Introduction to the Awareness Ladder

So far I’ve introduced you to several types of page you might find on a website.  Some are obvious and typically found on most websites, whilst others are often hidden and you find them according to how you enter the site and what you do while you’re there. Last time I wrote about how to assess your website needs and in this and future posts I’ll offer a few more guidelines.

I’m going to use a model for a website structure based on the awareness ladder.  I’m indebted to Ben Hunt for this approach although it is probably not his invention.

To build any website, you need to understand your market and their awareness of what you’re offering, whether it is a product, a service or a cause.  Broadly it works like this:

A frogStep 0 – I do not have a problem

People who are not aware they have a problem may still have it!  If you want to approach them you need to show them they have a problem.  So, the problem is a plague of frogs.  These people haven’t looked out of their window or else they don’t think a plague of frogs is a problem.

Step 1 – I have a problem and have no idea whether there is a solution to it

These people are experiencing a plague of frogs as a problem.  They may have a phobia about frogs, or fear treading on them but whatever it is they know they have a problem.

Step 2 – I know there are many possible solutions

These people have done some research and found a number of possible solutions.  They may arrive at your site as a part of their research.  They may have found frog poisons, frog food, brushes for sweeping them out of harm’s way,  frog recipes, fences to stop them getting onto their property …

Step 3 – I am aware of your solution

These people have read about your solution.  Frogs eat slugs and snails and so your solution is to keep them in a special frog pool with anti-cat and anti-heron devices.  However, this person is not persuaded your solution is the best!

Step 4 – Now I’m convinced this is the best solution

… because you’ve brought together all the evidence you can that your solution is the best.  You’ve shown that when a garden is a haven for frogs, all the slug and snail problems will be a thing of the past.

Step 5 – I’m willing to pay for your product, how do I do it?

Home and dry.  You have a customer for your patent frog pool formula!

These 6 stages could be a framework for your website.  So, what do you do next?  Any ideas?  Have a go by commenting if you can’t wait until next time!

Click to share this post!

About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

Leave a Reply 7 comments

The Awareness Ladder and Your Website - December 10, 2013 Reply

[…] time I introduced the awareness ladder and today I’ll show you how to use it to structure your […]

How to plan copy - April 29, 2014 Reply

[…] link and scroll down to find the first in the sequence) and you will also find my posts about the awareness ladder helpful. Today I shall discuss the purpose of copy and then on future Tuesdays offer some pointers […]

Five Elements for Your Marketing Campaign: Problem - Community Web Consultancy - May 11, 2016 Reply

[…] of using your solution. If you are interested in how this works in-depth, see my post about the awareness ladder. This shows how you need to start at the level of awareness of the customer and lead them to a […]

Hard Evidence - Community Web Consultancy - August 1, 2016 Reply

[…] best time to present evidence is at stage 4 on the awareness ladder, after you have introduced and explained your offer.  Evidence helps fill in gaps or answer the […]

Alternative Solutions to Your Market’s Problem - Community Web Consultancy - October 31, 2016 Reply

[…] solutions are an important step in your sales funnel or marketing campaign.  On the Awareness Ladder, rung 2 is awareness of solutions to your […]

Origin Stories for Products Services and Causes - Community Web Consultancy - July 21, 2017 Reply

[…] offer’s origin story may be an important part of your sales funnel.  On the awareness ladder, it is at step four, where you differentiate your product service or cause from other solutions in […]

Are Your Prospects Prepared to Take Action? - Community Web Consultancy - July 24, 2017 Reply

[…] on step 1 of the awareness ladder know they have a problem.  To move to step 2, they need to be aware of solutions to their […]

Leave a Reply: