Writing tip: Write plenty of clear, complete sub-headlines

Writing tip: Write plenty of clear, complete sub-headlines

On a long web page that is mainly text, frequent sub-headlines are desirable. Make sure at least one headline is visible on the screen. That's approximately one headline for every 100-200 words.

As people scroll down a text page, the main page headline disappears from sight. The words lose all context. Without sub-headlines, people can feel anxious—and quit the page without even trying to read that great grey wall of words.

Therefore, subdivide long pages into smaller chunks of information, each with its own topic and sub-headline. A chunk might be just one paragraph—or several paragraphs.

Clear, complete sub-headlines have at least four keywords and summarize the next chunk of content. Vague headings or questions don't work well.

Good headlines and sub-headlines can collectively summarize the entire web page. That's great for skim-readers (i.e. everyone).


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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4 Comments

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

December 03, 2011

Sorry to disappoint you, Maudie! Truth is we have several tracks here at Contented. And we just can’t be perfect all year round. So which blog posts do you especially like? Give us a clue!

Larisa Laviolette
Larisa Laviolette

March 23, 2012

Hey this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

March 23, 2012

Larisa, the answer is yes and no: it depends what platform you are using and how to set it up. Often you have a choice between a WYSIWYG and HTML entry. (Most bloggers have no coding skills, I would guess.) I strongly recommend our course on Formatting web content, which gives you plenty of guidance on this topic (and it’s fun).

Maudie Liewald
Maudie Liewald

December 02, 2011

Hello, you used to write great, but the last several posts have been kinda boring?I miss your super writings. Past several posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

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