers” resonates.
2. The Spoilers
Then there are spoilers. If you put everything the reader needs to know into the headings, how can you expect them to read your article? They already know what they came there to learn.
3. The “What???”
Try to be creative but do not run rampant. Being to cryptic can hurt you. Good headings and subheadings need to make sense and connect to the text they introduce (without spoiling the info).
What Heads and Subheads Really Work?
A truly great headline and subheading leave you intrigued, wanting to know more. They possess an emotional or intellectual bait readers will find impossible to resist. Aim for subheadings that are:
- Short & To The Point – Be precise and save the blah-blah for the paragraph. This is just a bait, and it needs to be visually attractive, too!
- Curious – Ask questions, inspire curiosity
- Surprising – Let your words shock and surprise!
- Filled with Personality – Do not be afraid to play with the language.
- Emotional – Emotion hooks, emotion sells. People want to feel and want to connect. Use it.
What To Take from This Article?
Do not be sloppy about your headings and subheadings. They matter. Regarding getting noticed and being read, they matter more than the content itself. To keep up, you cannot just stay a writer; evolution is calling.
Does this struggle sound familiar? What is your experience with headings and subheadings? Share your questions and stories in the comment section below.