Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising are two of the most popular ways to increase brand awareness for your business. However, because there is so much science that goes into both tactics, it’s easy for entrepreneurs and business leaders to really identify where to invest their dollars.

In this post, I want to spend time walking through the unique characteristics of SEO and PPC to help you determine which one is better for your brand.

SEO & PPC: A Quick Definition

In its simplest form, SEO is all about getting your website to rank higher in natural/organic search results for target keywords on the most important search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing. PPC, on the other hand, is all about paying for advertising space for specific target keywords on search results pages.

When Should You Focus on SEO?

The major advantage of SEO is that, statistically, it tends to bring you better traffic and more trustworthy leads. In fact, many searchers have trained themselves to even ignore “paid results” completely when browsing the web or searching on Google.

However, investing in SEO also requires acknowledging the fact that it takes significant time and resources to achieve your goals. While it might pay greater dividends in the long run, you can’t experience SEO success overnight.

When Should You Focus on PPC?

PPC also has its advantages and can even play an important role at informing your SEO process and strategy. For the cost, PPC advertising is one of the fastest ways to jump-start your business with traffic today. If you’re looking for a quick way to increase awareness for your brand, PPC is the way to go.

However, it’s incredibly important that you’re focusing your PPC advertising on the right keywords to ensure you’re getting a positive return on your investment. Focusing on keywords with a lot of competition can be extremely expensive. Finding the PPC “sweet spot” for your brand is important.

I’d love to know: Where is your brand investing most of its dollars?