You’ve likely come across them before – you see a headline that sounds epic, only to quickly realize the article has nothing to do with the title. You just went to a clickbait article.
Clickbait articles aren’t anything new, and there are many mixed feelings about them, yet you still can find virtually everything. In videos, paid advertisements, and blog posts, you likely can’t browse the internet without coming across something that is clickbait.
If you’re curious about what clickbait is and even thinking about using it yourself, hold that thought. First, let’s understand what we’re talking about. Then, your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have a few caution points to consider.
What is Clickbait?
Clickbait is something with a sensationalized headline (whether it be a Facebook ad, YouTube video, or a blog post). The purpose is to have a title that draws on your emotions, which, ultimately, connects to your curiosity and makes you want to know more.
The sensationalized headline usually uses words like “you won’t believe this,” “OMG, she did what,” or “this one simple trick will change your life.” It’s easy to see why people would want to click on articles with titles like that – they promise something dramatic and amazing.
However, the problem lies when you actually click the title and go to the media. Once there, you quickly realize that the video or article doesn’t live up to the exaggerated headline. Not only that, but the quality and accuracy of the content are usually questionable.
Why Use Caution With Clickbait
Now, there’s a difference between a more dramatic title that catches the reader’s attention and blatantly using a sensationalized headline that provides no relevance to the content. The goal of posting content is to get users to click on the headline and spend time absorbing what you provide.
There are a few problems with only using clickbait. The first is building trust with your viewers. If every time they click on your content, and it doesn’t live up to what you advertised, you’ll have issues creating that trust with your viewers. Ultimately, they’ll stop going to your content, which will hurt your business.
Another issue is with SEO (search engine optimization). Search engines consider the quality of your content with where you show up in search results. Clickbait content that is low quality will get punished by the search engine, which will put you lower in the search results.
Continuing with search engines, if they notice viewers spend only moments on your content before leaving for something else, they also mark that as less valuable in the search results. Basically, the more clickbait you use that doesn’t provide much value, the more you’re hurting your overall website (and business).
Now, that isn’t to say you should never use clickbait. When used correctly and sparingly, it can actually benefit your website by generating organic traffic.
When using clickbait, though, err on the side of caution. If you’re using sensationalized words to draw the reader in, ensure that the content and quality lives up to the expectation. A well-planned and phrased headline can use “clickbait” words that draw the viewer in. It’s up to you, though, to ensure you’re providing something that makes them want to stay.