Most of the pages that use clickbait only seek to generate traffic to their website because their source of income is advertising. However, this technique can also be used ethically to attract our target audience.
Have you ever heard of clickbait? Maybe not, but surely you have visited a page that uses this technique.
Think how many times you have read headlines like “you would never suspect how your body reacts to these foods ” or ” the images of the most shocking accidents . These are some examples of clickbait, a formula that many websites use to attract traffic to their page.
The clickbait or clickbaiting does not enjoy a very good reputation because behind its striking headlines it tends to hide misleading content. It’s an unethical way of getting views that can seriously affect your brand image.
However, not all are disadvantages. The key is knowing how to use this technique without cheating.
In this article we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of clickbait and how to use it responsibly so as not to be penalized.
WHAT IS BEHIND THE CLICKBAIT?
We would be lying if we say that companies do not seek to create eye-catching headlines that pique readers’ curiosity. We all want users to click on our articles to enter our website or blog. The techniques copywriting serve precisely to the texts “engage” the audience.
Clickbait seeks, in general, to attract many visits to a page that generates its income through advertising. Therefore, its objective is not to inform or create relevant content but to generate curiosity to monetize your website.
The strategies to find the click are several. Next, we see some of the most used.
1. Omit some of the information
The owner only gives a part of the information to generate a suspense that leads us to click on the link. They would be texts of the type: He gave him a handout and this is what happened.
2. Use nostalgia
Headlines that connect us to our childhood or our memories have a powerful ability to bond with the reader. An example: The ten songs you grew up with.
3. Actions with unexpected result
It consists of a headline that introduces an obvious action but leaves the possibility of a different outcome in the air. For example: Throw a glass on the ground. Guess what happened.
4. Search for empathy with the reader
This type of headline seeks to connect with the reader and make him feel identified with the approach. An example would be: Ten gestures that you will only understand if you love animals.
Basically, they all have in common the intention of arousing curiosity to get the reader to act.
WHY DOES CLICKBAIT WORK?
The clickbait is used because it works. And there is nothing more to add. People are curious by nature and we get carried away by that impulse.
The key to its success is human psychology: knowing the functioning of our brain can create effective headlines that generate the connection we seek.
This is our mind:
- Uncertainty or suspense prompts us to solve what is a mystery to us.
- People are drawn to numbers and listings. Headlines that begin with a number are more striking, especially if it is odd.
- Imperative verbs, that is, those that serve to give orders (“look”, “listen”), drive us to act.
- Demonstrative pronouns (“this”, “this”, “that”) activate our curiosity because they refer to a subject without mentioning it.
- The terms that refer to a group (“people”, “animal lovers”, “parents”) are attractive because people have the need to be part of a group.
However, this technique has a bad reputation because deception is abused by promising an unfulfilled outcome.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CLICKBAIT
Used well, clickbait can be beneficial in attracting traffic. However, we must not lose sight of ethics and professionalism so as not to disappoint our audience.
Advantages of clickbait
These are the main benefits you can get using this technique:
- Generate visits to your website
- Get your content shared on social networks
- Improve your web positioning
- Create viral content
- Increase the visibility of your brand
Disadvantages of clickbait
Attracting traffic to your website with this technique also has disadvantages. These are:
- Rejection by users of sensational headlines that do not add value
- Bad branding because readers are disappointed and misled
- Low quality traffic with high bounce rates
- Risk of penalty by Google and Facebook
- Followers who are not part of your target audience
For a brand, credibility is one of its most valuable intangibles. Quality traffic and prestige are achieved by creating relevant and useful content, whether to inform, entertain or satisfy the curiosity of users.