The header is the first indication of the content of your internet article. The average visitor will stop for no more than 2-3 seconds before deciding whether they want to read what you have written or should they simply move on to something better.
The article header should be clear enough to summarize the key point of the article while also be engaging/ inviting enough for the reader to want to know more.
Tips for Internet Article Headers (Source: The Yahoo! Style Guide, Chapter 4)
- Take into consideration the key message of your article and then summarize it into a crisp header.
- Avoid headers that are overly cute or quirky
- Choose keywords that must figure in your article header ( For example the name of the company, the place, main event, product, brand name, key description)
- Include powerful but accurate verbs in the headline statement
- For most headers, the active voice would be better than a passive voice
- Headers must express the voice of your website, both in the choice of words and how you display them
- Standardise the header capitalization rule across your website. For example, I could go with any of the following 3 header styles –
- Writing Clear & Compelling Articles for the Internet ( Title case) or
- Writing clear & compelling articles for the internet ( sentence case) or
- WRITING CLEAR & COMPELLING ARTICLES FOR THE INTERNET (upper-case)
Quick Tips for Paragraphs and Sentences for the Internet
Keep them brief: Ideally no more than 25 words a sentence and no more than 2-3 sentences in a paragraph.
Frontload the information: State the most important point of each statement and paragraph upfront.
Use numbered lists when the sequence of events or numbering of the items is important. For example – Steps to follow in the recipe or Top 5 Beach Destinations