When creating headlines for articles online, you’ll often see many headlines rely on click-baiting tactics. Essentially, these headlines are designed to tease someone to click on a headline without knowing what the article is actually about. This tactic has many usefulnesses, but it can cause trouble for websites that want to keep their content respectable to the audience.
A good example of click-baiting can be seen on sites like BuzzFeed or sites that can be seen trying to get people to look at a certain link. For example, you’ll be shown a quote from the article that’s taken out of context. Similarly, people can use their headlines to say things like “You’ll never believe what this person says next.” For some people, just this level of teasing is enough to get people to stop what they’re doing to read the article.
Depending on the type of site you’re running, using click-bait can have a negative effect on the way people view your site. For example, it’s rare for physical entertainment on a site that relies much on the news to try to use click-bait headlines. It makes the article seem cheaper. If there were something in the article worth talking about, you wouldn’t waste it by placing it behind a click-bait headline.
Depending on where you are in the world, click-bait headlines may be more in vogue than they are in the U.S. For the most part, few very few websites will use click-bait for sites that are about the news. The news itself is important enough, so using a click-bait headlines insults your audience and the quality of the article.
For entertainment purposes, click-bait headlines make more sense for websites where the people don’t know what’s going on or what the article is about. During the past few weeks, there were several articles about the way certain filmmakers felt about the MCU movies. In these situations, it was fine to use a click-bait article because the audience knows what the article would be about. So a headline that says, “You won’t believe what “Blank” said about the MCU movies.”
In the end, it’s important to have a good understanding of your audience before you start using click-bait headlines wherever you can. Audiences that are here for a news article will be put off if they find that all of the important headlines they want to read are hidden behind some sort of questionable headlines. As the article grows in importance, it’s more important to stick with a traditional headline. For sites that have a more infotainment bent, a click-bait headline could be important and a great way to draw in new visitors. It’s important to keep both options available, but remember that good headlines should explain to visitors what they plan to achieve by reading this article.
For more news about the ways that click-baits can affect the people that read your site, take some time to think about why people come to your site and what kind of information they’ll find when they read the article.
For more information about getting the best news from a website you own, read this article on the different kinds of headlines you should consider when writing headlines for your own content.