Last August, we updated our Introduction and Subhead guidelines. The primary goal: Improve the helpfulness of articles. Utility is the principle objective for the vast majority of our articles. We’re not simply answering readers’ questions. We’re providing solutions for their needs. That in mind, intros and subheads are two significant elements of the article. Before readers ever read the full article, they’ll scan the page and see those. If we’re not explicitly addressing needs and solutions within intros and subheads, then we run the risk of obscuring the deeper solutions the article itself is providing.
Since we launched those guideline revisions, we’ve seen tremendous improvement in article quality and utility. But we have plenty of room to learn and grow. Given the subjective nature of each individual title and its needs, there will never be a one-size-fits-all approach. But we can clarify what we’d like these to be and offer examples that highlight best practices. Continue reading