SEM-Message Match: Increase Your Conversion Rate

Bright Ideas & Strategies for Improving Business Websites

Message Match: Increase Your Conversion Rate by Matching User Expectations

When a user clicks on your web ad, they begin their journey as a prospect. To make them conviced, you need to fulfill their expectations. The key is good message match.

1. Keyword search.

2. Keyword copy matches ad copy (good message match).

3. Ad copy does not match landing page headline (poor message match).

4. The ad copy matches the tagline, which users tend to ignore.

Your Ads and Landing Pages Should All Stink the Same. That's Good Message Match!

Message Match is what we information architects call information scent. Good message match helps users feel confident the ad they click on is going to lead to a relevant landing page. Users will scroll, but they click thoughtfully and deliberately. A click is a big user investment. The result? More conversions.

Message match is all about connecting the keywords to the ads, and the ads to the landing pages. It is the bond between the user search, the ad copy, and the landing page copy.

The best way to create message match? Make your ad copy match your landing page copy-verbatim. So simple, it’s hard to believe that 98% of paid ads are a waste of money.

Don’t waste your Click Budget! Use these tips to increase your B2B ad conversions and become a message match master.

Tips to Master Message Match & Boost Your Conversion Rate

1Match Keywords to Your Ad Copy

Either the ad must completely match the keywords, or must be so similar that users don’t have to work to translate the meaning.

(Start watching the video below.)

2Match Ad Copy to Your Landing Page Headline

Match the copy of your ads with your landing page. Increase the chances that users will stay on your site. There was a reason why they clicked on the ad in the first place-they were interested in the context. Take a look at Chunkify! Part 2: Write Effective Headlines That Make People Read for some additional tips.

(See at 3:02 in the video below.)

3Match the Landing Page to Your CTA

Message match is something you need throughout a page. If the message isn’t the same, you’re breaking that promise you made when the user's keywords matched your ad.

(See at 4:23 and at 5:11 in the video below.)

Message Match Examples and Video

Let’s walkthrough message match with a few B2B Marketing examples:

See our video and transcription below to get a better idea.

 

Message Match Video Transcription

I thought I'd do an online, live video recording of an actual search and message map, and walk you through some real concrete examples and clarify some issues for you. What we have on this screen here is we've done a search for "ERP implementation". Somebody is trying to find information for their ERP implementation. From that search I've identified four ads to help us talk about message match.    

Importance of Identifying the User’s Intent

Number one there, there's great message match there because it's "ERP implementations", the second and third word, so there's this direct correlation between the keywords themselves and the words in the heading of the ad. That's really great. The ad continues on about installation support and guidance. This to me talks to one of two possible intents, and what I mean by intent is the person who made this search, ERP implementation, what was their intent? Were they looking for someone to help them do an ERP implementation, or were they looking for information to help them do the ERP implementation? I'm not quite sure; we can't tell from the keyword phrase. I think too are valid intents that we might surmise. But ad number one really talks to trying to find someone to help with an ERP implementation. They even mention the world "local" so I'm assuming there's someone local near me, based on my IP address. I think that's quite good message match for the one of the two intents.    

Closely Matched Messaging Is Okay, But Can Probably Be Stronger

Now let's see ... Number two, the "Eight Worst ERP Mistakes". I think this is good message match for the intent of someone trying to find more information about how to do an implementation. Now, it isn't telling you what to do, but it does give you some sense of what not to do, and that might be of some interest to someone. Someone might be looking for how to do an implementation properly, and they might actually be struggling with something, so these mistakes can connect with that. It's nice and dramatic, too,  "Eight Worst ERP Mistakes". It's going to get some attention that way, so there's good message match there.

Word Choice Creates Strong Message Match

Let's see ... Number three, "ERP Implementation Guide". I think this is really good message match for the second [00:02:00] intent of the keyword phrase, that someone is looking for information to help them do the implementation. What could be more helpful than a guide? There's really nice message match there between number three and the keywords themselves.    

