AIDA for your Website

You've successfully encouraged people to visit your website through a great creative marketing campaign. Now the test is whether your website is up to the challenge of converting attention into action.

Traditional sales and marketing leverages the four stages of the decision making process (commonly known as AIDA it stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) to move people from curious to customers all the time, yet many neglect AIDA when designing their website.

Tips for your website

Using AIDA we've come up with some thought provoking tips to help you improve the lead conversion capabilities of your website.

Attention [Ongoing scanning process]

  • Be mindful of the keywords you use for everything that makes up a web page in your website. Everything from the words in your copy, name of menu items, names of image files, the page title and any meta data is all meaningful to a search engine. So if by search engine is how most people are find you, consider what keywords are being indexed and what someone would expect to find based on searching using these keywords.
    If people can't find what they want on your website easily, they'll assume it doesn't exist.
    Tip: Use a tag cloud generator like Wordle to see the significant keywords on your web pages.
  • Be thoughtful with your use of text size, text colour and the use of colour on your website. Whatever your 'call to action' is for a particular web page, it must be the most obvious thing on the page. This means it needs to use the most attention grabbing colour(s), have easy to read text, so make it large, and have some clear whitespace around it so that it really stands out on the page.
    When you emphasise lots of things on a web page, they all appear to have the same importance, so they all have none.
    Tip: Open up your web page in a browser fullscreen, then get up and step four paces back from your monitor and check to see what's really grabbing your attention.
  • Work with your web designer to keep your website, blog and web pages lean so that it's quick to load in a web browser. Lean means that all the graphics and multimedia files have as small as possible file sizes, and the files that can't be size reduced are either preloaded or hosted on a fast serving specialist server.
    Waiting for forms to process, pages to load or a page redirection increases frustration which becomes a barrier to doing business.
    Tip: Use cloud services for hosting some of your content such as YouTube for videos and Flickr for photos or look online for specialist hosting services.

Interest [Split-second surge of focused intention]

  • When a visitor arrives on your web page from a search engine, they've already determined that you have something of interest to them. They may have typed into Google a few keywords and it found a web page of your website with the matching keywords and has displayed it as a result to the person searching.
    Regularly check your website metrics to keep on top of the keywords that are bringing people to your website and make sure you have answers that fit the types of questions the keywords imply.
    If the keywords bringing visitors are incorrect for your market, then get them out of your website and substitute in the right keywords for attracting the people you want.
    Make sure that the keywords that are bringing people to you are prominent in the web page so that the visitor knows they're in the right place and matches the reason they came in the first place - their interest.
    Tip: Set up a Google Webmaster Tools account to keep track of the search queries being used to get to your web pages.
  • By keeping your information or sales message tightly targeted to highly specific/niched topics you reduce the distraction and heighten the interest capturing capabilities of your web pages. The copy, design and any advertising on your web page must all tie together to one concept, which ideally is the benefit of following through on the page's 'call to action'.
    Context is what's important if you intend making a sale, so keep everything on the page closely related, especially any advertising you display because banner ads flash and contain lots of movement which easily distract and take away attention from where the real interest is.
    Tip: Invest in an Advertising Management tool such as OpenX to control the display of banner ads on your web pages.
  • Group information on your web page to make it easier for visitors to find an even closer match to their interest. Long pages of text have been heavily tested and evidence suggests that they work at getting a visitor to take action. You need to keep in mind the 'testing' part of the previous statement. When you test you get to see what works and what doesn't when it comes to the type of information and how you group that information for your visitors. Rather than gut feel, you gain an understanding of how real people appreciate your web page when you get intimately involved with indisputable results from testing.
    The way you group information on a web page is by giving it a title, having whitespace around it, putting it in a table of data, allocating it to a sub-menu, having it in a graph, on a video or simply by displaying it in a coloured box.
    Tip: Evaluate the structure and AIDA abilities of web pages using a supported test environment like Unbounce.

Desire [Research mode]

  • Anticipation is one component of Desire that encourages people to invest more of themselves in the sales experience. You create anticipation by holding back a key piece of information and hinting that more is available if they take a specific action. Basically you're revealing a little bit at a time, giving the visitor a glimpse of what the final piece could be and yet having them be uncertain of what the true outcome actually is.
    Tip: In the same way iTunes gives shoppers a small snippet of a song to listen to before they buy, give your visitors a limited experience of your product or service through trials and samples.
  • In a world where you can buy everything you want whenever you want, our sense of desire is often easily satisfied and so a sense of competition needs to be injected to create that missing sense of desire. This can be done by strict limiting by price (high prices make it affordable to fewer people), time (missing out on an opportunity is often disappointing, so to avoid disappointment people take action promptly) or number (being one of a few people who has one, creates a sense of pride and of being special).
    Tip: Place limits by price, time or number on opportunities to purchase or access to resources, such as information, people, training, support, bonuses etc.
  • People do business with people they like. Let people know they are valued and appreciated by helping them to feel liked, understood, knowledgeable and powerful. In this way you increase a visitors desire to do business with you rather than your rivals.
    Have testimonials, awards and trust symbols to make people feel safe - be honest, open and credible.
    Tip: Use 'real life' stories to communicate how you understand and solve problems for others.

Action [Interaction]

  • When it comes time to taking action, the easier you make the process for your visitor, the more likely it is they will successfully complete the transaction. If you were to asked to fill in two or three pages of form questions and then click a link in an email and then type in even more information before you could access an e-book there's a pretty strong chance that at some point along the way you'd give up. Make it as simple as possible for your visitors to take action.Tip: Keep the number of steps required to buy from you, sign-up to your list or download from your website down to a minimum.
  • Get rid of as many distractions as you can to help your visitors stay focused on taking action. Find alternative ways to provide information at the right time so that you don't need to use pop-up windows.
    Hide advertising and unnecessary menu options so there's no chance of being confused as to what to do next for your visitor. This is especially important during purchasing processes as many advertisers are now including buttons in the design of their banner ads and these in particular cause lots of problems.
    You want your visitors to feel relaxed and in control of their own actions, so remove anything that could make them doubt their decision, put them under stress, frustrate or annoy them.
    Tip: Evaluate your 'call to action' processes step-by-step to see what you can remove from the process, page or email without compromising the transaction.

By getting back to Sales and Marketing basics with AIDA you'll transform your website into an active lead converter.

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