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Many would-be Internet marketers are a little confused about pay-per-click marketing. It is assumed that because it is keyword-based like SEO then the rules are the same. That’s actually not the case.

With search engine optimization, you are judged by how well your website is optimized by both on-page and off-page factors. You are judged by things that are both in your control and outside of your control. With PPC, you are judged entirely by things that are within your control. However, your placement on the page is judged by things outside of your control.

Let me explain.

A good PPC campaign begins with a list of keywords. You first have to build a landing page that is optimized for your keywords. Maybe not all of them, but enough of them. Next, you write an ad that is designed to drive traffic to that landing page. You set a budget and bid on keywords and let your ad go live. The search engine will give your ad a quality score. That quality score is based on how well your ad and landing page work together AND whether or not visitors to your landing page stick around – your bounce rate.

You might say, wait a minute, I can’t control what my visitors do. But before you say that, consider that your visitors are reacting to your copywriting skills. If they leave your site because it is poorly designed or doesn’t meet their expectations then it’s because of what you did. You have control over that.

But even if you do everything right and you get the best quality score, your placement within the search engines is dependent upon the search engines. You may be placed high on the list due to your quality score, but if someone else achieves a higher quality score, which you can’t control, then they may actually achieve a better positioning than you.

So your ad is judged by what you do, but your placement is judged by a combination of what you do and what your competition do. Those are some things to keep in mind when planning your next PPC campaign.

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