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The Awareness Ladder and Your Business: How Proper Web Design can Convert


In the marketing world, the Awareness Ladder is defined as an approach that takes into consideration a user’s knowledge of your business, and compels them to convert by offering them a solution or service to what problem they need solved. Many businesses fail to take into account that the awareness ladder is not just dedicated to a single, ideal customer – but rather – it’s a process of knowing what level of awareness or knowledge a type of customer has, and how to convert them based on that information.

In web design, this strategy is often overlooked for a variety of reasons. Firstly, as mentioned above, many businesses may start out with a single customer or user persona that they wish to target. They may expend much energy and resources into getting in front of these audiences and demonstrating the solution that their services or products offer them. However, these audiences might not convert right away, or become customers at all. Without setting up measurable business goals, some businesses or brands may find themselves failing because they aren’t connecting with their audience.

The awareness ladder in web design is critically important because through effective design, compelling calls-to-action, you may take a web visitor from unaware, to engaged, to converted. Whether a conversion is a phone call to your business, an e-Newsletter signup, or a purchase, marketers and designers can bridge the gap by practicing user-centered thinking.

The Awareness Ladder

The concept originated in the late 1960’s by Eugene Schwartz, a legendary copywriter who had a sixth sense for human behavior. Based on five general levels of awareness, the ladder in marketing terms came to be the following:

  1. Unawareness – these are users who are unaware that they have a need for your product, service, or other values you bring to the market.
  2. Cause-aware, but not of you – these are users who have noted an interest in the issue, but aren’t aware of any businesses or solution providers. Including yourself.
  3. Brand Awareness – the point at which a user has become aware of a brand or company that provides solutions, but hasn’t considered whether it would be beneficial to them.
  4. Aware, but not convinced – these users have become aware of certain brands as being trustworthy and effective, but aren’t ready to make a purchase or support it.
  5. Supporter – supporters of your brand or product, and are prepared to become loyal and recurrent customers.

Each level of the awareness ladder presents unique opportunities to capture your visitor’s attention by creating a web strategy that will focus content and the right CTA’s in order to convert appropriately. For instance, users who are on level 3 visiting your site should be met with impactful messages in many forms including data, graphs, personal testimonials, video or other multimedia that will help convince them of your company’s value.

Just because you build a beautiful, state of the art website doesn’t mean that users will be able to find you, much less become your customers. In the same vein, simply because you showcase your products or services online doesn’t mean your customers will flock to you either. Your content, in line with inbound marketing, SEO and other forms of Internet marketing need to work together in a goal-based strategy in order to achieve conversions and ultimately, more revenue for your business.

If you would like to learn more about the awareness ladder, web design, internet marketing and how it can enhance your business, contact the team at Absolute Marketing Solutions today.

Alfred Goldberg

Co-founder and President of American Operations at Absolute Marketing Solutions. Alfred Goldberg has over 15 years of experience as a small business owner and is one of two individuals in Florida to hold the distinction of being a Mobile Marketing Association Certified Mobile Marketer.

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