Clickbait Crap Still Offers A Lesson


No matter how savvy you are in online browsing, chances are you will be a victim of clickbait two or three times a week. Clickbait is a term for web content that is designed to generate ad revenue for a site that is selling every click as an impression.

These tricks of the trade need to be carefully watched by ad agencies because it is a disservice to their clients whose digital ads are on a page with 20 others and the user either quickly goes through the pages (or clicks out of the site) and the ad is never viewed. However, one of their most common tricks can become an asset for anyone’s website – the gallery.

Galleries can take several forms, but are typically 10-30 photos with a brief caption that the user can quickly absorb in rapid succession. You’ve done it. With a great first image and tease headline (e.g. You won’t believe how these Hollywood stars have aged) you clicked and thrown into a giant bag of worms.

While I would never market a similar technique as a “gallery”, the opportunity to deliver content in a form more engaging than a long list of copy only is worthy of some creative thinking. Can you create an experience that encourages additional clicks with a photo and brief copy? How about the headline “View our top 10 selling items” or, “10 pitfalls of young investors”? Is there something about your products or services that can be tied to the user experience? Selling copiers? Why not deliver images such as the flatbed of a scanner with a quick flash to show why your copiers are better?

It’s like my dad always told me, being 10% better than the other guy can get you somewhere. Don’t be a baiter, but be better at making your site just a little bit better. Time spent on your site is important and by properly monitoring the behavior of those visiting your site through CRM or analytics software, you can make this lesson of value to you.


-Tony Treadway