We all want visitors to our website, but not all methods of attracting them are equal. One method that is sure to hurt your business is using article titles and summaries that generate interest in search engines and on social media but then fails to deliver what the visitor expects on the page that is visited…also known as click bait. Of course, if you are like most businesses you are trying to provide useful information to customers and visitors so if you are posting click bait it is most likely unintentional. So what is click bait and how can you avoid posting and promoting it?
What is Click Bait?
In short, click bait is a social post or search engine result that entices someone to click the link to learn or read more about a topic of interest but fails to deliver that information on the associated landing page.
The site could be trying to trick people into visiting the site to view and click ads or links to other articles to improve the site’s page views or ad revenue. However, in many cases the site owner is simply not effectively providing the answer they promised in their post or SERP listing and is, therefore, unintentionally serving click bait and eroding trust in their brand.
How To Avoid Using Click Bait.
We all want clicks on our social posts and organic visits from search engines but the best way to get quality visits is to provide quality content. Here are a few quality checks you can make before posting your content and beginning to promote it.
- Read over your content. Do you offer a real solution or useful advice for dealing with the problem or question you are proposing to solve/answer in your title/page description?
- Do you provide enough detail to be considered an authority or trusted resource for the topic you are writing about? Sure, some questions can be answered quickly and succinctly, but an authoritative view on a topic should be substantial enough to take more than a minute or two to read. Consider making your articles at least 300 words long with a preference towards 400 to 500 words.
- Do you answer the question you raise in your title fairly completely and only require clicks on links to related content for visitors who might want to dive deeper or explore other topics? If your answer requires clicking through multiple short pages of content then you are using click bait.
- Check to make sure you promote your content with images and preview content that matches up with the information you deliver on the page.
- Review your page title and page description in search engines and gut check that the presentation is not misleading and the page fulfills the promise of the listing.
- Are the calls to action on the page visitors come to appropriate for the content of the article? Are related links and CTAs logical next steps for visitors coming for the content presented on the page?
If you run through these checks with each piece of content and associated promotional posts you should be able to avoid the trust-eroding effects of click bait. Of course, if you are a bank, credit union or fintech marketer, feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss getting the most value out of your blog content.