What is the AIDA formula?

The AIDA formula is made up of the points Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, which in combination should lead to turning visitors into customers.

The AIDA model was developed in 1898 by the American marketing specialist Elmo Lewis. It describes the four phases that a potential customer goes through before making a purchase or taking a target action.

First, the potential customer’s attention is attracted, followed by actions that convert this attention into actual interest. Desire means the desire to own the product, which ideally leads to the decision to take action,  and in the end to the conversion.

This principle forms the basis for the development of many advertising strategies.

Advantages of the AIDA model

The 4 basic categories can easily be extended to break down the demands of the respective page, the product, the target groups addressed in a clear way. With the help of this reference system, it can be simpler for a website operator to understand the desired target groups and to align the site to their needs.

Disadvantages of the AIDA model

Nowadays, this very linear approach does not necessarily have to happen on a single page. Visitors may have already developed an awareness, and also an interest, from other media such as videos or podcasts – largely without the intervention of the webmaster.


The AIDA formula may be old, but it is certainly relevant. It should not be applied to all web offerings without consideration, but can be used as a strategic tool to help define target audiences for specific sites and develop an understanding of the customer journey.

In our SISTRIX article What does the optimal meta description look like? you will also find an analysis of a SERP snippet using the AIDA formula.

There is also the so-called AIDA Push Marketing, a further development of the approach, which was developed by critics who consider this model to be too outdated.

Steve Paine