What Is Clickbait? Is There Ever A Good Time To Use This Practice? Can It Hurt Your Seo?

In an online world where misinformation is rife, it can be difficult to determine the trustworthy from the inequitable. This is why it is becoming ever more important for businesses to put their best foot forward and demonstrate their authority with high-value information.

With that in mind, what is ‘clickbait?’ Is there ever a good time for a modern business to use clickbait? And can it hurt your SEO?

If you’ve been tempted to implement clickbait in your strategy so you can attract more traffic to your website, read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know…

What is clickbait?

Clickbait refers to the practice of misleading your readers for the sole purpose of earning more page views on a website.

The language used in clickbait tends to be more emotional, as opposed to informational.

One example of terrible clickbait is a recent experience I had on Facebook:

  • A sponsored post came up on my newsfeed about “Roommates from hell”;
  • The cover image on the post started telling a very intriguing story and led me to believe that if I clicked on the link I would be able to read all of it;
  • I had to scroll through 30 other stories only to discover that the original story wasn’t included.

This is classic clickbait. They set expectations and then they failed to meet them.

Needless to say I have blocked the creator and will never click on any similar posts ever again. I’ve learned from my mistakes.

In short, if a title or PPC advert suggests one thing and then delivers something else entirely, it’s clickbait.

Is there ever a good time to implement clickbait into your online marketing?

Not really. There are certain ‘clickbaity’ titles that can be effective – so long as you deliver the goods and meet expectations (e.g., “The last ___ you’ll ever need!”)

If you make a bold claim like that and proceed to describe an average product that doesn’t last much longer than a few years then people are going to be disappointed. However, if you are referencing a truly superior product that will last for 10-years or more, then in this case, a clickbait title like the example above is OK.

Otherwise, using clickbait is a poor practice. This is because it can negatively impact your business in a number of ways, such as:

  • Bad digital PR: if your website begins to establish a reputation for clickbait articles that rarely live up to expectation then it will be bad for business. You’ll suffer in the long-run.
  • High bounce rate: when people constantly click on your website only to discover they have been duped with a misleading title, they will abandon your website entirely, likely never to return. This will send negative signals to Google and your online visibility will suffer.
  • Low quality backlinks: clickbait articles tend to attract low-quality backlinks. This can negatively impact your page authority score and ultimately your page rank.

Final thoughts: You are better off without it

The reality is, if you commit to producing high-value content, you’ll never need to rely on clickbait. Clickbait articles are reserved for low-value brands that don’t have the time or expertise to create quality, valuable content.

However, if you understand your audience, you are a true authority in your field, and you are committed to providing value, you’ll have no trouble attracting your audience to read your articles without having to try and mislead them.

If you are struggling to maintain consistent quality with your content creation, we recommend hiring professionals. This SEO company in Miami comes highly recommended with over 500+ 5-star reviews!

Either way, I hope this article has been insightful. Leave the clickbait for the scammers and give your audience the good stuff they crave and deserve.

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