In the marketing industry, click bait or link bait, is seen as something (anything) interesting to grab people’s attention and garner those highly coveted clicks.
Although click bait is generally a positive, there are many examples of click bait that we see everyday that are examples of something to avoid. The purpose of click bait is to “sell” a decent, reputable piece of content. The content is written and the headline worded in such a way that people would want to click and find out more. But in the world of sensationalist journalism, the story is a fluff piece is created to fill a ridiculous title.
Tendency to Be Spammy
We’ve all seen those ads, “one weird trick to get rid of belly fat fast”… or something else along those lines. Click bait is used in ad copy because it gets people to click. In a case like this, the ad might lead you to some questionable diet pills. This is something customers and Google want to avoid, especially when it comes to YMYL (Your Money Your Life) content.
Tendency to be Misleading
Click bait is all about clicks. In some cases, people/businesses don’t care how accurate the information really is or if the headline can be misleading when read in a standalone manner. We know this for a fact because a majority of readers don’t actually finish web pages or articles and just stick to what they get from the title! Another problem is that some click bait is intended to mislead and deceive readers, especially when it comes to controversial or heated topics. That’s never a good thing for a business.
Tendency to Lack Quality
It’s easy to write a page of lackluster content and slap a crazy title on it and call it click bait. While this article might get some clicks, the actually substance (or lack of) will drive people away faster then it brought them in! Clicks and traffic are great but not when your readers are leaving immediately. The problem with click bait is that often, the goal is to get that first click and then… nothing else matters. They aren’t concerned about the quality of the traffic and website visitors, click throughs or even bounce rate of that piece. In terms of content, engagement and adding to your authority, bad click bait isn’t the route you want to follow.
For a more positive and ideal idea of what click bait should be, check out Matt Cutt’s blog post here.