Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA) is a time-tested sales formula. We add a new second step — Safety — to AdWords-driven sales because the process puts a gap between the safe and familiar world of Google and the alien landscape of your site. Apply ASIDA to the search-driven landing page to map out an effective conversion strategy.
The attention stage occurs when the prospect clicks your ad, homing in on your promise and ignoring — for the time being — everyone else's. After a prospect clicks, your job is to turn that momentary hit of attention into genuine interest in what you have to say. And the precursor of interest is safety. As soon as visitors' internal “danger meter” spikes, they think of nothing but finding the Back button and returning to the comforting arms of Google.
You make your landing page safe mostly through design choices. On a well-designed page, your visitor doesn't consciously think, “Oh, I feel safe here,” any more than you walk into a building and think, “Oh, the air is okay to breathe here.” Only when the safety or the oxygen is missing does it rise to consciousness.
You can also make your visitors feel safe by spending some time thinking about their expectations. Daniel Gilbert points out in Stumbling on Happiness that human beings are always “nexting”: constructing assumptions about what is going ...