Whether you’ve just started a business or you are looking for ways to widen your reach, building a well-designed website is the ticket to success. The proper element and placements can make all the difference when it comes to website traffic and conversion.

Building a website can be a lot of work. There are so many aspects to consider. Reverse engineering can be a big help in optimise your website. It allows you to survey various working models and pick the elements that best suit your needs.

Here are the planning strategies to reverse engineering websites.

Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action

Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action, or AIDA, is an old marketing strategy that has been proven time and time again to be one of the best ways to promote a business.

Brand Awareness

The first step of AIDA is to gain awareness. There are many different ways to do this, but generally, a combination of various methods is the best way to gain traction. In the awareness stage of AIDA, you are simply looking to show people you exist. To do this, you need to get your name out there; here’s how:

Traffic Tip #1: Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is a method used to direct search engine attention to your website. Some SEO strategies include using popular keywords, using popular heading, formatting and aiming for substantial content.

The goal of SEO is to score higher in search engine rankings. Nobody clicks past the first page of Google results, so it is vital to get your site in those top ten results. There are many tools available to show you what terms and phrases you need to target but nothing beats human intelligence.

Traffic Tip #2: Write Blog Posts

Writing blog posts is a sure-fire way to keep up interest and traffic on your site. By adding consistent content to your site, you can make yourself into an authority and build a name for your business in your chosen area.

Additionally, you can guest blog on other sites. By guest blogging, you can offer your insight on another page and include links back to your site. Make sure to consider your SEO in each post for the best results.

Traffic Tip #3: Use PPC Ads

PPC or pay-per-click ads are often the fastest way to get quality traffic. Using targeted keywords, you can bid for ad placements. PPC ads are the ones you see at the top of Google results pages or banners across other sites.

PPC ads are a great resource because, as the name implies, you pay per click. For some industries and niches the price can be quite high, though it can vary, and you don’t have to pay for views. Anyone who looks at the ad but doesn’t click it doesn’t cost you anything. You’re only paying for visitors who have enough interest to click your ad.

Traffic Tip #4: Leverage Social Media

For some businesses one of the most powerful strategies you can use to gain site traffic is social media. Everyone has at least one form of social media they regularly use, whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin.

It is important to remember that each platform attracts different users. By tailoring content to each of these audiences, you can easily appeal to a captive demographic. You can take advantage of social media as a free service or promote posts to reach more viewers.

Be sure to make engaging content. Use various media (videos, pictures, or text) to capture intrigue or try offering special deals to followers and regular users. The whole idea is to get people to come to your website, giving them something that leaves them wanting more.

Traffic Tip #5: Lead Magnets

The final tip that can help you gain site traffic is a tangible draw—something to bait in customers. Many sites will offer free content as bait, but you can also use webinars, sample products, or email courses.

To gain the most traffic but maintain a profit, offer something low-cost to you but high perceived value to your audience.

Interesting and Desirable Website Content

The two middle steps of AIDA are to drum up the proper intrigue that will hook and pull in customers. They know who you are, but now they want to learn more. It’s your time to show off and strut your stuff.


Copy is the words themselves. Just as you are reading this now to see what will come next, so too should your words entice and intrigue your audience. You need to deliver information clearly while also promoting the end goal.

Images and Videos

Images and videos are a great way to show off what you’re selling and make it look appealing. People won’t buy something they can’t see. That means even if you are selling a service, you need to add visual appeal.

Social Proof

This is the bit where you include reviews and success stories. The more personal a product, the more important this part is. People are often swayed by peer influence more than a reliable source of information.


For the action portion of AIDA, you need to direct your audience and tell them exactly what you are looking for them to do. This is the stage that will make or break the process. No matter what you are selling (products, services, information, whatever), you need to give your audience a reason to want it.

Make them an offer they can’t refuse, whether that’s a good deal, easy fix, fast solution, or convenience; it doesn’t matter so long as they act on it.

Reverse Engineering Websites

Reverse engineering a website is the process of investigating the structural form of a website’s design. In the case of analysing code, you can only ever see a website’s frontend code through browser tools.

Frontend code is the stuff you see on a website (the visuals, text, and so on). Backend code or server-side code is the portion that deals with actually displaying and loading pages. You cannot see this while reverse engineering a website.

In most cases, reverse engineering is used as a tool to research the different methods companies use to promote sales and marketing online. By investigating the processes of competitors, you can quickly and efficiently elevate your website.

Through the process of reverse engineering, you can optimize elements of your pages without doing so through trial and error. You can analyse any page or section of a page, including various layouts, landing pages, activity, and messages.

Using reverse engineering is especially useful as you can pick and choose the highest-performing websites to see what they are doing right. It is a means to streamline your learning. Reverse engineering can help you form strategies and increase your website’s performance.

How to Reverse Engineer Your Website

Reverse engineering websites can seem a daunting and confusing task. Use this step-by-step guide to help you improve your website. This is just a guide, not a set of rules, so do what works best for you.

1. Make a List of Competitors

Start by forming a list of all the top competitors. These can be direct competition or indirect competition, so long as they hold relevance. Remember, you’re looking for the best of the best.

2. Screenshot Ideas

An excellent place to start in reordering your website is to screenshot competitor pages. Google Chrome has a great range of extensions to try. Take full-page screenshots and be sure to save them in an organized fashion, as things can get confusing quickly. Screenshots are an excellent reference to have throughout the process.

3. Start Building Your “Website Toolkit”

Now that you’ve done the preliminary work, it’s time to start analysing. This is the step where you break down every minuscule aspect of competitor pages. You’ll want to create a file to track all this information; Excel works great.

Start with the visuals: colours, headers, fonts, button type and placement, pop-ups, types of media, types of headers, language and tone, etc. Anything you can see, you should make a note of. The point of this step is to find visual appeal and patterns among top performing websites. What are they doing that you aren’t?

4. Use Competitive Intelligence Tools

With advanced competitive intelligence tools, you can look into the actual functionality of competitor sites. 

Some tools allow you to see which technologies a site runs on, while others will enable you to look into things like site traffic, insights, keywords, advertising, and expenditure. These tools are incredibly beneficial as they will allow you to see how your competitors run their sites.

5. Reworking a Website on the Frontend

Once you’ve worked through all the logistics, it is time to apply what you’ve learned. Rebuild your website from the ground up or rework what you already have, using all you’ve learned along the way.

Ready to Reverse Engineer Your Website?

Whether your website is performing or not, it is still representative of your business, and a poorly designed or underperforming website can be driving away business. By reverse-engineering competitor sites, you can cherry-pick the best performing elements and convert and replicate them for your own needs.

It’s a lot of work to make a high performing website using guesswork, trial and error. It’s far quicker and easier to reverse engineer the success of others. You could be a few small tweaks from improving your website conversion rate.