Don’t Confuse Users With Weak Message Match

Number four, "ENT Resource Planning", netsuite.com. I find this poor message match. Someone is looking for something about doing or helping information around ERP implementation, and here we're talking software. Netsuite is a ERP platform, so we've really shifted away from this idea of being in the [implementation fees 02:33] to talking about the software itself, and I find that too big a shift, so I'm going to call that one poor message match.

Duplicate Your Ad Copy to Your Landing Page Copy    

That is about the first tip that we talked about, or that first stage of message match, between the keywords and the ads. We've talked about those. Let's move on to talking about the ad and how well it has message match to the landing page itself.

The Number One Headline Should Match Your Ad Copy

Let's go back to number one, "Local ERP implementation". The intent here is someone looking for someone to help with assistance with it. Here's the landing page: Mibar, "Elevate Your Business". That's the number one headline. I find this poor message match, because "Elevate Your Business" is a headline that speaks to the benefit of an ERP system if you know what's going on in your business to a high level degree. You can really have some great analytics that help you make smarter decisions about your business. I don't see the word "implementation" in this headline, so that's poor message match. Okay, yes, you might see implementation up here in the tagline, but that's the tagline. People skip that stuff like crazy. That's poor message match between the ad and the landing page.

Important Keywords Makes Strong Message Match

Okay, let's try number two: "Eight Worst ERP Mistakes." Okay, again, the intent is someone trying to find help, information about them doing their implementation. Let's go to that landing page. "ERP Evaluation Mistakes, pitfalls to avoid". This is pretty good message match between the ad and the landing [00:04:00] page. The ad talks about "Eight Worst ERP Mistakes" and this one just mentions ERP mistakes. I kind of miss the "worst eight"; I think that phrase would be good to have in there. It's dramatic, and just the sheer repetition just strengthens the message match, and so forth. Now, there's also message match to the form. We've talked about that above in our tips. It just says "Get Free White Paper". Now what if my eye jumped there right away? "Free White Paper? About what?" I would just repeat it here. "White Paper, colon, eight worst mistakes to avoid", so that you have awesome message match between the ad, and so forth.     

When Message Match is Just Okay

Of course, thinking back now, we're all here busy talking about ERP mistakes, and so forth. The word "implementation" isn't here, so this is not necessarily great message match all the way back to the original keywords that someone entered, but, you know, the connection is there, the path is there, it shifted as the person went along, and that just might be a good thing. Overall we'll say this one's good, not necessarily great, but good.

The third ad: "ERP Implementation Guide". Let's take you to that page. We talked about good message match between the keywords and the ad, the ad to the landing page. This is pretty good message match. We've got a picture of a book that represents a guide, and so forth, and then the headline, "Eleven Proven Steps", that sounds very guide-like. It's the kind of content you would find inside of a guide, and so forth. That stuff's pretty good. Now, could we repeat the word "guide" and make this even tighter? Yes, we could. We could improve message match by including the word "guide". Overall I think this is one of my favorites in terms of message match, all the way from the keywords to the landing page and so forth.    

Declaring Benefits Strengthens Message Match- Even If It’s Not a Direct Match

Number four, the "ENT Resource Planning". We've declared message match poor between the keywords and the ad, but if I did click on the ad, are my expectations met, that I'm going to find something out about software? Let's go to the landing page. There we go: "Number One Cloud ERP Software". Immediately we're declaring benefits of [00:06:00]the software itself. Agreed, we're not talking about implementation, which is in the keywords, but between the ad itself and the landing page, we've got pretty good message match.    

That kind of concludes this quick little walk through, doing it all live so you can kind of see how it works. Hope you found it useful.

One Page Exercise: You Be the Judge! Measure the Message Match.

Google keywords you are targeting for your adwords campaign. Look at your ad. Look at their landing page. See if the keywords, ad, landing page, and CTA all match. Are you experiencing direct click-to-page conversions? Or completely losing the “scent”?

About the Author
is the Lead Strategist of Bright Orange Thread. Reach him at hfrancke@brightorangethread.com
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