Why Clickbait Works

Why Clickbait Works

Are you curious about why you click on some strange ads all the time? “Clickbait,” by definition, is an ad format prepared by using hypertext and thumbnail links to attract attention to a website to get clicks, to direct the content to read and view. Content clickbait, while doing this, increases clicks with images and titles but does not give us the desired information. In general, news websites use it more to make it sensational. The aim is that the content on news sites is informative enough to make the reader curious but not enough to put you out of misery before you click the link content. If you are also curious about how and why clickbait works, let us start.

How Clickbait Works

Each click and view of the source article results in ad-based revenue for the post. The more clicks an article gets, the more revenue it gets. Therefore, clickbait attracts a large readership and rarely uses instructions and research resources. A few clickbait articles use numerous images or videos placed over several pages to increase more user clicks. Each page with clickbait content contains multiple ads.

We cannot see clickbait as only content titles. It is quite possible that it will appear as a video. We can say that the best example of this is the videos on YouTube. The main reason for clicking on the content is the titles and the prominent image known as the thumbnail in the intriguing short videos shown to us. Although clickbait may seem like a negative thing, it is actually a concept that has benefits.

Photo galleries contain many related or unrelated photos. The first 2-3 photos are a bit more mediocre after the best ones, but the photo with the information on the headline is among the last three photos. These photographs are usually either manipulation or non-important optical illusions. Or you enter the photo gallery of the news that “Something has happened to Rihanna” in a piece of tabloid news, and at the end, you may come across the conclusion that a fan asked her for an autographed photo and Rihanna did not have any photos with her.

advantages of clickbait

Advantages of Clickbait

In order to be different from the competitors, it is very important to produce balanced, different, innovative, and impressive content. When you present a natural and original article with real information, an interesting and intriguing title, there is no reason why the reader should not read or watch this content. Thanks to original content, you can increase traffic and increase your brand awareness in this way. While writing quality content, the quality of your videos will increase the click-through rate. In this way, clickbait works, and companies will have an advantage. The advantages are as follows;

  • The reputation of the brand that makes clickbait will increase.
  • The awareness of your website or channel will increase.
  • When you write real and correct content, the feeling of trust in the person or website will increase.
  • An unbiased content will retain the existing audience.
  • Confidence and clicks on ads will increase.
  • The stay of the reader and the customer on the website will increase accordingly.

Disadvantages of Clickbait 

Attracting visitors to the site with the clickbait method may harm brand awareness. Of course, the negative impact of brand awareness is the worst possible possibility for a company. Although the number of visitors coming in a short time with the Clickbait method will increase, it may also decrease in the long run. This is at a level that can be harmful to the clickbait application for those who are considering long-term transactions.

The clickbait method is a method that may have harmful effects in terms of user experience. In this method, users who enter the website may not log in again, knowing that the website applies clickbait. Users who have entered the website before and seen such titles will skip the same titles. Due to deceptive headlines, users may initiate a smear campaign about the website. This is harmful to the website.

With the clickbait method, the reliability of the brand or website may corrupt. The number of users who regularly follow that site or brand will decrease.

Site visitors or video viewers can make negative comments about that site or video. This constitutes a negative situation for the number of views on the site or video. The frequent use of the clickbait method makes users realize this. This may mean that they will not click on the titles at all. For this reason, we recommend using this method at reasonable levels.

where to use clickbait

Where to Use Clickbait

You can use clickbait on various platforms. The clickbait can appear on Facebook ads, influencer marketing, or other social media sites, or websites with a lot of content. Let us see how clickbait works on these platforms.


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Clickbait is a method that you can apply to video apps such as YouTube. First, you need to choose a catchy video title. After the video title, you should prepare an interesting and remarkable visual in the same way. You will use this image in the thumbnail portion of the video. However, if the title and small image used are of a type that is not in relation to the content, we can say that clickbait is in question here. On the other hand, videos that contain relevant content may be useful and have the potential to increase the number of views of the content video.

News Websites

There are many platforms where we can see content clickbait; in fact, companies use it to increase their marketing strategies and sales. We have explained that the clickbait application has titles that do not reflect the content in its real form. Thanks to this misdirection, it attracts users to the site, and the website gains clicks. For example, on a news website, “Is the famous actor dead?” There is clickbait if there is a news and there is no such thing in its content. Of course, there is no rule that every news headline will be clickbait. Although there are news sites that completely reflect the truth, sometimes there are situations where you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Social Media Platforms

The clickbait application is also a method used on social media platforms. The main purpose is to provide more interaction. All the negative situations that apply to the clickbait application are also valid here, and with the increasing use of social media, the use of the clickbait application is also increasing.

Conclusion on Why Clickbait Works

In our article above, we have mentioned how and why clickbait works. When you use it wisely and moderately, clickbait can be a successful marketing tool, but you need to be careful. By definition, “clickbait” is content that deliberately promises more than it presents to lure users to a specific website. Clickbait entices users with an instant, sensational headline such as “you will not believe” or “you will never guess what will happen now,” but then fails to meet the user’s implicit expectations. Used consistently and creatively, it can generate positive traffic that can ultimately strengthen your online presence. This increased profile comes with a number of indirect benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Clickbait does not harm if it does not redirect to a website with dangerous content. However, this method, especially used by news sites, sometimes may not be morally appropriate and may cause the website visitor to be deceived.

Clickbait leverages behavioral science. While we assume that we are highly objective and perceptive creatures, the reality is that we are very emotional. Clickbait writers are aware of this, and that is why they create clickbait titles that attract our emotions. Aside from emotions, clickbait also takes advantage of our curiosity.

No, clickbait does not necessarily have to be bad. If you have a solid product that can be beneficial to the customers, getting users to click on your website using clickbait is not a bad thing. 

The SEO title and content complement each other as a question and answer. Creativity and information are available with no unnecessary exaggeration. A concise narrative is preferable without confusion. Call-to-action statements are not to deceive, but because the content really meets those statements. Clickbait may also have these qualities, but not necessarily.

You can often recognize clickbait through a scandalous headline or image, but it is not always that easy. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between clickbait and a valid title. There are some frequent elements used in clickbait content, like unclear titles and creative images. Clickbait also uses shock and anger numbered lists to get your attention. If the title is telling you how to perceive instead of letting you react on your own, it is most likely clickbait.

Cem Erdinç Yılmaz

Posts: 82

After graduating from the Language and Literature Department, I have used my advanced skills to edit, proofread and translate. I also enjoy writing short stories in my spare time. Now, with the rise of digital marketing, I utilize my skills to write blog posts on the latest topics.


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