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How To Fix Low PPC Conversions With Message Match

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Did you know the average conversion rate with a PPC campaign is 2.7%?

If that’s true, then why are we getting 10%+ conversion rates for our clients at HOTH PPC?

hoth ppc conversion rates

There are lots of reasons, but today we want to break down one of the most common mistakes that we see with PPC accounts – message match.

Just fixing this can dramatically increase your conversions, and lower the cost per lead!

In this article, I’m going to break down what the problem is and exactly how to fix it.

The Big Problem

90% of ad accounts that we audit have a message match issue that results in poor conversions.

Here’s the most common scenario:

Sam is a dentist and offers lots of different services, so he decides to set up some PPC ads.

He adds a bunch of keywords into an ad group:

lots of keywords in 1 ad group

Then he creates an ad:

generic ppc ad

Then he sends the traffic to his homepage as his landing page.

homepage as landing page in ppc

But a few weeks later, he has spent hundreds of dollars without a single conversion.


It’s because of message match.

When users search for his services they are getting hit with ads that don’t match the keywords.

And then when they click to the website, they have to search again because they just landed on the homepage (not the correct, specific page for the service they are looking for!)

These message match problems are killing his conversions, and wasting tons of ad spend!

Instead, we need message match through each step, from the search to the ad, to the landing page.

Let’s break it down:

Keyword-To-Ad Match

When auditing accounts, we find advertisers will place different services in the same ad group or worst of all, place all of their keywords in one ad group.

When a user searches for one of the keywords that Sam’s targeting, they aren’t getting an ad that matches that service specifically.

In our example, when a user searches for something very specific, like Invisalign:

user search ppc ad

And they get a generic ad for just dentistry that doesn’t match:

ppc search ad generic example

The searcher gets confused because they were looking for Invisalign, not just a dentist.

Most of the time, this means the user won’t even click the ad.

That results in low CTR (click-through rates) and high Cost Per Click (plus it hurts your quality scores, which make your ads even more expensive!).

How do you fix this?

Instead of having one ad group with all your keywords, split up your ads into multiple, tight ad groups!

In the example below, instead of putting them all into 1 ad group with a generic ad, you can see that we split them up based on the service type.

keyword to ad match

You should state exactly what they’re looking for directly in the ad, include some benefits that will appeal to them and then give them a clear CTA.

That way it matches exactly what they are looking for and entices them to click on your ad, instead of the other options they have.

But that’s not all, we also need to carry the message match consistency through the landing page.

Ad-To-Landing-Page Match

Let’s say they do end up clicking one of the ads. If you send them to the homepage or some other generic page, they are highly likely to bounce off because it didn’t match what they just clicked on.

In this example below, if a customer was searching for “Invisalign” – There is no clear confirmation that they are on the right page.

The headline says “Dental care worth smiling about” but doesn’t mention Invisalign.

homepage as landing page in ppc

This is one of the many reasons you shouldn’t send potential customers to your homepage; It is often riddled with mixed messages for multiple services, multiple CTA’s (Call To Actions) and is difficult to navigate.

You must guide your visitors by the hand and make it extremely clear that they are in the right place, and then show them exactly what they want to do next.

When your ad and landing page are not consistent, especially in your messaging, customers feel like a bait and switch tactic has been pulled on them. No good!

How To Fix This:

You can fix this by creating very specific landing pages for each service that you offer, that match the ads you’re running.

On the landing page, above the fold, use the main keywords from the ad in the headline and throughout the copy on the landing page.

You must reiterate what you said in the ad and give your potential customer clear direction on what to do next.

Here’s what a service-specific landing page might look like:

landing page example

Notice how this page is almost exactly like the ad – It reiterates that this is for Invisalign, in Tampa, and there is a new patient special with payments as low as $129 / month, just like the ad.

The likelihood that someone will convert on a page like this is very high!

During this whole process, trust is being built with the potential customer, little by little.


By keeping consistency from the keyword, to the ad, to the landing page, you’ll see your conversion rates improve dramatically.

Building out the multiple ad groups and specific landing pages takes more time and effort, but the results are worth it.

If you’d like some help improving your conversions and getting your message match right, you might be interested in our HOTH PPC Management service!


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