Hopefully, you pay a lot of attention to writing your headlines.
I typically go through several drafts until I’m reasonably happy with a headline.
Headlines are important, because a good one captures attention and inspires people to start reading the body text. Bad headlines don’t.
Truth be told, I’m a bit of a headline nerd. I created an entire course on how to write them.
But… there’s more.
What about those subheads?
How much time do you spend on writing subheads?
Based on my own observations, writers often don’t bother writing subheads at all or – if they do – they rush them.
Because I can think of at least three good reasons why you should spend time writing better subheads.
Benefit #1: Subheads create a framework for your post or page.
On very rare occasions I’ll write an entire post without any subheads at all. Almost as if I’m writing a letter home.
But mostly, I include subheads as a way to structure or frame the post. Most of my posts, whatever the topic, are written in three parts.
The intro. The body. And the close or conclusion.
The intro follows the main headline. Then subheads introduce both the body and the close. I may have a few subheads within the body, like I’m doing with this post.
My work process is simple.
I start with a blank page and then write version one of my headline.
Then, before writing any body text, I write my subheads.
Now I have my framework.
With my headline and subheads in place, writing the post becomes pretty straightforward.
I know what I’m going to write, and I know the order in which I’m going to write it.
Benefit #2: Quality subheads keep your readers engaged.
Creating a framework and structure for the post does more than help me, the writer. It also helps the reader.
The reader can scan the page and get a good sense of where everything is leading. It gives her confidence that your post is worthy of her continued attention.
When writing subheads, I apply a lot of the same thinking as when I write headlines.
I don’t simply write a few generic words as a way of saying, “next section starts here”. I’m more specific. I want to give my readers a hint of what’s to come. To inform, and maybe to tease a little.
In other words, write your subheads in a way that motivates your audience to keep reading.
Benefit #3: Optimized subheads help attract more search engine traffic.
If you publish your own posts and pages, your page heading is usually tagged as the H1 heading automatically.
Then you add your text, and some subheads.
How do you show your subheads as being separate from the body text? Some people just use regular text, and then make it bold.
That’s a huge missed opportunity.
You should tag your subheads at H2 headings.
If you have some sub-subheads, tag them as H3.
This way Google gets a clear message as to which lines to pay the most attention to.
I always tag my subheads as H2. I also try to include the keyword or phrase for which the page is optimized. Or a related keyword or phrase.
Remember, it’s not just your readers who pay attention to your subheads. The search engines do too.
Writing better subheads can quickly improve your posts and pages.
I used to be more than a little lazy about writing subheads.
It took me a while to realize how important they are, and how helpful they can be… to me as a writer and to my readers.
Long story short, paying more attention to writing good subheads is a powerful way to create content that ranks better with both your readers, and the search engines.
NOTE: My course on writing headlines? You can find out about it here…