I met Charles Ryder, the CEO and founder of White Chalk Road in Perth, Western Australia just before the Christmas holidays. I wanted to find out about the search market in Australia and was eager to know about what 2013 has install for Australia.
What is the USP of White Chalk Road?
We are a consulting and agency business, providing medium to long term ROI offering cooperative plans, working with key stakeholders in the business. Our slogan, “WCR is your road to online success, a journey with search specialists who care about your business”, means we have a customized search plan for each client. WCR is the most experienced and oldest SEO consulting business in Perth. We take a holistic approach to marketing and give each client a dedicated account manager.
How did you start your career in Search?
I was working as an Information Systems Manager for WA (Western Australian) Racing in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. In 1994/1995, I developed an online customer racing information system (CRIS) which meant people could then login to the web-based system and see all the information about scheduled races, horse performances and race results. I saw the potential of these types of dynamic, web based systems and therefore once the project was finished, I started in consulting focusing on helping clients see the potential of the Web and online marketing. I felt that this area of marketing had a lot of potential as it could reach a much wider audience.
What is the search market like in Australia?
The search market is developing. It is not as mature as it could be but there are good signs that this is changing and we will help promote this in the coming years. At White Chalk, we have put on 4 SEO workshops in the past couple of years. This year we will be taking part in more events and working again with the Australian Marketing Institute to educate and assist the local market.
Perth was voted as “Australia’s biggest E town” back in August. Is this still the case and why?
Yes, to an extent. In Australia, a company called MYOB (Mind Your Own Business), is associated with Google. They make free websites and people can sign up to Google Adwords through this. Google evaluated how many businesses signed up to Google AdWords earlier this year and found Perth was the city in Australia who had the highest number of businesses signing up to AdWords.
People are starting to have more confidence in SEO and how it fits with a company’s overall and online marketing strategy. As a result, we as a company have signed up more business in the last 3 months than we ever have.
Are there many SEO events in Perth?
No, there are not many events taking place in Perth. We as a company have hosted a few workshops which have been successful. Other countrywide events are SMX Sydney and Melbourne, but that is yet to make it over here to Perth.
What do you see as the big changes in 2013 for search?
The future will be content creation and marketing. More emphasis will be on this and as well as the location of the content i.e. on trustworthy sites as opposed to focusing on linking to poorer ranking sites.
Video content and infographics will also be more important this year as well Google Authorship. In 2013, we will be recommending Authorship to our clients and move away from “ranking preoccupation.” It will become increasingly important to look at the organic traffic, quality leads, sales and also the finer details of the source of the traffic.
Thank you Charles for being interviewed on State of Search. Due to the growth of the team at White Chalk Road, the company has now moved to a new address (484 Albany Highway ) in Victoria Park to cater for their expanding company.