You Need to Read This

OK, that’s a cheat. But it makes the point: headings matter. Strong headings draw readers in and guide them through a document or down a web page. They can play a powerful role in telling your story. To make sure they do:

Make your headings meaningful
A heading like “Section 1” doesn’t tell readers anything about what’s in store for them or why they should care. “Introduction” and “Background” aren’t much better. The best headings sum up what each section of your document is going to say — and gives readers real information to take away, even if it’s all they read.

Entice your readers to want more
When headings are meaningful and deliver information of value, people will be more inclined to dig in and see what else you have to share. Being compelling doesn’t mean being click-baity — like, “You won’t BELIEVE what these stars look like today” or, ahem, “You need to read this…” Good, old-fashioned storytelling will get you where you want to be.

Be crystal clear
It’s OK to inject cleverness or wit into your headings, but first and foremost you want to be sure your audience will get the point. “A rose by any other name…” may be an artful setup to a blog on how digital and traditional advertising still have a lot in common, but nobody’s going to know that by reading those six words. As a rule, don’t force your readers to think too hard about what you mean to say.