3 Reasons I Hate Clickbaiting That Will (or Will Not) Shock You!

1. Blatant Lies! It all started on a cool sunny Sunday in San Diego when the New England Patriots had just been eliminated from the playoffs and life was seemingly good. I figured I’d revel in the playoff defeat of my AFC divisional foes (Let’s Go JETS) by perusing through ESPN’s vast library of postgame coverage and analysis. Suddenly, it appeared at the bottom of my screen. The headline read, “10 Celebs Whose Kids Became Celebs Too.” Such a spammy and enticing headline that no mere mortal could resist. Who in their right mind would click that link? I did. Maybe it was the picture of Michael B. Jordan next to basketball great and living legend, Michael Jordan. I felt the red-faced prickly feeling of ignoring the obvious. I mean, I’ve worn Air Jordan’s, watched The Wire, and most recently watched Creed. Shouldn’t this be a bit more blatant? Had I missed the connection after all these years? I quickly opened the article and scrolled through to find the matching image, but there was no section linking the two Jordans. I tore through the article to see if I had missed anything. I quickly Googled both celebrities out of frustration to verify the connection.  It turns out, Michael B. Jordan is the son of Michael Jordan. According to Wikipedia, Michael B. Jordan is the son of Michael Jordan… the caterer! And it was at this moment, I hated the art of clickbaiting. I felt foolish, hoodwinked, and bamboozled! 2. Bad First Impressions! Why was I so upset over a single piece of content which didn’t meet my expectations? Was it because the content was simplistic and basic? No, it was more than bad content. To put it plainly, I was lied to by a deceptive image, which didn’t match examples in the article. In other words, I was upset because I was lied to. As an SEO, I was horrified by the misleading title. We are taught to create content with a purpose. Whether it’s a guest post or onsite blog, good SEO creates relevant content that matches user intent.  Often times, in the case of clickbaiting, the content doesn’t deliver or simply isn’t good. Now think about businesses using this type of content delivery system. Is this the first interaction you’d like to have with a customer? According to Henry Ellis of EConsultancy, “sites like Buzzfeed isn’t to sell you a product or service, to push an opinion or a view. Their purpose is to generate page views, which in turn generates ad revenue.” With that said, the intent of clickbaiters isn’t to develop relationships, but to garner social engagement at all costs. For smaller businesses emulating a larger clickbait content company like Buzzfeed, you risk driving business away by providing time-wasting content.   3. Padding The Stats! In the age of digital marketing, content is king (sometimes). Whether it’s a blog post or news article, we devour and share content amongst friends, family, and acquaintances. With Google Panda recently being included in Google’s core algorithm update, content marketing is and has been an essential strategy for online marketers and businesses.  As impressions and clicks grow, marketers use quantitative data to determine a piece of content’s ROI, which also determines the value of placements and clicks. Why does this matter? Companies like Buzzfeed make profit from clicks. Competitors are constantly pumping out subpar content, which creates a need for quick disposable content created with the sole intent of the social share. According to the Atlantic, what we see is “the repetitiveness of its style suggests a rather cynical ploy to lasso cheap attention rather than fully engage an audience hunting anything more than a dopamine rush.” So it’s all about the money. Cheap content and a high click-through-rate are two factors that can raise bounce rates and drive away traffic. With the larger content companies garnering so many social views, it may seem like a great idea to click bait. Remember, with different business models come different goals. So that clickbait piece you put together may do more harm than good!

The Top 8 Digital Marketing Posts of the Week

It may have been a short week with the Memorial Day holiday, but the search engine marketing world was as busy as ever. We have combed through many of the industry’s top blogs and put together a list of the top blogs and articles of the week. Without further ado… 1. 3 Crazy PPC CRO Hacks To Boost Conversion Rates Right Now Search Engine Land consistently delivers industry news and updates, as well as fantastic posts for leaders in SEO, Social Media, Paid Search, and other aspects of digital marketing. In this post, Larry Kim dives into making the most of your PPC campaign. Hint: it’s not bidding to have the top position. 2. 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report Social Media Examiner released its 2015 Industry Report this week, and it goes hand in hand with another post from them this week – Social Media Marketing Trends Gaining Traction in 2015: New Research. I’ll ruin the surprise for you: social media is still here to stay; it’s more powerful and more important than ever. Having an effective social strategy in place will pay off in big ways. 3. Four Mobile Dos and Don’ts for SMBs Mobile has been a hot topic in recent years, especially since “Mobile-geddon” in April. Kelly Wrather breaks it down with two dos and two don’ts. “Don’t Be Afraid of Change” is a nice lead in to the next post from Conversion XL, and “Do Put an Emphasis on Quality Content” is a short version to the following post. 4. A Look at Domain Strategy for Businesses with Multiple Store Locations Another do for businesses with multiple locations is to consolidate marketing efforts with a single domain. Link building, content, branding, everything is done best when you focus in on one domain. We still see companies trying to leverage several domains and usually with little success. Our own Dylan Vergurgt breaks it down for you. 5. Why You Should Test on Mobile and Desktop Separately More than ever, users access sites and get to know brands on mobile devices. Conversion rates – ecommerce in particular – don’t match up to desktop users though. ConversionXL breaks down why and how to test differently for the mobile and desktop versions of your site. 6. Why You Need to Start Creating Long, Evergreen Content Today Mobile has had all the attention lately, but Panda is just as relevant as ever. Whether on mobile or desktop, users – especially millennials – are eating up quality content. Visual aids, especially infographics, get a lot of love, but Julia McCoy explains why long, evergreen content is your best friend. 7. 10 Tips for Keeping Your WordPress Site Secure Another hot topic in recent years has been cyber security. Whether it’s protecting your credit card information (*cough* Target *cough) or your website, taking precautionary measures is undeniably important. WordPress is an extremely popular and user-friendly CMS, so Greg Secrist lends a hand with his top tips to your site secure. 8. Is Brand a Google Ranking Factor? – Whiteboard Friday No weekly roundup of search engine marketing blogs would be complete without a WBF from Moz. Rand delivers once again and tackles a tough question. He explores how brand does or does not play into site rankings and overall digital marketing. Give it a watch.   So, there you have it: my top 8 search engine marketing blogs of the week. What would you add to the list?

