What is ClickBait: When to Avoid It and Tips for Using It?

The emotional language used in clickbait is more likely to generate a click than the content itself. Headlines such as "You won't believe" or "Try this one simple trick" are designed to spark a reaction, but the content is rarely verifiable or informative.

Clickbait is a type of misleading content that is created for the sole purpose of generating page views. Sometimes, publishers use it to boost their website traffic and make more money from it.

The concept of clickbait is a marketing strategy that aims to attract attention and encourage users to click through. However, it is considered a poor marketing technique that dupes users into clicking on a link that is not relevant to them.

What is "ClickBait" in Digital Marketing?

Site visitors are encouraged to click on a bait link to read, watch, or listen to the video or audio. The use of emotional language in the links makes them highly shareable, and clickbait content is typically associated with sensationalized and misleading information. This type of content has a negative reputation, as it often includes fake news and misleading articles.

Clickbait content or post contains

  • A catchy or compelling headline

  • A strong appeal to emotion

  • Scannable content optimized for web reading

  • Witty copy

  • Content aimed at social media sharing

Although the concept of content marketing is commonly attributed to online platforms, it has been around in print media since the 19th century. During this period, newspapers were able to attract new readers by using headlines that caught their attention.

Is Clickbait Good or Bad?

Although clickbait is not always bad, it can be used for bad reasons. For instance, it can tempt users into clicking on a link without providing them with the necessary information. This can lead to a malicious or irrelevant website. In addition, if Google finds out that you use an exaggerated or misleading headline, your site might get penalized.

There are plenty of techniques that can help you create content that will draw readers to your website, but not all of them are SEO-friendly. Due to the various updates that Google has made, it now knows more about the content of your website. If it deems that your site's headings, titles, and URL are not relevant to its content, you might get penalized.

Why Does Clickbait Work?

There is often a stigma attached to clickbait, as it is often accused of being misleading. However, it is very versatile and can be used ethically. It works by capturing the curiosity and emotional response of the audience, similar to how people want to know what goes on in a movie set.

The concept of clickbait refers to the idea that people are seeking out more information after clicking on a link. Most of the time, this is achieved by making the reader think that they will learn something by clicking on a link. An article should also offer value, not just be misleading.

The success of clickbait is attributed to how people think. According to Psychology Today, the reason people tend to click on a link is that they want more. When we are presented with an interesting story, our brains release a chemical known as dopamine, which is a reward for doing something positive. The words in the clickbait headlines are designed to tempt us into clicking so that we can get a quick shot of dopamine.

When to Avoid?

Many marketers get caught up in the clickbait trap, which is a tool that can help or hinder their users, and it can get a bad reputation. It shouldn't be used as a switch or bait, and it shouldn't be exploited by journalists and marketers to drive views without any consideration for the audience's time investment. There are times when a company should stop using it and adopt a more strategic approach. Some situations where avoiding is better are −

When you don’t have the proper information

Although it’s tempting to use data that aligns with our values, we should always avoid using misleading information. If the truth does not align with our content, then our audience will lose trust. This is why it’s important to avoid clickbait. While it’s never a good idea to use false information, you should still avoid promoting it if you believe that it will provide you with a full answer.

Trying to drive sales

The use of clickbait as a sales pitch is not a good idea. It gives in to the audience's preconceived notions and makes it harder for them to make informed decisions. If you want to make sales, then you should be aiming for paid ads instead.

Tips to Use Clickbait in Digital Marketing

  • Don’t exploit the curiosity gap. Also, avoid sensationalist statements and fabrications.

  • Make sure that you deliver on the promises that you made to your customers. If they don’t trust you, they won’t continue engaging with you.

  • Use numbers in your headlines to represent the steps that people can take to reach their goals. These numbers can help readers digest the content and improve scannability.

  • While a headline may bring in some viewers, it’s not the only thing that matters when it comes to writing web content. Your overall content is what matters most.


One of the most effective ways to improve traffic to your website or content is through clickbait. It’s important to avoid misleading your users or promoting negative content in order to boost views. If you believe that your content will benefit them, then you should consider creating enticing titles. Despite the efforts of Google and social media to kill off clickbait, it is still alive. There are still many steps that go into developing effective clickbait.

Updated on: 23-Mar-2023


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