Hello, Marketers! I come to you today with something on my mind. Something I’m sure you all have dealt with at some point or another. What is it you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: hate clicks.

That’s right, I’m going there. So I hope you’re sitting down, because I’m about to take you down a path you can’t come back from. Well, maybe I’m being a little dramatic here, but I’ve got your attention now, don’t I?

You might often be tasked with generating a high volume of clicks to your site. A feat that can sometimes seem quite daunting to the marketing/content team, but magically easy to another department. So what can you do in this situation? Some might suggest turning to clickbait to amass those clicks. You write an article so shockingly wrong people simply HAVE to click through to read on. Yet, you are doing something actually detrimental here- you are damaging your brand.

In today’s world, integrity and brand promise means absolutely everything to the general market. Trying to trick people into clicking through to your site will only leave them angry and with a negative view of your business. Yet, why do we still use this tactic?

We are told to capitalize on emotional response in our writing– and that isn’t inherently wrong either. You can definitely use emotion to make your content stronger and more relatable. However, when you incite hate or use factually incorrect information to shock people into clicking, you will inevitably push them in the wrong direction.

Now this brings me to my next point. In order to accurately judge the success of your content, you need to understand metrics and true KPIs. The easy answer is to look at click through rates (CTRs) and cost per clicks (CPCs) to deem whether or not the article did well. I’m here to tell you that CTR is a terrible metric of success.

Okay, now hold on. Don’t go grab your pitchforks just yet. Let me explain.

This might be an unpopular opinion, but this is quite possibly the least helpful KPI ever. All it does is say whether someone clicked through efficiently.

It does NOT tell you the following:

  • If that person is a quality member of your target market
  • If they immediately bounced from the site
  • If they actually consumed the content
  • If they are at all likely to convert
  • If they have a positive reaction to your content

Honestly, this list could go on and on and I might be getting a little ranty now, so I’ll stop here. The point I’m trying to make is that we cannot write content in the hopes of getting a simple click. Sure, we might succeed, but that won’t get us very far. At least not when it comes to generating actual business revenue.

Here’s what we should do:

  • Write content that inspires people
  • Write content that encourages a further action
  • Write content that leaves the reader with more information than questions

Now that I’ve laid it all out, how do you feel? If you’re anything like me, you might be a little inspired to go out and write some great, impactful content.