Headline and Subheading Basics

Headlines and subheadings are important parts of Sharebait because they highlight main elements of the topic and add to the scanability of the article.

Headlines and subheadings use a very similar formula and style. Both:

  • Inform and lead a reader
  • Are best with 80 characters or less

Are capitalized in the following way:

  • Capitalize the first and last words
  • Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs
  • Do not capitalize articles, conjunctions and prepositions unless they are four letters or longer

Should include keywords (or part of the keywords) when possible (although not required). If the client has provided keywords that must be used in the article, you should attempt to use them in the headline if possible. This will:

  • Help search engines identify the content
  • Help readers identify the main idea of the article

If you are using keywords in the content, using keywords in your title shouldn’t feel forced. They should appear naturally.

Headlines:

  • Give the reader a good idea about the entire article.
  • Are one of the most important elements of Sharebait.
  • Are often one of the few article elements visible on social sharing sites.
  • Alone may entice someone to share a piece of content.

Slate.com

Subheadings:

  • Provide support for the main idea and give clues to what can be learned from reading more closely.
  • Signify a shift in the article.
  • May answer a question given in a previous headline or title.
  • Are used to break up sections of supporting of supporting ideas.
  • Are formatted with title tags.
    • A title tag is a formatting feature that can be assigned to a line of text within the CMS.
    • Subheadings should be formatted with the following title tags:
      • Subheading 1 – Heading 2
      • Subheading 2 – Heading 3
      • Subheading 3 – Heading 4

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