Headings, Subheadings, Bullets and Scannability
It's extremely important that your web pages are easy to read and scan. People go online to search for specific information. They want to be able to quickly determine if your website has the information they want. They're not going to spend time reading your content no matter how well written. They're going to "scan" it. And when I say "they", that includes you and me.
Purpose of headings, subheadings and bullets
Their purpose is to organize and quickly point out the information available. Design your pages to be scannable. Break your content into smaller pieces and cut unnecessary words wherever possible.
What should my headings and subheadings look like?
Make sure it's obvious to your reader which text goes with which heading or subheading. You're probably thinking, well of course, it's the text below the heading and you're right, but why put any doubt out there? Make the space above your heading larger than the space between the heading and the text below it. Don't make the spacing the same.
How do I decide what to put in my heading?
When you write your headings as questions or statements, you're assuming you know the questions that your audience wants the answers to. If you're not quite sure, ask. Do a quick survey of existing customers and exiting visitors. No point in answering questions they don't care about. It will even help you determine if you're on the right path with your website or if you need to change direction.
(Just a quick aside, but a very important aside- Your visitors will always tell you what you need to do to be successful, to convert them from visitors to customers. All you have to do is put aside your ego and ask them. Your current customers will tell you how to improve as well).
OK, back to headings- Question headings are the most useful. When you write your headings as questions, write as if your visitor is asking the question. For example, "How can I make my content easy to read?" rather than "How can one make their content easy to read?". Keep your questions short and when you answer below, again answer as if you're speaking directly to your visitor by using the word "you." "You can make your content easy to read by doing...".
When you write your headings as statements, just write as if the question has already been asked. "Make your content easy to read by doing...". Again, answer as if you're speaking directly to your visitor.
Headings as topics is the least preferred method of writing headings.
Bullets should be used for listing items and it's a good practice to limit the number of bullets per heading or subheading to 7 or less. It's easier to read. If you are detailing directions or steps about how to do something, use numbers rather than bullets. Also, make sure that you indent your lines and start new lines under the text, not the bullet above.
You can introduce a bulleted list with an incomplete sentence, but make sure that you use parallel structure (there's a term I haven't heard since high school, or was it college?). It simply means that the items in your list need to be the same grammatical form.
By reducing your text to heading and bullets, you make your web pages easier to scan. When your pages are easier to scan, your visitors are more likely to spot something that grabs their attention and that can only be good for you.
Watch the video and learn more: