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How to write attention-grabbing subheadings to stop scrollers in their tracks

Everyone knows how important a title is when you’re writing content. But your subheadings deserve some love too.

We’ve all mindlessly scrolled on our phone or tablet waiting for something to grab our attention, or quickly scanned text to pick out the key bits of information. A well-written subheading gives you a chance to reel these readers back in.

According to Contentsquare, the average user visiting a financial services website will spend 70 seconds on a page if they’re using a desktop computer, and just 36 seconds if they’re using a mobile device. So, subheadings can be really useful to draw readers back in and keep them on your page for longer.

Next time you’re writing content for your website, here are six practical tips that could make your subheadings more effective.

1. Make your subheading stand out with the right formatting

Even an excellent subheading could go unnoticed if you’ve given no thought to how you’ll format the content.

Your subheading should stand out from the rest of your text. Before you publish content, review it in the format it’ll display on your website – if you’re quickly scrolling down the page, does the subheading blend in, or is it bold enough for you to pick out keywords?

If it’s the former, you might want to make the text larger, bold or a different colour.

2. Tell a story with the subheadings

Ben recently explained the psychology behind why telling a story could transform your marketing and attract new clients.

Having a narrative can make your content more engaging and lead to better outcomes. If you can tell a story with subheadings, it just might stop a scroller in their tracks.

Remember, someone might be skimming your content. So, avoid acronyms in your subheadings, even if you’ve explained them in the main part of your text.

3. Take the opportunity to sell each section of your content

Each subheading is a chance to resell the content to the reader – if they stop to read this section of the blog, what will they get out of it?

When you’re planning your blogs, setting out what each section will cover and its purpose is often helpful when you start writing. It’s also handy when it comes to subheadings as it makes it simpler to highlight the knowledge that’s on offer and why it’s valuable to the reader.

4. Highlight relevant facts and figures

Adding relevant figures to subheadings can help draw the eye and break up large chunks of text.

Once you’ve caught their attention, an interesting fact could encourage people to read on and make the content seem more relevant.

Statistics may also help demonstrate that your content is well-researched and worth stopping to read. For example:

  • Retirees could be withdrawing too much from their pension
  • 60% of retirees risk overspending due to unsustainable pension withdrawals.

Which subheading would be more likely to make you stop scrolling?

5. Use parallel structure

Parallel structure simply means using the same pattern when you’re writing. Subheadings that have a consistent grammar structure can make it easier for the reader to grasp what you’re saying.

If you’re writing a listicle about the challenges of creating an estate plan, your subheadings might be:

  • Understanding how the value of your assets may change
  • Writing a will that reflects your wishes
  • Calculating if your estate could be liable for Inheritance Tax.

They all follow the same pattern. If you added “Your beneficiaries may not agree with your wishes” it could be jarring because it isn’t in the same style.

6. Refer back to your headline

Keeping your title in mind is useful when you’re writing blogs as it can help keep you on track, and it’s a useful trick when you’re writing subheadings too.

If someone’s clicked to read your blog, something in the title piqued their interest.

So, using your subheadings to build on the headline could boost your chances of scrollers pausing.

If you promised them seven ways to reduce their Inheritance Tax bill, use your subheadings to list them. Or if you mentioned that a government announcement could affect financial plans, outline the key points in the headings.

Contact us to learn how we can help you write engaging content

Bonus tip: Use a subheading as a call to action and make it clear what you want the reader to do next.

Want to discover how we help financial planners improve their content and communicate effectively with clients? Contact us to learn more by emailing or calling 0115 8965 300.

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