In recent years, one of the most remarkable phenomena in the field of web marketing is the habit of certain virtual publications to use a technique called “click baiting” to increase traffic to their website.
Like everyone, you will most likely recognize a bit of yourself in the following scenario:
“You’ve just opened your eyes in the morning and you’re already searching for your phone to find out what you missed on the web while you were asleep. You swipe through your news feed with an air of indifference when an article arouses your interest: “Star player of a local sports team found dead in the team’s locker room.” Shocked, you click on the article to read all the details!”
False alarm, your sports idol is actually in great shape: he was found dead… tired after the intense victory his team pulled off in the last game. “
Half ashamed, half amused, you leave the site swearing never again to fall for this trap.”
The emergence of “click bait” in web marketing.
Being attracted by sensational rather than credible news is nothing new!
Since the beginning of written press, various publications have used scandalous and shocking headlines to boost the popularity of their writing.
However, perhaps the most successful form of this phenomenon today is known as “click baiting” which has become quite popular in recent years.
Due to the fact that search engines consider the volume of incoming traffic on a web page as a good indicator of its relevance and credibility, marketing experts of several media organizations have quickly realized that the use of click bait is an efficient and inexpensive way to bring traffic to their site.
The growing popularity of social networks like Facebook and Twitter has contributed to the growing enthusiasm of digital marketers to use similar methods to reach as many Internet users as possible.
With support from the social networks, nothing more was needed for sites to start developing real expertise in the field of “click baiting“. Take for example the popular blog journaldemourréal that was recently involved in a defamation lawsuit connected to several articles that ignited the web in recent years.
While click bait strategies have certainly provided impressive results for some websites, it has mostly proven counterproductive for sites that pushed the bill a little too far or abused the process.
The truth is that, like many strategies in web marketing, “click baiting” must be properly used to prove effective in the end.
In fact, it all depends on the purpose of your site and its objectives in terms of audience acquisition.
3 positive uses for click bait in web marketing strategies
Increase the number of visits on certain pages
Obviously, using click bait to attract the attention of Internet users will in the short-term result in a more or less marked increase in the number of visitors on the targeted pages. If the primary goal of your marketing strategy is an increase in the number of page views for certain pages, the use of this strategy may prove to be very successful.
Increase of sharing potential via social media
In a world dominated by Facebook and Twitter, the most appealing part of using click bait is the opportunity to greatly increase your content’s sharing potential by the sensational tone in the writing style. If your goal is to have your content viewed by a large number of people in a small period of time, the use of sensationalist articles may serve you well.
Distinguish your brand quickly
In a diverse and complex digital environment, you may be looking for a way to distinguish your site from other sites in the same niche. Using click bait to boost your notoriety can be an effective way to promote your brand and its identity.
Remember, however, that on the web, notoriety does not always mean credibility.
3 negative aspects of using click bait in your web marketing strategy
If using a sensationalist tone inevitably results in an instantaneous increase of interest in your content, the effects of this strategy are as euphoric as ephemeral.
At first, a large number of Internet users will bite your hook, but once the deceptive nature of your page has been discovered, interest in your content will fade as quickly as it started.
High bounce rates
Experts in SEO and web marketing will confirm this: the number of page views is not the only factor considered by Google when estimating the quality and relevance of your content. The bounce rate statistic calculates the number of times a user arrived on your page and left it a few seconds later without having preformed any additional actions.
Obviously, manipulating the facts is at the heart of any “click baiting” strategy and can irritate some users who, frustrated at being duped, will leave your site without bothering to finish the article.
Notoriety does not always mean credibility in the online world
As we mentioned before, the notoriety of your site and the visibility of its content do not guarantee credibility.
Whenever you use “easy” marketing techniques on the web, you risk inflicting tremendous damage to the credibility of your content as well as losing the confidence of Internet users.
If your goal is to slowly but surely build a good reputation for your site, click baiting is probably not the way to go: you should instead establish a sustainable SEO strategy and publish high quality content on a regular basis.
Using “click bait” for your site’s web marketing strategy: A double-edged sword
Hopefully this article will allow you to better understand the phenomenon of “click baiting“, and above all, the positive and negative repercussions that it can have on your web marketing strategy.
Remember one thing: the only way to build a solid and credible brand image for your company is produce quality content on your site and to pay constant attention to your SEO.
Mom was right: good things come to those who wait.