Summary – The AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action) Model is a sales and marketing tool that has been used for many years as an acquisition funnel. Maximizing each stage is the key to achieve good website conversion rates since misalignments on the message throughout the conversion funnel lead to disconnections with the user intent. Today, you will grasp a better understanding of how well funnel optimization can take your website conversion rates to the next level. The rules for each of the stages and how they apply to your website will be dissected throughout each section of this article. Did you miss our free webinar “Mastering the Top of the Funnel”?

Table of content:

        1. Awareness
        2. Interest
        3. Desire
        4. Action
AIDA Model - Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action

A sure-fire way to trace your customers’ journey through every successful purchase is by using the AIDA model. Also more commonly known as a sales or acquisition funnel, maximizing each stage is the key to achieve website conversions. To help you better understand the AIDA model, we will cover each of the stages to ensure success and hopefully, get you started on your process to funnel optimization and all its rewards.:

Funnel Optimization Using the AIDA Model

The AIDA Model stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. Sometimes you may see the Awareness stage referenced as the Attention stage, they are one in the same.  The AIDA Model is one of the most classic marketing models used by marketers, given its measurable success in creating a path towards the visitors desired purchase.

Learn to use the advantages of the AIDA Model

Funnel Optimization - Stages of the AIDA Model

The basics and the measurements of each
stage of the AIDA model 

Let’s take a closer look at how the AIDA model can help you progress in funnel optimization and deliver you website conversion results.


Awareness Stage

The first stage of the funnel is Awareness wherein you have the largest number of visitors to work with. During this stage, the visitors are already aware of the solution they’re looking for to satisfy a need. Your job is to familiarize the visitor with the value you have to offer. So how do you make sure that the acquisition funnel is as leak-free as possible?

Rules for the Awareness Stage

  • Website browsing shouldn’t be a quest to find hidden CTAs – If a visitor can’t find something on the website quickly enough, it does not exist for that visitor.
  • Moderation is key – If you try to put the emphasis on too many qualities of your business, everything loses importance.
  • Delays are a big NO – Any delay in loading pages or returning search results causes frustration and makes the website lose credibility which Google is now penalizing for in their search results. To have a better understanding of Funnel Optimization, the following article is a good read.

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Dos of the Awareness Stage

  • Keep it simple and direct. Stop overwhelming your visitors with too much information that comes too soon.
  • Keep the choices to a minimum. You need to help visitors solve a problem, not add to their problem by giving them so many options they are left confused.
  • Prioritize and improve your website’s user experience. Ensure that your website leaves no room for confusion.

Don’ts of the Awareness Stage:

  • Rotating Banner ads – These distract visitors and cause more harm than good. In the critical, initial moments of awareness, distractions must be kept at bay.
  • Entry popups – These may ruin the website experience to a great extent. If you must have pop-ups, let them appear when the visitor is about to leave.
  • Cluttered homepages – Test, remove and test again until your pages are only left with clear, uncluttered webpages.

Once you only have standout features, there’s a higher chance for your visitors to move through the next stage of the funnel.

Remember that testing and making changes are all a part of funnel optimization.


Interest Stage

The Interest Stage is the perfect chance for you to interact with your potential customers by helping them navigate the website and explore all their options.

Rules for the Interest Stage:

  • Understand who the customer is. Help them with role-based navigation at this stage so they will continue forward.
  • Understand what the customer is trying to do. Identify their need for specific task completion and help them with task-based navigation to help them get closer to finding the solution they are looking for.
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Desire Stage

Now the third stage of the funnel, The Desire Stage is where the visitor is already determined on what it is they need or desire. They’re now almost ready to finalize their purchase. As a marketer, you’ll want to make sure that they stay with you until the end of the funnel. For true funnel optimization, it is important to consistently keep customers through the beginning of the Funnel. If you don’t get the conversions wanted, you may want to make changes to your Funnel optimization process.

To pull this off, remember that visitors in this stage will want to compare features, check for reliability, and assess the pricing to ensure that they’re proceeding with the right purchase.

Activities typical at the Desire Stage are:

  • Researching
  • Comparing features and pricing
  • Getting in-depth detailed information
  • Customization (if applicable)

Rules for the Desire Stage:

  • Make the research worthwhile. Always provide them easy-to-scan, good quality content. Eliminate frustration by giving them options if they reach a dead end. Don’t let the desire fizzle out.
  • Make them feel welcomed. Make the visitor feel appreciated for using your website. Ensure that they feel safe by giving them plenty of trust cues and being transparent in the information offered.
  • Personalize the experience. Let visitors feel in control when they are browsing or taking any other action on the website. Place helpful guides and customer service options in case they need any assistance.


Action Stage

Here’s the important, final level – The Action Stage. This is where all your marketing efforts should finally pay off. The customer is ready to complete their purchase! They’ve got the specific product on their mind and where they’re going to buy it. All that’s left to do is enter their payment details.

At this stage, the number one question in the visitor’s mind is, “Why should I buy from your website?” If you can answer this question to the visitor’s satisfaction, you have a successful sales funnel.

Rules for the Action Stage

  • Don’t distract your customers while they’re completing their purchase. Don’t get in the customer’s way when they are moving towards conversion. Stand back and let them finish. This is not the time to cross-sell, to ask for feedback, or to have them fill out surveys.
  • Make the process as easy and user-friendly as you possibly can. This means no mandatory sign-ups, no complicated check-outs, and do not let them search for what to do next.
  • No surprises at the last minute! Don’t spring hidden costs, shipping charges, or minimum order value requirements on the customer just when they are about to enter their payment information. Instead, make sure the customers have a complete idea of what the purchase will cost them BEFORE they proceed to the payment screen.

Remember at each stage, the number of visitors is going to be reduced. You cannot do much about that fact. That’s the reason it’s called a sales funnel and not a sales barrel. The output is going to be less than the input.

Learn the Best Practices

User's Decision Process


So how do you win using the AIDA Model?

  • By ensuring a good input – Traffic is still key for you to be able to work on a good number of visitors during the funnel. A high number of people at the top of the funnel is the key.
  • By minimizing losses at each stage – Different traffic with various goals will also require you to use the sales funnels for each. Design your funnels by first mapping a visitor’s journey from the first point of contact all the way through the conversion.

Each stage of the AIDA model requires different approaches to fully maximize the retention of your visitors. Website conversion is a tricky, yet highly fulfilling process once you establish the effective strategies we discussed in this article. Remember that Funnel optimization requires both attention and testing to remain leak-free over time. Which part of the AIDA model do you need to work on for your website today?

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