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Subtitles & Bullet Lists: How To Improve Your Posts

Steven 7 responses Blogging

Writing web content is easy, you just focus on your keywords. Writing good web content is a little more difficult – you need to provide unique, solid information. But writing stellar web content, the stuff people read and share with their friends, takes a little more razzle dazzle. Here’s how using subtitles and bullet lists will improve your posts and really rock your readers.

subtitles bullet list to improve your post

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Why it’s important to use bullet lists in your blog posts

  • They give the reader the key points of your content at a glance
  • They entice your reader to slow down and read the whole article
  • They help set the mood when included at the beginning of a post
  • They help organize thoughts when used to re-cap a post

The average surfer is going to look at your page for exactly 3 seconds. At that point if it hasn’t grabbed his attention he’s outta there. Use bullet points at the beginning of your post to show him what he’ll miss if he clicks away.

The average reader also scans the content he’s looking at, he doesn’t really read it word for word. If you use bullet points, though, to let him know you’ve got some really juicy information, you’ll grab his attention and get him to slow down and read.

Bullet points can also help set the mood for your post when you use them at the beginning. Let your readers know this is going to be a serious discussion and these are the topics you’re going to cover.

When used at the end of the blog post there a great way to re-cap the most important points, the things you really want the reader to remember. If you’re writing a How-To post, you might have to use a lot of words to describe the entire step-by-step process. Use a bullet list at the end to re-cap the basic steps to make it easier for your reader to remember.

Why it’s important to use subtitles in your blog posts

  • They help break up text, making it easier on the reader’s eyes
  • They help move from one topic to the next
  • They give the reader a reference point
  • They flag important content for the search engines

Wide screens, screen brightness, florescent lighting, tired eyes, these are all things that are out of your control that already make it difficult for readers to read your content. Add to that an endless stream of 12 point text and you can see why a lot of readers get frustrated and click away before they get to the core of your message. Subtitles help break up your text and allow the readers’ eyes to relax and re-adjust so they can continue reading.

Subtitles also help you move from one topic to the next without adding additional text. Instead of writing a paragraph that puts an end to one thought and opens up another, just use a subtitle to make that transition. It’s less reading for your visitor and it’s easier on their eyes.
Subtitles also give your readers a reference point. When they get to the end of your article and want to review a particular paragraph it’s easier to find it because they can subconsciously associate it with one of your subtitles.

An finally, subtitles are an extra little piece of SEO you can practice. The search engine bots see the h1 and h2 tags in your coding and that lets them know this is some important content.

Use bullet lists and subtitles to improve your bounce rate

Have you looked at your blog’s bounce rate lately? The search engines have. And they’re beginning to include it in their algorithms that determine index position and page rank. Your bounce rate takes into consideration the number of visitors you have, the number of pages they view and the length of time they spend on your site.

There are some things you simply can’t control when it comes to bounce rate. For example, if you have an established blog about dogs and for some reason you mention Justin Bieber, chances are you’re going to have a few people land on your blog because the search engines indexed you for Justin Bieber. When they do hit your page and see it’s about dogs, they’re just going to click away.

But one thing you can do to help improve your bounce rate is write stellar content that keeps people on the page – reading. Using subtitles and bullet lists will not only improve your blog posts, they’ll keep readers on your blog longer which will help improve your bounce rate.

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  1. Dave

    Yes, I agree it is very important to use subtitles that are well highlighted.

    I have seen some blogs go so far as to make their subtitles appear in a different color. This really stands out if done correctly.

    I think many readers try to skim the article and subtitles make that a lot easier.

    I don’t know about the Bullet points though. I have read others say that they are helpful as well. It is probable that anything that helps the reader get through the page is going to be helpful against bounce rates.

    1. Joseph

      Hi Dave, I actually don’t think that it’s a great idea to have the subtitles highlighted with a different color from the one used with the rest of the content. But at the same time I do notice that you have said that “This stands out if done correctly.” I really wonder, how correctly can this be done? Well, I don’t know how.

      Looking at the “bullets” , they are just but lists. Lists do help drive the message home. I hope this is simple to help out.


  2. I’m going to have to give that a try. I have made an effort to keep my paragraphs short to try and make reading easier. Do you think it’s important to keep article lengths pretty consistent, or write as much as you feel necessary to get the job done. I’ve got stuff from 350 words to almost 2,000.

    1. Joseph

      Hey Mike, as far as I am concerned the length of the article really matters. I hate going through a very long article because it makes me feel like am on a novel or a newspaper, whereas am jusly only on the Internet. Very long articles also make mobile users to pull away from your site so easily.

  3. Dmitriy

    It’s very interesting, but how bullet lists can improve the bounce rate? Yes, it’s easier to read structured article and to understand it as well, but I still don’t get how is it connected with bounce rate?
    I saw in some blogs that authors put video mini-podcasts. Visitors watch them for some time and thus stay at blog.

    1. Joseph

      Hey Dmitriy the bullet lists just like the subtitles really do help, and its very in this case. Simply figure out this article with no subtitles and the bullet lists, would Steven have driven the right and correct message as he intended? No, he wouldn’t. But now thanks to the use the both elements that now the message is clearly pointed out and it attracts many to read through thus building the visitors urge to not pull away from the page. Now, do you atleast get the relationship in between.

      Thanks a lot and I hope this helps out Dmitriy.

  4. Joseph

    The overall lesson that I have learnt from this article is that after compiling a great and high quality content for my next blog post, I also should keep it vivid in mind that I need to find a way to convince the readers to keep on reading – this is definitely achievable by following what Steven has taught us through this article.

    Thank you very much.