3 ways subheads help online content

Open this story and scan the subheads. When they compel you to read further, you’ll prove the author’s assertion—and learn how they can work for you and your readers.

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Jakob Nielsen (and I’ll confess, I’m an unabashed fan of Jakob’s big brain) analyzed a study by Harald Weinrich, Hartmut Obendorf, Eelco Herder, and Matthias Mayer, “Not Quite The Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use” and reached the following conclusions:

The Internet is a noisy place—and that means people are juggling a bunch of distractions when they reach your content. A wise solution? Subheads.

Use subheads to tell (part of) the story

There’s no way someone is going to glean the complete essence of a blog post or article just from the subheads. Yet if you carefully craft these verbal dividers, readers can get a sense of the piece from your headline and subheads—and that information should be compelling enough to encourage them to keep reading.

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