Say No To Clickbait: Advice from a Fort Lauderdale Business Owner

August 15, 2015

Discover why social media marketing should never involve fooling your audience

If I had a dollar every time I read a blog post with a sensationalist headline, I wouldn’t need to run my own business. Unfortunately, media credibility has become a fond, distant, wholesome memory for my generation, just like Elvis on vinyl and manhattan cocktails for generations before (excluding hipsters, I know).

As fun as it is to tell all those annoying headlines to “Get off my wall!” (yeah, back in my day, we called it a wall), sometimes you have to fight bad information with education. So I’m going to tell you a story about a REAL business located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that eliminated clickbait from their headlines, and saw their search rankings soar.

And after that, I’m going to tell you why it worked. Hold on to your seats, kids.

A local men’s lifestyle brand in Fort Lauderdale (no, we’re not going to tell you their name. That would be a breach of confidentiality. We don’t do that here!)...

Where was I?!

A local men’s lifestyle brand in Fort Lauderdale had recently started a campaign on Facebook to help draw attention to their exclusive line of men’s accessories and clothing. After a few months, with the help of a little social media advertising, they had over 2,000 followers on their Facebook page. The community was very involved - constantly liking pictures, sharing memes, and going to the website to check out the products.

Their social media pages achieved top ranks on Google, but they were still not ranking for some important terms like “Men’s jewelry Fort Lauderdale”, and it was clear that they were not getting the most out of their audience. My team informed them about Google’s latest updates, mobilegeddon, and the importance of creating share-able content, and encouraged the company to either invest in a small blog package with us, or to create them in-house and incorporate some new blogs on their website to boost their rankings. The company decided to hire an intern in hopes that she could share the load from some of their other work.

Their in-house social media marketing intern wanted to impress the owners and took a very typical modern approach - copying sites like Buzzfeed to create titles she hoped would get a ton of clicks. At first, it worked. Titles like “This man was forced to leave Macy’s due to his disability. You won’t believe what happens next!” were drawing in tons of clicks to the website. Unfortunately, the bait (and inevitable switch) of clickbait began to alienate their audience. The community they’d paid, cultivated, and converted stopped clicking and started adding sarcastic comments to new blog posts. Engagement went down as people stopped following their page.

It only took a few months for them to realize that the new strategy was not working. Not only was engagement down on blog posts, but the traffic brought into the website had actually caused their rank on Google to go DOWN. This was the opposite of what they’d hired her to do!

They asked us for a consultation to discover the root of the problem, and we were able to quickly evaluate the new strategy they had put into place. With a lack of original content direction outside of clickbait, once their fans became attuned to their new tactics, their bounce rate skyrocketed. Google’s latest algorithm changes take bounce rates into account, which is why content style and utility are incredibly important to boost your rankings. From an SEO standpoint, while they were increasing their traffic, they were not driving quality traffic, and therefore wound up bashing their credibility with Google.

We trained the company’s intern on producing the *right* content for the site, and also helped them bolster their efforts with some blogs, directory listings, press releases, and even got them an article on Wikipedia (which can do wonders for credibility and traffic).

Ok, so the SEO ramifications of clickbait are pretty apparent - but that still begs one big question:

Why does clickbait cause companies to lose their fans? Click here to discover why>>

Is your intern’s clickbait doing you wrong? Fill out the form below, or give us a quick call at (954) 261-5294 to discover how to tune into your audience, today!