On the highly diverse and competitive platform of the internet, you have likely encountered content that is titled with a sensationalized headline meant to encourage you to view it. Such headings that appeal only to your emotions and a sense of curiosity, and often fail to deliver as promised, are referred to as Clickbait. In most cases, the content that you reach by following the attractive heading is quite disappointing and of questionable quality. Clickbait is used by websites to maximize the number of user clicks and generate ad revenue.
Websites that rely on Clickbait to get ad revenue by getting only a large number of clicks, regardless of how much engagement it generates. This often leads to poor quality information as the website is concerned only with getting the attention with a catchy heading so it can add to their clicks. Clickbait is particularly problematic if fake content is being included in the headlines only to get attention. Research has shown that about 6 in every 10 people share content looking solely on the headline and not going through the content. This often spreads fake news.
Creating clickbait is often wrong and unethical. Content creators should make a sincere effort to avoid using Clickbait and the following tips can help achieve this goal.
Do not use hyped or over-the-top headlines that often promise an impossible thing. Using exaggerated words like ‘guaranteed’ is often false because it demands 100% certainty that you are correct in your claim.
Headings like ‘try out this #1 secret to lose 10 pounds in a week’, omit the key piece of information, often to add an element of curiosity. This forces readers to click on the link to access that important bit of missing information. Such ambiguous and unclear statements should be avoided because they often disappoint and fail to deliver.
Using sensationalized headlines that often do not match the quality of the content inside can create Clickbait and disappoint the audience. Doing so will create problems in the long run, though it may increase your website clicks for the time being. It is always best to use highly descriptive and accurate titles so that your audience is not disappointed when they read your content and it meets their expectations.
You can use other strategies that are more ethical and efficient like the use of information titles. Calls to action are also a good way to generate audience engagement. Focus on the quality of the content you are creating and publishing. These, and other such techniques, are a better alternative to getting the attention of readers for the long term.
You should avoid Clickbait at all costs, regardless of how appealing they sound. These can ruin your brand image, make your audience feel cheated, negatively impact the Search Engine Optimization of your content, and attract an irrelevant audience.