But If clickbait titles are subject to so much disdain, why do marketers keep using them?
Why do bloggers keep using them? The truth is that they work. Here’s why.
Clickbait is an Old Practice
The term clickbait is relatively new, but the ideas behind it are not.
Journalists have long stressed the need to create headlines that draws a reader’s eyes to a story.
Think back to the days when newsstands and coin-operated newspaper vending machines were more common.
Newspapers needed front-page headlines that were sensationalized or otherwise attention-grabbing to
get people passing by to stop and buy the paper.
In the online context, your goal is to get browsers to stop and visit your website, your blog or your post.
You’re Playing a Zero-Sum Game
You can publish virtually infinite content, and so can everyone else. Your target audience only has so much time to read a small portion of it.
Unless you build a brand reputation so great that readers only go directly to you, you need a way to stand out in the flood of social media posts, search results and news aggregation sites. You need a little bit of secret sauce that tips the scales in your favor.
People Are Curious By Nature
Human nature is to be curious, and people can’t resist trying to close the gap between what they know and what they don’t.
Even if they were just passively browsing, they want to find out what happens next or hear what this expert had to say.
If your titles can grab readers’ attention and make them feel like there’s something interesting they don’t know, they’re almost guaranteed to click. And that click is a valuable resource.
One Word of Warning
If you do decide to use clickbait titles, you must deliver. There’s a difference between coming up with a crazy, relevant title that draws readers in to something they want to see and making up a deceptive title that tricks readers into visiting your page.
Facebook has seen a decrease in likes and an increase in reports when users feel tricked by a clickbait title. We can safely assume that this would have a similar effect on Steemit, regarding upvotes and flags. In addition to getting your site banned from social media, and ruining your personal credibility, fooling readers can also hurt your SEO metrics like your bounce rate.