Clickbait Titles: Should Your or Shouldn’t You?

Jun 2017

Clickbait Titles: Should Your or Shouldn’t You?Love it or hate it, clickbait headlines have become yet another weapon in the social media marketer’s arsenal. They can be annoying, misleading, and altogether deceitful – but they don’t have to be. In fact, there are ways to craft clickbait headlines that are as effective at gaining clicks as they are at leading to conversions. It all depends upon your approach.


The Good

It Sparks Curiosity
Humans are innately curious creatures, and clickbait headlines tickle this curiosity, plain and simple. By giving them just enough information about a topic, you can capture their attention and leave them wanting more – resulting in a click. As for if they’ll continue to engage with your content once they click….it depends on if it actually satisfies their curiosity or misleads them. Which leads us to our next point…

It Works – When Done Correctly

There is such a thing as honest clickbait, and it’s these headlines that pack the most punch. They draw the audience, and deliver on their promise. If you’re using excessive hyperbole or straight up lying to your users, you might get lots of clicks, but your bounce rate will be high. However, if you focus on building trust and authority with valuable content that leaves users feeling satisfied, those clicks can turn into conversions. The best headlines don’t just get clicks – they get the right kind of clicks. When done correctly, it’s an extremely effective way to get people to take notice of your brand.

There is such a thing as honest clickbait, and it’s these headlines that pack the most punch. Share on X

It Makes Boring Subjects Interesting

Not all content is created equal. If your subject matter is a bit on the boring side, getting clicks can be like pulling teeth. Clickbait headlines can give your topic a helping hand by putting a creative or unexpected spin on what otherwise might be a dry topic. The key here is to create a headline that will catch the eye, without being off-topic or dishonest.


The Bad

Sensationalism Is Getting Old
When clickbait titles first started gaining popularity on social media, these headlines sparked audience curiosity with their flashy and irresistible claims. Now, however, everyone and their mothers are using clickbait headlines to get clicks, resulting in a waning interest among audiences. Users know the majority of these titles don’t back their claims, so rather than clicking on the content, they’re filing it away into the junk mail folder in their mind. This leads us to the next point…

Misleading Clickbait Damages Brands
When users click on a piece of content, they expect (and rightly so) to be taken to content that aligns with that expectation. When this doesn’t happen, they see right through your tactic, which often results in feelings of irritation, or worse, a diminishing sense of trust in your brand. At best, this results in a page bounce and at worst, a negative perception about your brand that can harm your overall image.

Clicks Don’t Equal Conversions
While clickbait titles are effective at capturing curiosity clicks, it matters very little if they aren’t converting or spending any time on your website. What is the point of hundreds of clicks if all of those users spend little to no time on your website and simply bounce back as soon as they get to your page? Unless your headline is supported by content that actually resonates with your user, it’s likely anyone that clicks through will simply exit, out of sight and out of mind.

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