AIDA is an acronym describing a consumer's stages of interest and his behavior when he is looking to fulfill his needs.
If your website can do that — fulfill his needs — he will most likely become your customer.
It is based on the principle that none of the steps can be skipped, they must happen in sequence. The time an individual needs to complete this process is irrelevant; important is that your website lets him do it without interruption and the least amount of friction possible.
If your website can successfully satisfy all 4 stages your site will most likely register a conversion.
The 4 stages of this process are:
First, you need to get the potential customer's ATTENTION. He needs to stop in his tracks and become aware of your offering.
The prospect arrived at your landing page because he conducted a search and your headline caught his eye. Or he clicked on a paid advertisement. Or through any other channel. Now keep his attention level high.
Make your offering as clear as possible and do not distract your visitor, instead guide him. Remove everything that might distract or annoy him, move all competing elements in the background. Don't yell at him with neon colors, blinking ads or huge fonts.
And whatever he came to your page for, give it to him instantly, don't make him wait.
Don't forget to tell your user who you are. Don't try to hide.
You successfully got his attention, and now you immediately must follow up with more information that keeps him focused and prevents him from clicking the back button. Understand your visitor.
On the Internet, you have 3 seconds: Research has proven that within these 3 seconds a user makes the decision whether your site is worth staying or if he has seen enough and is leaving.
Your design and your content decide if he stays or leaves.
Let's face it: We have all come across websites that were overloaded with blinking, screaming images, where the color scheme just didn't match, that had useless or missing navigation or structure, opened unrequested pop-ups, that were too much for the user to bear - sites that were a mess. At this point, the actual content (if available) doesn't even matter.
If you want to sell or provide professional services or products, your website needs to be professional as well. Under no circumstances allow it to look like an 8th-grader designed it as a school project. You simply cannot afford it. In the end you always get what you pay for (which doesn't necessarily mean that all expensive designs are automatically performing better: but first impressions count, and well... They just look better).
If the overall design appeals to the visitor and is centered around his needs, he decides if he is interested enough to shift his focus to the content: and again — the first impression of the actual text of the page decides if your page is worth staying; if he is interested enough to look at the product details or read the description.
The content of your page needs to be relevant to the headline or the ad that got his initial attention. This should be obvious, unfortunately it's not. Online marketers refer to those pages as landing pages, because your ad or a link from another site made the user land here (and in a certain way, he is an explorer: he has no idea what awaits him on your page).
And for your online business, just keep one simple piece of advice in mind: Every page is a landing page. You sometimes do not know how the user got to the page, so having optimized content on every single page is a key factor to your success.
Don't try to push your user or make unrealistic statements. Be clear. Keep him interested. Make it crystal clear what it is you are offering.
Remember, a user makes his decision within 3 seconds.
One you got his attention and kept him interested enough to explore further, you need to give him a reason to do what it is you want him to do. Make him want it.
The user is in control at any point, so you have to be as accommodating as possible. Think of it as a red-carpet treatment for everybody who happens to visit your page. Lay it all out for him. He will spend the most amount of time in this stage of the process, so you have to make it worth his while. All the reasons why he should buy the product, give you his email address, contact you for a quote should be right here.
A few ways to create this desire are:
Tell him how your product or your service will benefit him. E.g. "Receive the best offers via email every week". Tell him why he should get it from you and not somewhere else.
The final step. Get him to do what you want him to do. Buy the product. Request a quote. Sign up for our newsletter.
This is the point where you should reinforce the fragile trust structure with guarantees, secure site logos or privacy statements - or anything that once again underlines your trustworthiness and credibility.
It should be the easiest part, because at this point you have almost convinced him, and he has the increasing desire to close the deal, to get in contact with you or buy the product. DO NOT MAKE IT HARD!
Make your CALL TO ACTION as clear, as visible and as easy as possible. Don't aggravate your user.
Don't make your user waste another click. Don't spoil it all by shoving upsells in his face. You should have done that earlier.
Require only a minimal amount of work (work equals aggravation for the user) on his side, keep forms short (According to research, you lose up to 30% of your prospects per form field).
If your call to action says "call us now" display your phone number right there and don't make him search for it.
Don't hide your contact information where he cannot find it.
Don't make him fill out endless forms when all he wants is your monthly or weekly newsletter.
Implementing these steps properly requires planning, research, testing and time. You have to be very clear about your business goals and apply necessary actions accordingly to achieve the desired results.