Is SEO Dead?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Elegant Business Cards

If you have a website for your business, it's probably a safe bet that you want people to be able to find your website, and there are basically three ways to make that happen:

  1. You manually give people the website URL. This would include methods such as handing them a business card with the website on it, sending it via email or text, sharing it on social media, or even writing it down on paper and handing it to them.
  2. You run paid ad campaigns. This method means spending money with Google, Facebook, or some other ad platform that allows you to target people in various ways, and when they click on your ad, it takes them to your website.
  3. You get ranked on Google. Notice I didn't say 'search engines'. Because, let's face it, Google is still the king of search. And to be fair, if you can get ranked well on Google, odds are good you'll much more easily rank well on the other, lessor search engines.

Now, while I do know a thing or two about driving traffic to a website, I'm not the kind of expert that goes around giving people awesome advice on what to do. The purpose of this post is meant to help save you from a very particular mistake, one that a lot of people are still making today, and one that I too have come very close to making on more than one occasion, and that is, hiring the wrong SEO agency.

Many years ago, a friend pulled me into the world of online marketing, and before I knew it, he was leading us down the path of charging businesses for marketing services.

It was then that I learned something very important: marketing services rarely, if ever, come with guarantees. Think about that for a minute. You hire a company to help increase your traffic and sales, and they get paid whether or not they deliver any results. Crazy, right?

That fact never sat well with me, so my time offering paid marketing services was very short lived. I'm much more comfortable offering things with a more measurable outcome.

But the reality is, we're not all good at everything, and sometimes you need help with your marketing. If this is you, and SEO is something you need for your business, but not something you know, my goal with this post is to simply make you aware of something that I recently learned from an article I read titled SEO is dead (and always was).

I highly recommend that you take the time to read it, but here's the jist of it, in a quote directly from the article...

"80% of the agencies/people offering SEO services do not have a basic technical understanding of the processes behind website ranking. They will not only be unable to deliver the results but also harm your website rankings in the long term. There is a vast difference between "common" SEO and technical SEO. The first is used to sell and understand, and the second is to actually do it."

Did you catch that? According to the article, 80% of SEO agencies don't really know what they're doing. But guess what? They'll still require a minimum time frame, with NO GUARANTEE, so they can collect a pay check for months before you figure out that what they're doing isn't really working.

And when you complain, they can stand on their 'No Guarantee' policy, leaving you with less money and little to nothing to show for it.

So, if you ever do find yourself in need of some SEO help, my best advice to you would be to learn what you can about SEO so you're not going into it blind, and then seriously take the time to vet the agency you choose to hire as best you can. Do they have existing clients you can talk to? Or testimonials from a reliable source...other than what they post on their own website?

On top of that, you might try to negotiate terms. Will they do some work on a short-term trial basis so you can understand their process better? It seems to me that if they can do something to earn your business, you'll be much more inclined to continue working with them long-term. That's how my brain works anyway!

So if you do ever find yourself in need of some marketing help, just make sure you go into it with your eyes open, and know exactly what you're getting yourself into. Because those marketing dollars can disappear without results at light speed if you're not careful!


Comments (7)

Gwen Banta
Sotheby's International Realty - Los Angeles, CA

Ron, I figured out how to improve my SEO by checking the tag words on higher ranking sites. It's easy to do, and I have managed to move my site much higher in the rankings. I agree, it's not worth it to pay for someone to do the same thing unless you have extra money and are daunted by the tech aspects of SEO.

Jun 18, 2020 01:32 PM
Gwen Banta

Agreed! There's plenty of simple things we can do ourselves. No matter what, it's a process that generally takes some time. :)

Jun 18, 2020 01:36 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Ron,
Lots of so-called "experts" out there making big promises, aren't there? Thanks for the tips! 

Jun 18, 2020 02:50 PM
Carol Williams

Yep...way too many it seems! Glad I can help balance the scales a little. :)

Jun 18, 2020 05:03 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Back in the day I was decent at generating good SEO, but it changed so often that I no longer have a clue what I should be doing, haha.

Jun 19, 2020 09:44 AM
Brian England

Yeah, it does do that from time to time. :)

Jun 19, 2020 03:09 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Ron Schrader = I check my results regularely and know that some of my keywords help me rank higher.  You made a good point here and some people who charge don't know what they are doing.

Jun 20, 2020 03:14 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Ron Schrader ,

I'm so glad that Carol Williams featured your post in her Second Chance Saturday series as I missed it! So many promises being made by so called SEO experts..not worth the money for sure. Good advice!

Jun 20, 2020 04:47 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Wow! Thanks for letting me know. :)

And I'm glad my thoughts were helpful!

Jun 20, 2020 08:14 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

You've confirmed what I've suspected, experienced and fought against for years: I always say "NO" to SEO and leads cold callers. I only work with proven and referred companies in SEO (never work with leads). Great post, I found it interesting and what a path you took!

Jun 21, 2020 05:51 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Hey Thomas, glad you enjoyed the post, and I'm even more glad to hear you've always been cautious of the many scammers out there. Thanks for the comment. :)

Jun 21, 2020 06:50 PM
Peter Mohylsky. BRIX REALTY
Miramar Beach, Florida - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

I agree with all the comments above.  Lots of promises are made, there is no magic path or system,  Lots of funds spent with very little return.  most business owners do not know what their Numbers are.  

Jul 01, 2020 07:29 AM