The 9 Most Shared SEO Articles of 2014

Another year is in the books, and what a year it’s been! It has been a roller coaster ride for the industry with search algorithm updates, content marketing kicking link building to the curb, and Matt Cutts taking a leave of absence but not before taking down multiple link rings. Here at SEOhaus, our company has grown significantly as we have added more talent to the team and evolved into BrightHaus. As internet marketers gear up for 2015 and eagerly await the newest trends and predictions for the New Year, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the most shared industry articles of 2014. Search Engine Land It’s Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results With over 15,000 shares on social networks, this was by far Search Engine Land’s hottest article in 2014. A long-time lovechild of many SEOs and bloggers, the Authorship death sentence sent many marketers into mourning. In late summer, it was finally time to let go. Thank you, Search Engine Land, for being the friend willing to tell us it was over, and Authorship was not going to come back. Google Releases Penguin 3.0 — First Penguin Update In Over A Year Oh, Penguin. The ice-cold algorithm filter isn’t nearly as welcome as Happy Feet. The bane of many webmasters, Penguin 3.0 was received with mixed feelings. This article was shared over 10,200 times as news of a new Penguin in town spread. Many webmasters eagerly awaited improvements as a result of link removal efforts, while others hoped they would escape the wrath of our flightless friend. Google Begins Rolling Out Panda 4.0 Now Knowing how the industry reacts to algorithm changes, it’s no surprise to see the Panda announcement from May come in third place with nearly 9,200 shares. This was certainly one of the most talked about headlines of the year as it has been over year since the previous Panda update. Similar to Penguin, changes with Panda are always polarizing. Moz 10 Smart Tips to Leverage Google+ for Increased Web Traffic Cyrus Shepard takes home the top prize in 2014 with his Google+ tips garnering over 7,200 social shares. Posted in April, many of his tips are still relevant and helpful today. The core Google+ has not changed in recent months, and this is still a great article to reference when building your presence on the social network. Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird Search Engine Land gives us the breaking news on changes in search, and Moz contributors promptly fill us in on how to navigate those changes. Although there have been some algorithm changes in recent months, this is still a great resource to refer to and keep in your back pocket. Marie did a great job of bringing problems into light and offering solutions. The Most Entertaining Guide to Landing Page Optimization You’ll Ever Read We all love a good read, so why not have a chuckle while improving your craft? As far as measuring success goes, keyword rankings are a thing of the past. Even improved traffic metrics can make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but just about every campaign comes down to one thing – conversions. This is a great post, and if you haven’t made your way from top to bottom without skimming, I recommend giving it a go. SEOhaus The Importance Of Social Media In Marketing Not to be pigeon-holed as an SEO company, we began offering social media packages this year. Two of our Specialists – Dylan Taylor and Taylor Mak – fittingly burst onto the blog scene this month and received the most social shares. They’re the social pros, of course, so I remain suspect of them garnering so many shares. Regardless, it’s a great discussion of why social media is so crucial to your campaign’s success. Weekly roundup: Top 5 SEO trends and more I always love a good roundup, whether weekly or annual. Andy highlights some of the top articles of the week, all of which are still very solid resources several months later. Don’t have the time to stay on top of the top headlines every day? Just check in with us when you can to get your recap. Tracking Time: Eye-Opening Insights Into Productivity The third most shared blog post for us this year comes compliments of Richie. As our company continues to grow, we recognize that our team members and their strategies need to be at the forefront of the industry. To better hone our craft, we ran a little experiment here in the haus to identify pain points, time bottlenecks, and ultimately how to up our game. This is a really insightful piece about how we operate.   So there we have it: 2014 in a social nutshell. The top three articles from Search Engine Land all focused on changes made by Google, so it’s interesting to see the difference between a news source like SEL and industry favorite Moz, which has more editorial, evergreen content. Our own blog showed similar trends to Moz with a post about social media taking the top spot for both. If you are a webmaster, which of your posts garnered the most social attention or page views, and what were some of your favorite articles of 2014?