When you’re doing anything SEO, one of the most important elements of your strategy is your titles and anchor text. In other words, the words and phrases you use to attract more eyeballs to your website.
Titles are important, but at what point does an exciting headline become clickbait?
The word clickbait has a negative connotation. It is associated with appealing-looking content that doesn’t make good on the promises made in the headline or description. In this post, we’ll be discussing the use of clickbait for link building and how you can use the technique in a more ethical way.
Clickbait: Right vs. Wrong
Clickbait is associated with content with the sheer purpose of creating revenue through increased traffic. One could argue that anyone with a website wants to drive traffic and make money — so there’s nothing wrong with that.
With that in mind, it’s important to know the difference between driving revenue and manipulating users into visiting your site. The latter option prioritizes clicks over quality and doesn’t bother to stay true to the facts.
The buzz-worthy clickbait headlines typically involve some unbelievable premise–i.e., “Child Stars Gone too Soon” (with a picture of someone who is alive and well), “How Eating Tomatoes Can Cure Cancer,” etc.
These sensational “articles” are why the term clickbait has a really bad reputation. Clickbait for link building doesn’t necessarily have to be this low-value thing — if you craft good headlines that lure people in, you’re still essentially using the clickbait principles.
Some Examples of Clickbait Done Right
- Super Surprising Ways You Can Use Tofu
- Google’s New Algorithm Just Decimated These 3 Websites
But again, link bait, like clickbait is completely subjective. So, you’ll have to be sure you’re speaking to your audience.
Why Do We Fall for Clickbait?
With clickbait, chances are, you’re aware of the manipulation at hand. But, time and time again, a ridiculous headline can grab your attention. Or the promise of something you know probably isn’t possible. Yet, somehow, whether its boredom or sheer curiosity, you can’t help yourself.
Clickbait vs. Linkbait
If we’re talking link building, there’s another term for this deception — link baiting. Instead of clickbait for link building, we’ll introduce you to the term, link baiting.
Linkbait is a piece of content that has been created to get webmasters or owners of influential sites to link to that article, blog, whatever, or share it on social media.
Like clickbait, linkbait can be subjective. Some people consider linking to a photo or another article link bait, while others don’t mind. That said, if you’re creating content with the primary goal of catching links, you probably won’t have much luck.
Make Sure the Headline’s Promise Matches the Content
Okay, we’ve already discussed the importance of a powerful headline. A headline that makes people click. But, all that falls by the wayside when you make promises that you don’t keep on the page.
Clickbait headlines that fail to deliver can do more than increase your bounce rate, they hurt your reputation, too. Creating clickbait headlines for link building only gives readers a reason not to trust your website.
So, whatever instant results you might see from your initial efforts — failing to operate with integrity can backfire.
Does the Content Offer a Benefit to the Reader?
Not only do your headlines and anchor text need to represent what you’re offering on the page, but the actual content needs to be good, too. The best way to use clickbait for link building is to create content that is reputable (and links to high authority sources) and is engaging.
Look toward sources like industry studies or expert takes on an issue that relates to the rest of your site. Adding layers of credibility will attract high-quality readers, some of whom may link to you down the road.
Aside from citing reputable sources, you still want to create content people feel compelled to share. Content isn’t limited to blog posts. Make a video, write an op-ed, use your unique voice. Regardless of what your content is about, it needs to build a connection. And when you connect with your audience, the links will slowly, but surely roll in.
In the end, clickbait, in some capacity is good for generating traffic. In the sense that, the “clickbait” you are using isn’t a trick. Snappy headlines are what attract customers to your site, after all–but, you’ll have to focus just as hard on keeping those eyeballs on the page.
For more about link building, buying, and more, check out backlinks.com.