Subheds in the main text give readers clues about where to jump in
Beyond a clear, informative, and clever HED, DEK, and LEDE, another service you can provide to readers is to write subheadings that indicate what each section is about. Subheads allow readers to skim the article for parts that are most important to them (it is all about the reader).
Because people do not always begin reading at the top of an article and finish at the bottom, and because some readers will skip parts of an article that others will read first, articles should be easy to navigate. Subheads are like road signs on the information superhighway. And if your readers read anything like I drive, those road signs had better be clear.
Good subheads can begin the information delivery process one step earlier
Subheads can be either labels or sentences. Sentences are more interesting and informative than labels are. They are also harder to write. Labels list the elements of an article, sentences can summarize information or set the context. Labels are often vestiges of the outline; sentences are an upgrade of that.
Consider if the subheads that I wrote above were labels instead of sentences. Sentences deliver the bottom line up front.