Every inch of your article, white paper, or other publication is valuable real estate. Don’t waste it by using a heading like “Conclusion.”
Why skip saying “conclusion”
Your readers scan your publications to see if they’re worth reading. This is especially true of your blog posts and other online publications.
Readers look at headings to see if you’re saying something interesting. The heading “Conclusion” tells them nothing about your thoughts.
It’s much more effective to share your high-level conclusion in the final heading of your piece. You can tie your heading to the next step your reader should take.
If you must put “conclusion” in your heading, I suggest you follow it with a subheading. For example, “Conclusion: Quit using ‘conclusion’ as a heading.”
Disagreement about conclusion
Neil Patel, a guest blogger on HubSpot, disagrees with me, at least when it comes to blog posts. He says, “In my opinion, the best conclusions are outright labeled ‘Conclusion,’ either with a header (as in my example below) or with the phrase ‘In conclusion.'” He didn’t persuade me.
However, I like most of Patel’s other recommendations in “8 Tips for Writing More Powerful Conclusions,” except for his suggestion that you end every blog post with some sort of summary. That’s overkill, in my view.