Use Subheadings to Make Your Posts More Readable

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty

This post was borne out of frustration on my part. Often, when I'm reading through ActiveRain posts I see what I think is misleading use of bold text. I'm talking about when people bold the first sentence of each and every paragraph. Perhaps they think it makes the appearance of their post more interesting when they do this, but I think all it does it clutter up the page.

Instead of using bold text to artificially make your post look "better," why don't you try using subheadings instead? You can make your post look cleaner, more organized, and easier to understand too.

 

Subheadings Can Help Your Readers Understand

Endless lines of text without any break SEO are hard for readers to digest. To make your blog post easier on the eyes and more interesting too, you should add items that stand out on the page like images, bullet points and subheadings.

But adding subheadings will not only break up monotonous lines of text, if you do it right, subheadings will help readers understand what points you are trying to make.  

Hopefully your post is not just a rambling stream of consiousness sort of based upon a loosely defined idea. Make sure when you are writing that you have clearly defined in your own mind what the two or three most important points are, then make sure they are obvious. Feature them. Highllight them not just by bolding them, but by making them larger and making them stand alone. Make them subheadings (more on how to do this in a moment). 

Think of it this way: many readers don't read your entire post at first, they scan through it to see if it's something that captures their interest. When they scan they look at the prominent items on the page like the title, subtitles and images. If they are intrigued by the topic then they may go back and read more carefully. But if they can't understand what your post is about at a glance, or if they feel intimidated by the endless lines of unbroken text, your potential readers may navigate away.  

 

Creating Subtitles and Other HTML Tweaks Are Easier Than Ever

Now that ActiveRain has added the new HTML button on the toolbar, making a subtitle stand out is easier than ever. Here's how you can do it in four easy steps.

  1. Create your topic sentence
  2. Click on the HTML button on the toolbar
  3. Find the sentence you want to highlight and replace the <p> and </p> tags with <h2> and </h2>
  4. Hit update and return to your post in WYSIWYG, you'll see your subtitles are now not only bolded, but they are larger too which helps emphasize them too.

 

The Better Your Readers Understand, the Better the Search Engines Understand Too

Although I do read about SEO every day, I don't claim to be an SEO expert by any stretch of the imagination. And although I've read about the importance of h2 tags in past, I can't say for sure if using h2 tags is still a valid SEO strategy that should be used to help your posts be found online. But I do believe this without any doubt: if you write and organize your posts making sure your points are really clear (and subheadings should help this), you will do better with readers and I bet, you'll do better with search engines too.

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Winston Heverly 03/04/2013 04:55 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Location:
New Mexico Bernalillo County Albuquerque
Groups:
NIGHT OWLS AT ACTIVERAIN
Dedicated Bloggers
Active Rain Newbies
New Mexico Professionals
LATE NIGHT - EARLY MORNING AT ACTIVERAIN
Tags:
editing html
h2 tags
using subheadings

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Show All Comments
Ambassador
356,751
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty

And makes it so hard to read Bill.

November 12, 2012 01:05 PM #19
Rainmaker
151,501
Suzi Sandore
Keller Williams North County - San Marcos, CA
North County San Diego Homes

Great information, I haven't been using sub-headers, but I will start! Post bookmarked!

November 12, 2012 01:21 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,394,551
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Hi Rich, enjoyed and learned a few things...thanks so much. Subscribing to your blog as well as google+

November 12, 2012 01:25 PM #21
Rainmaker
469,140
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

Good idea. I ocassionally BOLD words, but rarely use sub-headings.  It;s a great way to break up the text. 

I think I generally just have so doggone many photos in my text I don't think about "subs".  

November 12, 2012 01:27 PM #22
Rainmaker
272,388
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330 - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

GREAT tip on the <p> and </p> tags with <h2> and </h2>. Simple enough that even I should be able to remember it!

November 12, 2012 01:40 PM #23
Rainmaker
811,683
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Homes

Rich:  Great idea tidbit on the H2 tags & how to add them easier.  Maybe I should try this in a couple of posts but my brain doesn't think like this. 

