Web Writing 101: Best Practices When You Write Subheaders
Write Subheaders that Pull Readers In Like Magnets
If your headline is the main dish in a 5 course meal, think of after-dinner coffee and a delicious dessert when you write subheaders for your blog post, designed to keep your readers with you until the very end. And use them to help deliver on your promises made by your page Title and Main Header as seen above.
So few business blogs properly use their subheadings – settling for *yawn* boring, unimaginative transitions that put their readers into a deep hibernation. And that’s fantastic news for you! Flavorful subheadings will make it easy for your content to stand out amongst your plain online competition.
So….How LOW Can (or Will) YOU Go?
Your subheadings should always be surrounded by the appropriate heading tags, both for visitor experience and also for the maximum SEO – search engine optimization – value, helping you rank more highly in Google and other searches.
There are six heading tags to choose from, from: <H1> to <H6>.
First, we would be very remiss if we didn’t remind you about some things regarding the main Header and Title of the page. The <H1> Tag, or the Header, should be seen as the primary subheader of your post. However, it isn’t the Title of your post. The Title Tag, also known as a “meta tag”, is what displays as the title of your webpage when a web searches for a relevant keyword and they your page is listed in the results. It serves as the hyperlink that surfers will click on to visit the page as seen to the right.
Your Title also shows in the title bar at the top of the Web browser. Note that the Title Tag doesn’t appear in the body of the webpage. Conversely, the <H1> Header does not typically show up in search engines, and instead appears at the top of your webpage like the one above.
Search engines give more weight to Title Tags than they do Headers. You should use only one <H1> tag per article, and both the Title Tag and <H1> Header should both include the page’s primary keyword, though they should differ in phrasing if possible.
Keep both the Title Tag and <H1> Tag concise, less than 55 characters is recommended. Search engines use your H1 tags to figure out the main topic of your blog post in addition to your Title. Your <H1> should always include the keyword phrase you would like your blog post to rank for.
If you take nothing else away from this article, it should be this: The <H1> Tag is the Most Important Tag – and Influences SEO More Than Any Other Element Other Than Your Title.
Writing Subheaders Your Readers Will Adore
Now that we have that pretty critical information about Headers out of the way, let’s get down to the basics of writing Subheaders that your readership will love!
You can use <H2> to divide your blog post into multiple main points, which you’ll support in the paragraph text between them. They are slightly smaller in font and you can use them as many times as you wish within an article, as long as it remains relevant and aesthetically pleasing.
The <H3> tag is an even smaller font, and can be used to further break down points between your <H2> tags. Most blogs don’t use heading tags beyond <H3>. As you might suspect, Google gives considerably less weight to <H2> tags than the do the <H1>, but there is some SEO benefit – and we are trying to get readers to stick around and read our content primarily.
So while subheading tags you should always craft them with your readers in mind first, not SEO benefit. If you have to choose between using your keyword again, or creating a more readable, engaging headline, go with the latter.
The majority of readers only scroll to halfway through a blog post before bouncing off the page. Very few of your readers are going to read your blog post from beginning to end unless you give them compelling reasons to stay. Most will stick around between 10 to 20 seconds max before they decide if your blog post answers their questions, or delivers upon the promises that your well-written Titles and Headers made.
That’s why strong subheadings are so important. By introducing each individual sub-topics with bold, easy-to-find headings, your readers can quickly find information they need in those 10-20 seconds, and stick around long enough to hear what you have to say.
Write Content for Subheaders That’s Impossible To Ignore
Your subheadings have an even bigger role than spoon-feeding information to your skimming readers: they can evoke curiosity so they’ll be compelled to read every word of your post.
Not all of your subheadings should reveal your next point. Use subheadings as creative transitions to move your story along.
For example, say you’re writing a blog post about choosing poses for your engagement photos to help promote your photography business.
Instead of using subheadings like:
The Most Popular Couple Poses
Creative Ways To Use Signs
The Best Wedding Invitation Poses
Couple Poses That Aren’t Completely Cliché
Use This Prop For The Most Memorable ‘I Do!’ Ever
Bet You Haven’t Seen These Completely Unique Pose Ideas For Your ‘Save The Date’
Old Posts Need Lovin’ Too
This is an <H3> above. As noted, they aren’t used regularly, but for much longer posts they are a good way to delineate different pieces of content within your <H2> headers.
Updating your old blog posts with new subheads and a bit of new content you can make them fresh to search engines again. With these tweaks you get the benefit of sharing your best content at cost and with minimal time, and you can see an increase in your organic traffic with more engaged readers who read to the end.
So don’t forget to promote your old blog posts. When you write valuable, highly-relevant content on evergreen topics, you’ll always find readers to enjoy them for the first time!
Follow these SEO best practices, and your HTML tags will please Google the way you want them to. For more recommended practices, look over our other articles such as the best length for a blog to learn what works the most when writing online.
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Would you like to give your website content a major boost to seriously improve your Internet traffic, and ultimately your profits online? If so, you’re reading the right post. Give us a ring at (314) 494-3494 or contact Best Online Writer to learn more about how our services can provide the quality content your business needs to stay relevant online.
Jim Haynes – Owner | Best Online Writer