The rise of click baits in the content space thanks to its potential in driving up traffic has altered the conventional rules of content in websites. High traffic automatically delivers more advertising sales and revenue.
According to experts, Click bait content excels in triggering emotions that help in selling ads compared to any other model. But Click bait has a limitation in not delivering ample conversions that normally comes with a piece of content educating the user for an appropriate action with or without reading an Ad.
Modus Operandi of Manipulation
In its basic operation, Click bait exerts a pull on the visitor to click on a link with a seductive headline. It generates traffic and accelerates social shares. The emotionally loaded headlines induce a call to action making the user curious to read the content.
But the usual gratification that comes after reading an article or a blog will be missing. The problem with click bait is in the title and the content. On clicking a link, the visitor is taken to a content that may be a listicle holding up roving surfers with truncated information.
Derek Thompson of “The Atlantic” notes that clickbait gives only the minimum of what a reader wants to know and hides too much.
As a result, a “curiosity gap” comes up, which is exploited for marketing. When a vital piece of information is skipped from the headline, the viewer suffers from curiosity to read more.
Jake Beckman, who runs a Twitter feed “Saving You From Clickbait,” slams click baits for deliberately withholding information for creating a ‘curiosity gap’ as a wilful manipulation of the reader.
Antithesis of SEO Pundits Forecast
The storming of clickbait on the web content space has blurred many hard guidelines on creating content that must be king. The rules of SEO pundits and guidelines by search engines are the worst hit.
The respectful, traditional long-form content is undoubtedly content-rich and will not leave the user in a lurch. Notably, SEO mandarins have insisted that only content-rich pages will survive on the web. But click bait defies all the above logic given its trending nature.
More websites are turning to clickbait to feed the hunger for over-emotive articles that people would not be getting from Google or search. Click bait feed is also very demographic centred— targeting millennials or the youngsters between18 to 30.
Most online publishers are leveraging the varying mental states of users with catchy click baits. They know the art of seducing readers with sexy headlines. Though the content is low in nutrition, click baits thrive with an appealing structure.
Click bait articles are short, carry good images and brim with lists that talk about 5 ways of sensing things or 10 things to do. That is nice for a passive online reading and a simple online experience.
Why Search Engines Shun Click Bait?
But Click baits are out of SERP (search engine results page) because of the huge Bounce Rate caused by high Click Through Rates.
Just in case, a user is exposed to click bait from a SERP what follows will be a mess. The poor interface of optimized content will be suited for ads and will please only robots. Such content is not Google’s cup of tea.
Having forced a rewrite of content rules click baits are here to stay. The surging popularity is denting the rules of long-form content centered on the relevancy of headlines and matching content.
Long form content informs the reader what to read and is well geared to the stipulations of Search engines. They want to reward readers with the right information with the content living up to its promise.
Already many print publications and news outlets are under the sway of click bait and are changing their article styles. One example is “The Independent” newspaper in the UK. It has gone fully digital to stay ahead and free itself from the burden of the print world despite criticism from readers.
Relying on online advertising as a revenue source will require maximum page views. It then follows that writers handling content for the branded new publications entering the online space must be prepared for a paradigm shift.
Irresistible Click Bait for Adoption
Some of the lessons taught by Click bait are really worthy of emulation. The emotive headlines and endless lists are really good. In fact, the lists deserve three cheers.
It is time copywriters examined the persuasion that click bait exercises on readers and see what they can learn. Click bait makes good use of emotions in headlines. That is a factor copywriters can incorporate into their craft.
True, click baits offer a degree of misleading with a penchant for over-promising and falling below the expectations triggered by the headline. It is also demographic focused and looking to feed the 18 to 30 year-olds.
However, a hard look suggests that Click baits are endearing because they are rich in humanity, unlike the dry, long-form content.
Success of Click bait Model in Buzzfeed
Adopting the core features of click bait in content creation need not be an apologetic act. A smart juxtaposition is already a success in BuzzFeed News whose quality reports have won many laurels.
The 2016 investigation into “How Trump Tried to Get Qaddafi’s Cash” received many awards including the coveted Pulitzer citation. BuzzFeed’s content shows what people like online and their emotional triggers. This is what search engines actually want.
Click bait may be cheap or low in quality. But like it or not, Clickbait’s engagement with readers is high. In social media click bait is the king where it is tagged, liked, retweeted, shared and commented upon.
In Social media, 60 percent of people share such fast-moving content without even reading it. The sharing is like a PR act to the peers. The trend of sharing articles without reading them stems from the influence of emotive headlines and an urge to show-off to the FB friends.
Though Facebook has made algorithmic changes to reduce click bait headlines, it enjoys the fruits of higher engagement caused by click baits offering a joy ride.
The key Takeaways from Click bait for the long form content pioneers can involve the following for a meaningful change.
Humans differ from robots in their ability to show emotions. Therefore any content creation that ignores readers’ emotions and instincts will not survive in the long run.
Making Things Easy
Unless and until the content is user-friendly, even if it is a masterpiece in an article format, people will not engage and stay out of the site. The Click bait’s ability to engage the readers is amazing and needs a thumbs up.
Irrespective of the quality or length of a post, if the headline is appealing, more readers can be attracted. The headline must tickle a reader’s mind despite optimizing for keywords. Click bait teaches that fine art.
Amazing Lists That Teach
Click bait lists of “7 great things or 10 things” are unique yet innocuous. But they deliver at the grassroots by raising an expectation to focus on the essentials and be judicious and sensitive.