November 12, 2012 02:27 PM #24
Rainmaker
617,275
Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com Thomas Ramon Realty - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta Condos For Sale

Rich....Good GREAT stuff for those that did not know it. I've always tried to break my post up into shorter snippets...first off they look much better, but then yes, easier to read. 

I recently learned about the sub-titles and I'm trying to remember to bring those in more as well. The key words in those sub-titles....see....you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! 

Great post! 

November 12, 2012 02:45 PM #25
Rainmaker
262,986
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West - Westlake, OH

Rich, excellent blog.  Your topic is spot on.  And, I agree that learning a little html code every now & then can help ones blog style and some improved SEO recognization by Google

November 12, 2012 06:27 PM #26
Rainer
54,776
Rob Renk
McKinney, TX
Gap Funding | from $10,000 up to $200,000

Yes I agree with breaking up long stretches of text with sub-headlines.  Thanks for your insight and tips.

November 13, 2012 04:13 AM #27
Rainmaker
420,226
Melissa Marro
Watson Realty Corp - Saint Augustine, FL
St Augustine, St Johns, Ponte Vedra

Rich - I've been trying to get better with this also. The HTML editor defintely helped!

November 13, 2012 06:24 AM #28
Rainer
203,975
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Great suggestions. I, like others, do a little scan of the article to see how readable it is.

November 13, 2012 06:40 AM #29
Rainer
165,111
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Thanks Rich.   I've been writing my posts in WORD (so I could use colored subheaders) and then copying them into AR...but have been having some difficulties where my headings were ending up vertically mixed into the post.  

Now having read your post, I realize I can look into the HTML codes WORD is inserting and possibly figure out how to correct that problem.

November 13, 2012 08:58 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,595,798
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

I love using h2 and h3 headers.  It really helps organize things visually and for google.  I also do use some bold text to emphasize some of my points...esp if it's a long post.  I do try to use it selectively, and I hope it doesn't annoy you or others.

BTW, I just noticed that I'm not subscribed to you...I have no idea how this happened since I've read many of your blogs on here and your WP site and now on G+. So, I just fixed that.

November 13, 2012 12:59 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,595,798
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

Oh, and by the way, and I'm not 100% sure this is correct I only use the H2 heading at the beginning (and it's similar to title) and then repeat at end.  all the others are usually h3 headings as they fall under that.

November 13, 2012 01:00 PM #32
Ambassador
356,751
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty

Rebecca, Thanks for subscribing. 

Cara , Having tons of photos. properly tagged is great. Try this too!

Lyn, You totally should!

Thom, Thanks for stopping by, sprinkle them in as needed. Some posts can go without. Chck out Thom's blog.

Melissa, Rome was not built in a day. Neither was my website...lol. Checkout Melissa's Avalon Beach site.

Nan is a scanner! Nan is a scanner! just kidding, thank you for your comment (I scanned it)

Debbie Gartner, Selective or discerning use of bold text is great. Thanks for subscribing, I will check and make sure I am reciprocating.  Check out Debbie's Website.

November 13, 2012 01:16 PM #33
Rainmaker
192,306
Brian Kuhns
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber - Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns

Thanks for the tips. I admit I scanned your post until I saw the subheading on SEO and went back and read the entire article.

November 14, 2012 06:12 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,255,730
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I write my stuff up in Open Office, putting in the Headers and such and then cut and past in so I do not have figure out the tags.

November 14, 2012 09:49 AM #35
Ambassador
1,828,412
Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Rich

I have to admit I really haven't done much with sub-headings, at least in cases where it might really make a difference. IT certainly makes it easier for readers to focus in on themajor topics in the post, which will likely keep them more interested, and returning to read more.

Jeff

November 14, 2012 11:45 AM #36
Rainmaker
23,481
Elena Roud
Prudentail Locations, LLC - Honolulu, HI
Realtor, Russian Speaking - Honolulu Homes For Sal
Thank you for the tip
November 15, 2012 08:31 PM #37
Rainmaker
194,675
Norman Padula
Keller Williams Carmel Valley - Del Mar, CA
GRI, CDPE, PA~Presence,Persistence & Perseverance
Rich, you are right on target with this post. Thanks!
March 04, 2013 04:58 AM #38
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