Effective commercial websites, just like any other kind of advertising, involve their audience in four events. Teach yourself to recognize these events and you’ll be on your way to successful web production; choose to not pay attention to them, and you may end up without converting your visitors into clients.
AIDA Model – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
Commonly attributed to American advertiser E. St. Elmo Lewis, AIDA is an acronym that describes a series of events that happen in effective advertising.
The four components of the AIDA model are:
- Attention: Attract the attention of the viewer.
- Interest: Cause the target audience to become interested.
- Desire: Present the information in a way that the audience’s tension(pain) of need (see Purchasing Tornado Matrix) is increased.
- Action: It hopefully evokes immediate action. The most obvious way to do this is to ask directly for the desired action.
Why is this model important in Internet Marketing?
Web strategies are in a way a complex form of advertising. Websites can’t really be cataloged as only advertising because they also are so much more because of their capabilities for interactivity, but its undeniable that they are effective advertising vehicles. As such, they should conform to effective methods of advertising – such as the AIDA model.
Advertising is a one way communication between a company and its audience that is intended to promote an idea, product or service. Websites are not strictly advertising because they commonly involve a two way communication. The company gives information and receives information from its audience. Not to mention that sometimes this two-way communication involves also monetary transactions that of course are far from what an advertising vehicle can do.
Also important to mention is that websites are not by default good lead attracting tools. You may be thinking: “How is it possible that a website is considered a great advertising vehicle, yet it is not good at attracting leads?” The answer is simple: Do you remember the old adage that says “build it and they’ll come,” not so much.
If you design a website without a clear way of attracting visitors to it, you won’t have any (except yourself of course.) And when paired with an effective strategy to attract the target audience, as advertising vehicles, websites are unparalleled.
No one can deny that a website can be the most impressive advertising vehicle ever invented. If compared to other advertising channels such as print media (newspaper ads), TV or radio spots, websites have incredible strengths compared to those including:
1. A global reach. A website can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world.
2. Incredibly small cost per impression. The hosting costs associated to presenting the information to the audience are relatively small.
3. Interactive nature. Rich Multimedia allows video, audio and text to present a rich message. The user can click, touch and much more, directly with the media creating an experience – valuable in itself.
4. Social exchanges. The medium allows for the user to not only consume the information but also to share personal information in a semi-anonymous way that promotes collaboration and sharing of opinions and ideas.
When business owners have defined what they are all about, they now need to find a proper way to share and “sell” that idea. This proper way is the AIDA model. The AIDA model on the web takes place at different levels of the interaction. One important level is in Search Engine Optimization. Search engines account for a large majority of the traffic to all websites – and this traffic happens when the audience is searching for a particular key phrase. They are then presented with search results, ranked in order of what the Search Engine considers most relevant to the searcher’s key phrase. There are many reasons for searchers to select a particular result, some of the reasons are well known. Among them is the fact that ranking is critical. People tend to click more on the first results and less on the later ones. Other less important aspects include the specific phrasing of the Title and Description tags in the result. Although difficult to control, an attempt to provide a full implementation of the AIDA model is advised here.
Another level of the interaction is the actual page-level of the website. A person arrives at a page, such as the homepage, and it is presented with a message. This message ideally would conform to the AIDA model as well. In order to consider a homepage effective, you should have elements that call your audience’s attention, increase their interest, make them desire it and of course gives them an invitation to take action. Ideally the action can even take place within the same page. Perhaps the action is to fill out a form or get in touch. This are usually through the use of web forms but they could be even more integrated to the offline business as for example it could be through a script that initiates a phone call to the business, and to the client (the website visitor) and then connects both calls.
The most important aspect of the AIDA model when implemented in websites is that the call to action can actually become a true immediate action. People when they watch a TV commercial they are invited to take action by for example picking up the phone and calling. Which means interrupting the interaction to initiate the action. In the case of a website, the invitation to take action can evolve into the action itself – making it easier for clients to still be engaged and increasing the chances of interacting with the potential audience.