To put it in its simplest terms, a landing page is the page on your website a person visits after clicking an ad or after a search. Commonly in online marketing, landing pages can also be a stand-alone page, distinct from your website, with a singular focus or objective. But once you have that visitor, how do you convert them into a customer? There are only a few so-called “magic formulas” shared amongst marketers in regards to making a perfect and effective website landing page, with one of our favorites being the AIDA concept. Let’s dive into the AIDA method and how it can help you funnel your customers towards the goal of your choice.
The AIDA Concept
In marketing and advertising, AIDA is an acronym that describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with an effective advertisement. The individual words break down as such:
A – Attention, or Awareness; grabbing the attention of the customer.
I – Interest of the customer.
D – Desire; convincing customers that they want, need, and desire the product or service.
A – Action; leading customers towards taking a specific action and/or purchasing.
The AIDA concept is a proven method of how to target a market effectively; by moving from step to step, a certain percentage of prospects will be lost, but the remaining customers will be more likely to purchase whichever product or service you offer. From a historical perspective, the term and approach are commonly attributed to advertising and sales pioneer E. St. Elmo Lewis, who, in one of his publications on advertising, postulated at least three principles to which an advertisement should conform:
- To attract a reader
- To interest a reader
- To convince a reader
Since the early 1960s, AIDA has frequently been illustrated in the diagrammatic format of a funnel, indicating that a larger quantity of potential purchasers become aware, as a smaller subset becomes interested and so on; this is often referred to as a “purchase funnel,” “customer funnel,” “marketing funnel” or “sales funnel.”
We can’t stress enough that if you follow AIDA in your web page design or content copy, you WILL guide consumers along the experience funnel. Starting by grabbing their attention and moving on to keeping them engaged, curious or excited enough to keep reading. Then, the object is to build their interest in what you are offering to the point they start to RELATE this particular product, service or information to their own lives.
AIDA and Effective Landing Page Design
Okay, so let’s recap a little: Landing pages are a common element on the web and have a specific purpose, which is to encourage a user to take action. Usually, the action they’re after is for the user to buy a product, sign up to a service or share the page – fortunately, you can, through design, optimize a page to increase the chances of this happening.
AIDA principles are especially relevant to the design of landing pages, wherein marketing and web design typically meet online. Taking each letter of the AIDA acronym, and looking at how it applies to landing page design, is the way we’re going to break the following section down to make things a lot easier to digest.
If there’s anything you can take out of our inclusive, encompassing blogs it’s that visitors coming on to a site by way of search engines have very little patience and a very restricted attention span. From the time they click on your ad and hit your landing page, you have only three to five seconds to make a connection. If you don’t, they will “bounce” – meaning they will leave your site and most likely not return. But you will still have paid the price of a click for that visit, which only lasted a few seconds; thus, it’s important to focus on how to get their ATTENTION.
When potential customers of yours are surfing the Internet, they are in what we like to call “scanning mode” – so in order to grab their attention, you need to convince them that they have indeed come to the right place. That’s done by conveying as much relevant information in as little time as possible…and the way to execute this is by boasting a bold headline, preferably your “H1 tag,” which equates to:
- What they searched for
- The keyword in your AdWords ad group
- What’s in the headline of your ad copy
This tactic will mostly satisfy Google’s bot that is responsible for determining page quality score, which in turn determines what you end up paying per click. But it also sends a powerful message to the visitor that they are most likely on the right track.
Now, you need to generate INTEREST by conveying more information, but also keeping in mind that the visitor is still in the aforementioned “scan mode.” Use short statements, with a lot of open space, that deliver a bold, relevant message. Here’s how it works: A short, compelling statement or question is the main headline and is easy to read. Add a supporting statement beneath that, in a slightly smaller font size, to reinforce the visitor’s curiosity. If you’ve effective written this, he or she has gone from being a “visitor” to becoming a PROSPECT (yay!).
Your goal here shouldn’t be all hype; at this step, you need to further qualify the prospect and inform him or her as to what they can expect if they continue deeper into your website or decide to use your services. Show them that you identify with what their “pain points” are. What problem of theirs does your product or service solve? Why would they be better off if they choose you?
The ACTION, or actions, you present should be unique to your business and your product or service. Perhaps the ultimate action you’re looking for is to have the prospect pick up the phone and call you, or send a message using the form on your Contact page; in most cases, though, that’s too big of a leap for a visitor from search to take within 30 days…they simply wouldn’t be ready. You need to build more rapport or establish more credibility, and that’s why you should also present a wealth of information in the form of content marketing and blog posts which pull them further into your website and establishes greater credibility.
Having the prospect join your newsletter is a great way to provide them the content they want to see and to remind them you exist on a consistent basis. When a prospect consistently sees your brand (whether in the form of names, logos, flyers, emails, radio ads, etc) they are more likely to come to you when they require the services or products you provide. This has been the marketing strategy at Geico since the inception of the company. When you think car insurance, you think Geico, am I right? Point made.
Make it easier on yourself…
There are a few very important questions to consider when writing the copy for your landing page– that when having clear answers to, will make this whole process a lot easier:
What is Your Goal?
In a perfect world, what would visitors do upon reaching your page? Would they purchase an item? Fill out a form? Sign up for a newsletter? Download an EBook? Rip apart their computer, shred their clothes, break out a guitar and start dancing to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll”? We know that last one’s a bit silly, but our point is this: The first step for any strategy is determining GOALS… you have to define conversions before you can track them.
Who am I Competing Against?
What this boils down to is three questions: Who are you competing against, how are they succeeding, and how can you copy their success? No matter how many centuries tend to pass, imitation is still the sincerest form of flattery– so if your competitors are doing something that works, follow in their footsteps with your own unique flair.
Who is my Audience?
Better yet, what are their hopes, dreams and aspirations? As clichéd as that may sound, it’s true to some degree – you see, the better you understand your audience, the more you can cater to their wants and needs. Unless you’re aware of who your ideal customers are, it will be nearly impossible to write persuasive copy in the voice of the customer – so get in your audience’s head.
How Do I Want Them to Get to my Landing Page?
Will they be coming from Google, Twitter or Facebook? Here’s something to keep in mind: Businesses with 30 or more landing pages generate seven times more leads than those with only a handful, so there’s no denying their value. Your messaging can also change depending on where your customers are coming from; a different message may be appropriate for visitors arriving on your page via Google as compared to those arriving from Facebook.
Using the AIDA method on your website is a process that takes considerable time and testing, but here’s what you should take away from this overview: When it comes to visitors from search engines, you need to assume they know nothing about you, your product, or your business. These visitors do not read web pages, they scan them, so you need a way to quickly capture their attention and then pull them through a process that causes them to take the actions you want… and how you can accomplish that is encapsulated in this method known as AIDA.