Posted 18th June 2015 | By ExtraMile

While at university, I learnt a lot about strategies that can be applied to businesses and their marketing strategies. This blog aims to look at one of those models and how it can actually be applied when using online platforms.

What is the AIDA model?

The AIDA Model states that it takes four interactions with a company before the individual takes any action. On each interaction, the aim for the company is to build up that relationship. The final action can take different forms – donations, event sign-ups, bookings or purchases.

The basis of the 4-stage process is:

  • Attention – making the user aware of you
  • Interest – creating an interest in what you have to offer
  • Desire – the user has a desire to take action
  • Action – the visitor takes action and interacts with your company

While the AIDA model initially referred to the relationship between 2 parties – the company and the consumer, this has since developed due to the expansion of information available online, particularly via social media platforms. Your interaction might involve reading a tweet from a current customer, for example.


How to attract attention on Google

Where to start? Recent research, conducted by Adrian Durow (2014) used eye-tracking hardware to investigate which elements of a search listing get the most attention. This research resulted in some important findings:

  • Domain names are more important than other elements in attracting the attention of consumers.
  • Prominent keywords in your search listing get more attention (put them at the beginning of your meta title and description rather than at the end).
  • The terms "Award Winning" and "World Class" were both effective in getting attention from the viewer.
  • Numbers in listing titles were also effective in getting attention from viewers.

This gives you an idea of how to attract attention on search engine results. But once they've clicked on your site, you've only got a short amount of time to make a good first impression – so how will you pique their interest?


How to write engaging content

It's important to consider why people are visiting your site, and provide them with the relevant content to keep them engaged:

  • Who is the target audience? If you're targeting a younger audience, you may wish to adapt your writing style than if you were to target an older audience.
  • What do they actually want to know? Consider whether the user is likely to actually read a long page on the company's history or whether a more useful page could take center stage on the website.
  • Are you being specific enough? General content that doesn't provide any value won't engage anyone.
  • Are you being helpful? Provide unique content and calls to action for additional help.

If your site is an e-commerce site, order your product information strategically, to improve the user experience. Initially, buyers are likely to be more interested in cost, colour, size and delivery options rather than care instructions.

Make your content easy-to-access and simple, or the user just won't stick around.

Don't bombard the user with too much information. A keyword strategy will enable your business to focus on particular keywords within the website, and will help the users work their way around your site.


Use your happy customers to sell for you!

Social media can be extremely effective in creating desire, since it can show readers the positive experiences that others have had with the product, through testimonials, user reviews and case studies. All of these will help in creating a desire in your audience. User-generated reviews tend to perform well, since prospective consumers can relate to the users, and therefore trust them.

If you are a looking to generate interest in your product/service, try offering users a free trial of the product/service, ask them to write a review, and let them keep the product after the trial has ended as a thank you.

Once your consumer desires the product or service, it is time for them to take action!


Make it hassle free and they'll come back

Last, but by no means least, the user will take action and sign up to the event, purchase the product, donate money, or take action in another way. It is important that this process is as hassle-free as possible. Use prominent and simple calls to action.

It is important to carefully consider what happens when a user responds to your call to action. If the user has made a payment or submitted a form, make sure they are aware that the payment or form has gone through successfully. It's best to do this actually within the website, with an email confirmation as additional confirmation. Emails can often get lost in spam filters and leave buyers concerned! If your call to action involves delivering a product, make sure you are clear about the charges and timescales associated with these products.

Once the user has completed the call to action, try to consider secondary call to actions- either asking the user to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, or to sign up to a newsletter. This is a way to maintain interest from the user, and so the cycle can start again!

Make sure you have contact details or FAQs on the website – this will give the user somewhere to turn if there is an error or an issue they need to contact you about. If you are offering a product in a competitive market, and a user has a query about the product, it is unlikely that the user will hang around to get an answer to their query- they would simply look elsewhere for a similar product.

So there you have it... a 4-step model for web marketing success! Take a look at your website content and think about whether it ticks the boxes.

Written by Emma Bourne, Business Coordinator at ExtraMile Communications.

At ExtraMile we try to take an hour out each week to look around us at what others do and to gain inspiration and to admire people's creativity. Each post in this series is one staff member's take on the world of web, design and things online. We hope you enjoy it.


About ExtraMile

A digital marketing agency with international capabilities