The most important aspect to understand is that whatever SEO services you're looking for - gone are the days where we can jam websites with keywords to rank for whatever keywords we want. Google shows search results based on what's best for the user.
Is SEO dead?
SEO is absolutely not dead. As long as people use Google search, SEO will be alive.
If you want to capture traffic there are 3 things you can do with your SEO provider:
#1 Pay for it
Paid search as a remarking tactic. We capture traffic from all corners of the web and then when those people are ready to buy, we use highly targeted paid ads to snag their business.
#2 Create valuable content
Most keywords results are dominated by content that compares ratings and pricing for various products. So instead of trying to pack those pages with links, create a piece of content that delivers what Google and users want. By creating value with your content, you open it up to earning social media shares and powerful links from relevant sites.
#3 Optimize your website for the web
Remember it's SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), not GO (Google Optimisation). Bing is a search engine. Facebook is a search engine. Pinterest is a search engine. YouTube is a search engine...each of these platforms offer unique benefits to the user. Sometimes if a user knows exactly what platform they can find the information from they will bypass Google altogether.
By understanding who your target audience is and where they spend their time, you can attack those platforms and build an organic presence. It's no longer about just optimising your website for Google. It's about optimising your presence across the web.
As Google gets more intelligent, we need to get more intelligent about how we approach marketing. That doesn't mean looking for ways to beat the search engine algorithms. Instead, learn how to use them to an advantage.