When you’re marketing your brand online, obviously you want your ad to be clicked on. Whether you’re selling something, signing people up for your newsletter, asking for participants in a survey, or sharing a blog post, it’s all about grabbing your viewer’s attention. As such, it’s super easy to resort to clickbait to get the clicks you desire. However, as foolproof as it seems, clickbait won’t get you the results you’re after. Here’s how to get real, authentic clicks – and encourage your audience stick to around. 

First of all, what is clickbait?

Clickbait is the word we use for phrases or images that are meant to be shocking or exciting enough to attract clicks. A lot of times, clickbait includes words like “emotional” or “unbelievable,” or they suggest wildly unlikely or rare scenarios. An example would be, “become a multimillionaire overnight – from home!” Most commonly, clickbait is used in the title or thumbnail of YouTube videos or on social media ads.

Why is it so bad?

Ultimately, clickbait is misleading. It’s very rare that a video or article using clickbait actually lives up to its title, so consumers, viewers, and readers are often left feeling dissatisfied and lied to. Regardless of your good intentions, your audience will start to trust you less and less if you continually use clickbait to market your business.

Additionally, when people click on your link and realize it isn’t going to actually live up to its title, they will return to the search engine. This reaction after the first click contributes to your bounce rate. The bounce rate increases or decreases when a person clicks on your page and then clicks away. A high bounce rate doesn’t look great for your website, so it’s best to avoid clickbait to keep it down. 

So, how do you get clicks if you’re not using a catchy title?

1. First of all, be honest with your audience.

Clickbait titles are often based in dishonesty. When you’ve got an audience who appreciates and trusts your business, why would you want to lie to them? If you’re relying on clickbait to get clicks on your posts, you unfortunately won’t see much success from your posts. Just be honest and transparent with your audience – it’ll benefit you and your business more in the long run.

2. A clear message trumps a clever title – every time.

It’s a common misconception that puns or plays on words will garner more clicks. In actuality, although many people will get the joke and understand the intention, many others won’t understand; if your audience doesn’t understand the content you’re trying to provide them, you’re going to get less clicks. For this reason, it’s a much safer bet to just title your posts in a clear way rather than try too hard. 

3. Lists usually get the most clicks.

This infographic by Conductor shows the success rates of different types of titles. Numbers in the title get more clicks by a long shot. But why is that? 

The answer is pretty simple: lists are super easy to read. You can quickly gloss over a list, and you’ll likely glean more information than you would by reading a longer article. Also, it’s a lot more difficult to make a misleading title for a list – it would require a lot more effort than just being straightforward. The cliche “work smarter, not harder” really fits this situation!

At the end of the day, you’ll get more clicks – and genuine clients – when you avoid clickbait like the plague. Though it can be tempting, resisting the urge will absolutely bring you the results you’re looking for. 

Struggling with how to market your business without using clickbait to drive traffic? Reach out to us here at Blackwood Creative. We’re the experts at marketing businesses both online and offline – let’s create something beautiful together.

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