Crossheads - Introduce the why of a section, not the what

The thing about crossheads is this: you need to use them.

A crosshead is commonly called a subhead, but it really describes those headlines that go down the page, introducing sections.

They’re called crossheads today because that’s what they’ve always been called on sales pages and old school sales letters.

Crossheads should be at least as engaging and attention-holding as a headline.

They should not summarize what follows.

They should give a teaser or hint so you have to keep reading to see what’s below it.

They should also not be sad placeholders.

For example, your testimonials crosshead should not be “what customers say.”

And your FAQs crosshead should not be “FAQs” but something actually written to help the reader understand what follows and want to stick around for it.

If you write “FAQs”, you’d better have a good reason – and it can’t be because you were feeling lazy.

Crossheads should be centered and either bold or prominent enough that they don’t fade away. They should be tagged H2 in most cases to apply that level of formatting.

A great trick for one crosshead on your page – not all of your crossheads – is to put quotation marks around it. It’s not actually a quote. It’s not a testimonial. The quotation marks are there to grab the eye.

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