As part of the Town of Victoria Park Business Festival, the Business Safari took a tour of the Town’s state-of-the-art digital offerings, including a trip to the White Chalk Road offices.
CEO Charles Ryder brought business owners up to speed on the importance of mobile and online marketing, and dispelled a few myths about SEO, demonstrating how White Chalk Road does things differently.
Check out the video and transcription below!
Charles: With social media, Twitter, all sorts of things, [online marketing is] a very complicated scene these days. We help to un-complicate the business of marketing on the web. It’s not just a matter of putting a brochure online or a website.
Question: If I said to you I want all the architects in Perth to know about my business, could you help me out?
Charles: Yes. In a sense that we can help you publish content [on your website] that demonstrates that your types of services are a good fit for, and will help the business-cause of, architects, it’s a start to making that association.
But there’s different ways of doing it. There’s SEO and there’s the [online] advertising network. But with networking, you’re not just relying entirely on the internet. You have to make real associations (like we are doing today in terms of networking), and then maybe having content published on your contacts’ websites to [demonstrate your core messages and increase the reach of your audience] (i.e. content marketing) etc. [SEO doesn’t work alone, it’s part of your marketing mix].
Question: Because I know you are operating in a very, very competitive field, I’m just asking this question for all of us: I have used an SEO company in the past… and it was a disaster. It was a very bad disaster. When the contract finished, that’s when they wanted to come and see us, you know, to renew. We spent a lot of money. Now we are only using AdWords. Having listened to you and the credibility that you are saying about Google [inviting you to be part of their elite partners program] etc. I think what you have is a very good solution what you are offering. And what sort of costs is it…?
Charles: For our services? Well, it’s true marketing in that sense. What’s the cost of marketing? If you are marketing a single restaurant compared to a national chain of fleet management companies or whatever, there’s always a different marketing budget if it’s a harder audience. Or if you’re selling home loans and you are competing against the banks, you know, it’s a huge budget.
So it depends on the niche. That’s why we custom pro everything that we do. But to kind of answer your question anyway, typically people might spend something around about like $1000 a month in marketing online more at the entry level, and the bigger players spend $5000-$10,000. It all really depends on how localised your market is. So it really needs to be researched and everyone needs to have a unique fit. And also we need to know what else you are doing in order to get your business noticed (i.e. what else are you including in your marketing mix aside from SEO?).
Your bad experience is something I’ve heard a lot in the industry. It’s all about better relationship building.
It’s not good if you don’t hear from your SEO company on a regular basis or you’re not getting custom written reports and you’re not having phone calls from real people or face to face meetings with people – they are just signing you up, locking you in, and when the end of the 12 month contract comes along, they want to sign you up again.
We don’t work like that. We touch base every month with a client and talk about their business. And also we are very flexible. Your business changes from time to time and your priorities change. Your keywords change. Everything changes over time. So our plans are designed with that change in mind. We don’t have set deliverables all the time, it can be a more time-based, retainer-based system, and you work closely with your account marketing manager, who is more like your outsourced marketing manager. So if you have that personal contact, it’s less risk of that disillusionment with your SEO company.
Terry (from the Town of Victoria Park): Charles, on behalf of the group, thank you very much for taking the time to explain that to us. I might say it was one of the best presentations I’ve heard in the last two days, very clear. And if I didn’t know you were a marketing man, I do now!
Charles: Thank you very much.
Charles is the CEO and Founder of White Chalk Road. He is one of the first professionals in Australia to truly specialise in SEO and online marketing. Prior to setting up WCR in 1999, Charles was an independent consultant to local government and the WA racing industry in relation to IT, web design and the Internet.