What is clickbait
Clickbait is a tabloid headline that encourages you to click on a link to an article, image or video. Rather than presenting objective facts, clickbait headlines often appeal to your emotions and curiosity. Once you click, the website hosting the link generates revenue from advertisers, but the actual content is often of questionable quality and accuracy. Here are some pointers on what clickbait is and how you can decide whether it’s useful for your SEO strategy.
It is instinctive
Humans are drawn to seek information in our world because it has survival value. We seek information in the same way our ancestors sought food. This is “connected” to us. Clickbait is the promise that incredible, provocative or shocking information will be revealed if we simply click on this link.
It plays with our feelings
Clickbait strikes a sentimental chord. Headlines are designed to trigger FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) in an individual – presented in the form of “you won’t believe it!”. This is a very typical anxiety of our time and is one of the reasons why we are so addicted to social networks.
Don’t be vague
Vague titles in search engines do not work well. To rank well in search engines, your titles need to be specific so that they are clear to the user. People won’t click on vague page titles in search engines like they would on social media.
Curiosity killed the SEO cat
Clickbait works on a simple principle, filling the void of curiosity. It’s as simple as presenting something curious and promising satisfaction. Clickbait is an overused copywriting tactic that seeks to generate clicks or revenue through overly sensational headlines.
Misleading headlines decrease trust. A misleading title will get clicks, but those clicks will be worthless. Once you’ve misled a visitor, you’ve lost their trust. They won’t be likely to make a purchase and you can bet they won’t come back.
Remember: clickbait promises more than it delivers. It’s not an illegal practice, nor is it really penalized, but it is something that, in the long run, has no benefit. It is likely that most potential customers will try to avoid it if at all possible. They will click once, and maybe again a second time, but not a third. After all, nobody likes to feel cheated. Nor do they like to waste time.