Target a problem that matches with the visitor’s stage of awareness

Landing page optimization
Unlock the full potential of your landing page: target a problem that fits with the visitor’s stage of awareness.

Imagine you’ve spent hours preparing the most delicious, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef steak ever.

It’s the perfect shade of pink, juicy and tender, and you can’t wait to share it with your friends. But here’s the sad part - about 70% of your friends are vegan. No matter how mouth-watering and perfectly cooked the steak is, they won’t be able to enjoy it.

This is precisely what happens when you send the wrong people to your landing page. Even if the copy is captivating and the design is stunning, you’ll get dismal results if you invite the wrong crowd.

It’s essential to understand who you’re trying to reach and craft your message and marketing efforts accordingly.

5 stages of awareness

According to legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz, people go through five stages of awareness before converting:

  1. Unaware: At this stage, the visitor has yet to learn they have a problem that needs solving. Your landing page is unlikely to guide visitors from unaware to the most aware and ready-to-buy. For this stage, write content your audience would be interested in. E.g., a freelance designer might be interested in “10 tips for running a smooth and profitable freelancing business”.

  2. Problem-aware: The visitor knows he has a problem but is still trying to figure out what to do. E.g., “I want to teach people online how to play guitar. But where do I start? How will I get clients?”. For this stage, PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution) copywriting formula works best. Check out the page structure and messaging of Clickfunnels, who target visitors at this awareness stage.

  3. Solution-aware: The visitor knows the result he wants but not that your product provides it. E.g., “To get clients, I need software that helps me build a funnel without writing code.” In 2023, people know the most popular categories of SaaS products and what problems they solve. Unless your product is really unique or you’re targeting a less technical market segment, you’ll want to write copy for this stage.

  4. Product-aware: The visitor has found the type of solution they want, and they’re weighing a few different products. They are just waiting for one product to stand out. E.g., “Clickfunnels fits all my needs and is built for people with zero computer skills. Sounds like a perfect fit!”

  5. Most aware: The visitor has picked a product and is ready to convert.

It’s important to understand that visitors respond to different kinds of messages based on their awareness stage. 

Problem-aware people need more persuading than those who are most aware and just look for the “sign me up” button. So usually, the less aware the visitor is, the longer the landing page you need to build.

If you’re addressing the problem of someone at one stage of awareness and attracting visitors who are at a completely different stage, your hard-won traffic will likely bounce.

To illustrate this point, let’s consider an example:

Your friend Jenny is selling handmade jewelry and wants to start selling it directly to consumers through an online store. She heads to Google and types in “e-commerce platforms for small businesses.”

From her search query alone, we can tell that Jenny is solution aware: she knows she needs an e-commerce platform, but she still needs to learn more about the options available.

Suppose Jenny clicks on an ad from Salesforce commerce-cloud and lands on a page with messaging like: “powerful, agile commerce”, “maximize revenue.” It’s unlikely to resonate with her. She’ll bounce and search for something more suitable for small businesses.

On the other hand, if the landing page speaks to her specific needs and desires, she may be more likely to convert.

How do I know if I’m driving the wrong people?

Your conversion rate is unusually low compared to similar campaigns you’ve run

Look at the average conversion rate across your other landing pages and compare: How does it stack up to your latest page? If it’s significantly lower than other similar campaigns—and you’re sending comparable levels of traffic to it—then the traffic quality could be off. 

But what if there’s nothing else to compare it to directly? Check out the Unbounce conversion benchmark report for insights about conversion rates in SaaS (the median is 3%). How does your page fare against these medians?

Time spent on the page is unusually low, especially when you consider the page length

Typically, the more interested someone is in your offer, the longer they’ll spend reading your page. To get this data, first, you’ll want to determine the general amount of time it would take a visitor to read your landing page.

Then, look at the average time spent on-page in Google Analytics. Low time-on-page can indicate that the messaging isn’t resonating.

How to drive the right people to your landing page

Check your ad copy. You should aim to get your ad copy as close to your landing page copy as possible. Check that the headline matches in both places and that your landing page makes sense as a logical next step.

Check your keywords. If you’re running Google Ads, check “Search terms” to see which keywords lead to a click. Move to “Negative keywords” the ones that don’t make sense.

Consider your traffic sources. How else you’re getting traffic to a page? Whether your visitors are coming from an ad, a blog post, or an email—your traffic source creates certain expectations. Consider creating separate landing pages for traffic sources where visitors might be in a different awareness stage. 


It’s crucial to target a problem that fits with the visitor’s awareness stage to unlock your landing page’s full potential. 

By understanding where your visitors are in their journey and crafting a message that speaks to their needs, you’ll be better able to persuade them to take the desired action.

Jason Baciulis's avatar

Jason Baciulis

Jason is the founder of He loves to help entrepreneurs build high-converting websites by sharing his experience from years of working as a web developer.