Affiliate Marketing Digital Marketing

PPC & CRO Congruence: Why It Matters


If you are doing both PPC and CRO (and I recommend that you do!) making sure your strategies align with a congruence analysis is an important step of optimization. Take this example, a user clicks on your ad because it mentions a specific product they were searching for, and you take them to the homepage. They will be more likely to bounce from here because they don’t want to search for the product all over again. The entire user journey, from pre-click to post-click, should be seamless and thoughtless. We want to make converting the natural next step for users and reduce the amount of decision making on their part, and congruence is a great way to achieve this. Here are a couple of different areas to review to make sure your user experience is as effortless as possible. 

Visual Congruence

The first and easiest area to check for congruence is visual congruence. This is literally how congruent the imagery is from your ads with the landing page users are taken to. Even though this is an easy thing to check, it will be an important step in your analysis. Check your display and social ads against their landing pages. You’ll want to make sure colors, fonts and imagery match visually. If your landing page is wildly different from your ad, it will likely cause users to distrust and question the brand, and potentially abandon their search as well. 

Lingual Congruence

The next area to check is the language. Pay attention to your headlines, sub-headlines and call-to-action copy especially. Ensuring your message matches across both ads and landing pages will help improve the trustworthiness of your brand. Again, here we don’t want users to have to think about what their next steps should be. After clicking on your ad, they should not be surprised by where they are taken or what action to complete next. This can also help with brand recognition. When you repeat the message within your ad copy onto your landing page copy, it will help users remember your message. If users do end up leaving, they will be more likely to remember your brand in the future if your message was clear and consistent. 

User Intent

Lastly, look at your landing pages and think about the intent of the user based on the ad they clicked. Ensuring the intent of the user matches the goal of the landing page will be essential to keeping them engaged with the content. Are users clicking on a very specific ad that promises a discounted item, and are taken to a general shopping page? Does your ad copy ask users to “Learn More,”  then take them to a page to fill out a form to request a demo? Intent is a key element to making sure you’re providing users with a congruent experience and can encompass elements from both visual and lingual based congruence. 

Congruence analysis can be easily overlooked especially if you have a separate PPC and CRO manager. It is important for both parties to collaborate to make sure the message matches; from the ad to the landing page. Now it’s time to check out your ads and landing pages. Look at both the imagery and language, and above all else, remember user intent is key to congruence! For more tips on congruence and other UX analyses, check out my upcoming webinar “Advanced CRO: Expand Your Testing Queue with UX Analysis”.


Hero Conf’s CRO Workshop will provide you research, analysis, and testing strategies aimed to positively impact user experiences. Austin TX – April 10th, 2020.


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