Have you heard about click baiting?
If not, here it is in a nutshell: Click baiting is effectively using content to get people to click and read. Now of course the objective of anything you write should be to get read, but with click bait this is taken to the extreme. Often click bait involves using sensationalist and extravagant titles to try and get people to click and this is something you will likely have seen on Facebook. We don't see that as much on LinkedIn (well, maybe in my headline above).
Here are two examples of ‘click bait' titles:
You'll Never Guess What Happens Next in This Video – But it Will Change You Forever!
10 Tips That Will Help You Double Your Profits in 2015 – Number 7 Will Blow Your Mind!
In both these cases, the titles are designed to pique the curiosity of the person reading them. In the first example, you literally have no idea what the article/video is about until you click the link – you just have the assurance that it's going to be life changing. In the second article you have a fairly generic list but the fact that ‘number 7' will blow your mind once again gets you interested in learning what number seven might in fact be.
Should You Use These Techniques?
So that's click bait in a nutshell… but should you use it?
The answer is no: while these articles might get a high CTR, they also likely have high bounce rates. Clicking on an article without knowing precisely what it is you're going to be reading is frustrating for the visitor and if something amazing is promised and not delivered then this can create ill-will. If your hope is to get long-term visitors or to convert visitors into customers then this technique is only likely to drive people away.
But there is something to be said for understanding the psychology of what makes people click. You can still create content that sounds highly clickable and sharable – you just have to make sure that what you're actually offering can back up what you're claiming.
The real point is to stop thinking about how you can get more clicks and to instead think about how you can get more targeted clicks and then keep those people on your page.
Here's an option for you if you'd like help creating great titles and headlines without click baiting…