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Is SEO Dead?

For Some Industries I would suggest other tactics first

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Not Dead But...

For some industries I basically treat it like its the last tactic we are going to tackle

Take a look at the image of the SEO results for this mornings search for Estate Planners near me.

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Notice anything peculiar? It is clear that Google in its infinite wisdom has decided that NO ACTUAL estate planners deserve a spot on the front page!!

But take a look at this image:

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Google has also decided that the very first thing you will see are Ad's because they know you are looking for an actual Estate Planner... but why the difference in approach here?

It has to do with behavior of the 2 primary types of searchers.

Type 1:

Researches everything, checks out multiple options and evaluate the destination prior to contacting their choice, the good news is that by the time they reach out their intention is very high and companies constantly report high rates of conversion for people who reach their sites through Organic methods.

Type 2:

Enter's the product or service that they are looking for in the search bar, Say a quick Prayer "oh universal powers of the internet PLEASE let the very first thing I see be the answer to my problem!" and then they press the magical Enter button and scan the results. Companies consistently report High rates of conversion for people who reach their site via Paid Search Ads.

I know right? so why am I dissing SEO?

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A recent study at WordStream is why! What that info graphic is telling you is that 7 out of 10 people who have searched for a Good or Service (that is what they mean by High Commercial Intent) make their selection from the Paid Ads when they are present.

Sidebar: It is no mistake the ads are at the top, Google put their top revenue producing product where most people click. duh....

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We learn to read and write left to right top to bottom, ask yourself, when you create a list, what do you put in the first position? Most people put the most important thing in that spot, when we work on a list given to us we tend to do it in the same manner, Steven Covey said it best "First things First".

I know all you Type 1 people are shaking your head, you do not believe that most people do that, don't they know the Ads are not their best option, that research will get them the best results? Especially those Type 1 people who are also Entrepreneurs you will even argue the point, proudly proclaiming how "I never click on the Ads because I know how they got there!" and yes you are right they got their by paying to compete for those spots, but guess what, unless you are in a non-competitive environment in order to get your results on the front page, let alone in the number 1 spot, organically you have to pay for SEO.

But my SEO gal told me that the opposite is true 70% of clicks are from the organic results

The short answer is, she did not lie, per say. What she didn't tell you is that 80% of searches performed are informational. There are very few ads for informational searches, I mean really, who is running ads for a search like "who is the number one YouTube Star?"

So why even bother with SEO?

look if you had a brick and mortar location and 10 people walked in, all with basically the same intention to buy, would you ignore 3?

Of course not... but 7 of them are going to grab what they want head to the check out and exit and 3 of them are going to browse, shop, compare, ask 100 questions and then buy.

So you have to prioritize. Make sure you maximize your opportunity with the 70% first, you deserve to see the highest Return on Your Investment whether that is time, energy, or Money.


In my opinion, the answer is ultimately do both, but if you have limited resources always start where the majority of clicks (customers) are. But be clear it will cost you about as much to reach those three Type 1 customers as it did to reach the seven Type 2.

As always send me your questions, I love helping people be successful at growing their business.

Chaz Butler