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.