Crafting Effective Headings and Subheadings For Web Content

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.

5 differences between writing for web and writing for essay

Writing is a form of communication that has been used in our lives for thousands of years. The written word progressed from ink on paper to typewriting on your computer.

Today, we can divide writing into web writing and paper writing. Web writing includes the writing of numerous blogs, articles and other forms that did not exist before computers and internet came into our lives. However, there is a difference between web writing and essay writing.

Essays are analytic writings first used by Michele de Montaigne. They serve a rather direct and specific purpose because the author shares his own thoughts and arguments about selected topic in order to analyze and inform readers about that subject.

The conventions of essay writing and web writing are very different, so we present you 5 differences between writing for the web and writing for an essay:

1. Language VS Keywords

Essay writing involves varying your language in order to keep the reader stimulated. That means that you should use your specific, objective style without frequent repetition of various phrases and words.

Writing for the web has different rules because the quality of articles depends on various factors, but the most important one is Search Engine Optimization. SEO dictates that you have to fill your posts and content with specific keywords so that search engines can pick them up.

2. Paragraphs VS Sentences

Essay writers know that every sentence should be clear and understandable. However, there is no limitation on the number of words in a sentence. For them, the idea is to be reasonable and concise, but they can extend sentences as long as they want if they prefer to write in that kind of way.

Writing for the web limits your sentences and demands short paragraphs and simple sentences. The reason for that is because online readers have the shorter attention span, so in order to keep them involved, conciseness and precision is important. Of course, everything depends on the topic, but the key is to keep your sentences simple and understandable.

3. Footnotes VS Links

Every essay style of writing demands references. If you write and analyze something with the help of another essays or texts, you should always mention your source otherwise, that is plagiarism. You can quote whole passages or just simple thoughts that could improve argumentation but you must insert a footnote with all relevant details such as the name of the author, book, page and paragraph.

In web writing, footnotes are replaced with hyperlinks. The idea is the same, if you want to add something that is relevant but not exactly yours, you just have to link it afterward to a source.

4. Part of speech

Even though essays are personal analysis, it is forbidden to use the first person, because then it would not have a professional tone. Instead, all essay writers use second or third person because it sounds more professional.

In web writing, you can write from every perspective, but then again it also depends on what you are writing. It is widely acceptable to write in the first person because in that way, the message is personalized and the reader has a sense of what you are talking about. That is a better choice for marketing content and other promotional types, such as blogging and article writing.

5. Flexibility

Once an essay has been written and read by the intended audience, it may be a little difficult to go back and make some changes to the draft.

On the other hand, web writing offers more flexibility and a published article is easily edited. This difference is especially important where the writer needs to capture a constantly-changing variable such as the population growth rate.