Digital Reach
By Digital Reach | SEM | December 29, 2016

Message Match – The Not-So-New Term

We’ve all heard the buzzword a thousand times: Relevance. Relevance is just another way of saying Message Match.

What is Message Match?

Message matching is all about your PPC ad and how it relates to your landing page.  We all know how Pay-Per-Click ads work – your ads will have a headline to capture attention, text that will dive more into the details of your offer and (if your PPC tech is good) you will have all the ad extensions allowed to further entice someone to click on your ad. Like these:

Now let’s say you were looking for wool to spin and you saw this ad and thought, this is exactly what I’m looking for – so you click on it.  Immediately you’re whisked away to the landing page for….

That’s right – a sandwich shop.  Well, that’s not what you were looking for (though that’s a good looking sandwich) and now you’re confused. The result: The Woolery has paid for a click that is never going to convert.  Somebody entered in the wrong URL, and thus they have failed badly at Message Match.

And here’s the question: Is the landing page consistent with your ad? Your ad had a message that the consumer wanted to hear more about. So, when someone clicks on your ad, will they find more of the content they are looking for? Now this is a bit extreme in talking about landing pages, but the premise is the same. If I click on that ad for The Woolery, I expect to be taken to the page that is selling wool, not their home page.

Message match relates to the text content the ad offers. If the text is promoting a wool sales event and I click on it and am taken to a page that is promoting a new spinning wheel design, then it’s a total mismatch in terms of the message being conveyed. Chances are, because I didn’t see what I was looking for, I will immediately hit the back button or bounce.

Display Ads Too

Display ads can also have a Message Match conflict in imagery. The ad on the display network has a certain look and feel to it. It’s coloring, text and cartoon character it portrays are nothing at all like the landing page. People expect a certain continuity and when those expectations fall short, often times they will leave rather than click around and search for what your original message promised.

Where to land

The message match problem can be more frequent in display ads, but no matter which one is causing the problem, these often result in wasted clicks, lower conversion rates and a ROI loss. Message match problems are fairly easy to avoid. Your ad should look and feel like your landing page and the message should be the same.

Whether you’re creating a display ad or the landing page itself, keep in mind the message you’re wanting to convey and make your message match.

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