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Walmart CEO: Company is Becoming More Digital

The CEO of Walmart Doug McMillion says that the company has a lot of work going on to change the company. He says that the company is becoming more digital and is changing how they work from within to get faster, more nimble, and adapt to what’s happening in retail. McMillion is a real advocate of change within the company, pointing out that what has happened to companies like Sears can happen to us too.

Doug McMillion, CEO of Walmart, recently discussed how Walmart is becoming more digital and is adapting and changing in order to compete and improve the customer experience:

Changing How We Work to Get Faster, More Nimble and to Adapt

We’ve got a lot of work going on to change the company. The company is becoming more digital and we’re changing how we work from within to get faster, more nimble, adapting to what’s happening in retail. Those plans result in lower costs. We’ve been lowering prices for customers and we need to keep doing that. We’ve got to build this ecommerce business in a way where it delights customers all the time. We’re improving in many areas as it relates to that.

Then kind of the magic of Walmart is how we put it all together. Grocery pickup has been really great for us, we’re learning how to do deliveries. There’s a lot in front of us in terms of what we control and what we can do and that’s what we’re focused on. There’s a transition going on and change that is happening inside of all businesses and across industries. It’s certainly happening within Walmart.

We’re Learning How to Put Automation in Place

We’re learning how to put automation in-place like floor cleaners that are autonomous, and also an industrial robot with a camera on it that’s looking at the merchandise in the aisle so we know where things are. It’s learning how to communicate with a device that goes up and down the aisle that checks to make sure that things are in the right place, that they’re priced right, looking to see if we have inventory above if it needs to be pulled down, and helping us as associates do our jobs better.

I think over time automation will reduce jobs, there will be a period of disruption, but with our turnover in retail, we can manage through that. We want to train people, upskill them so that they can learn to do new things. As this change is happening now we’ve already seen new jobs like personal shoppers emerge, we’ve got about thirty thousand personal shoppers in the United States now that are picking grocery orders in the stores for pickup.

Grocery Pickup Business has Grown a Lot

One of the most popular things we’ve got right now is a grocery service where you can order on your mobile app, pick a time slot and on your way home from school with the kids swing through and we put it in your trunk and you take off. That business has grown a lot and there are people that now have new jobs creating that order for you. Folks come out to the car, put in the trunk for you, talk to you for a few minutes, and that’s gone really well.

What I really think will happen is we’re going to find new jobs, delivery jobs, and jobs related to customer service in the stores. We want to improve the environment the stores, we want our fresh food presentation to be better, we want our retail presentation to be better. We will redirect some of those positions towards that.

One Constant at Walmart is Change

The truth is after learning from so many people, a little bit from Sam Walton, David Glass, Lee Scott, Mike Duke, and the leaders at Walmart. We know that retailers come and go. Businesses grow and they don’t change enough and they decline over time. Retailers do that on a bit of a faster cycle so we got a healthy paranoia and always have.

If there were a group of Walmart associates around here right now and we asked them the only thing other than our purpose and values that are constant at Walmart they would fill in the blank with change. We adapt, we learn, we learn from competition, we focus on the customer, we’re always changing.

People Are Rethinking What Walmart is as a Business

I carry an app that’s got the top-ten retailers by decade back to 1950. There are company’s on here, TG&Y, E. J. Korvette, the rise and fall of Sears and others. It’s just a reminder that this can happen to us too. Part of what I do within the company is trying to make a case for change, point to a strategy and a vision for our associates.

We’ve got great people and they rally and move and change. It’s now happening at an accelerated rate inside the company causing people to rethink what Walmart is as a business and it’s really exciting.

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Billionaire Ron Baron: By 2030 Tesla Could be a Trillion Dollar Company

Billionaire investor Ron Baron says that by 2030 Tesla could be a trillion dollar company. He says it’s clear that Tesla will be at $ 60 billion in sales within the next 3-4 years. Baron added, “It’s remarkable what Elon Musk has done.”

Ron Baron, Founder of Baron Capital, discussed his bullish opinion of Tesla on CNBC:

By 2030 Tesla Could be a Trillion Dollar Company

It was a good quarter for Tesla. They had $ 6.8 billion in sales versus $ 4 billion, so it’s up 70 percent. They made a billion for cash flow in the quarter before they spent on investing. That means they’re at an annualized rate of $ 5.5 billion of cash flow before they spend them investing. The company is valued for $ 60 billion, so it’s 11 or 12 times earnings, that’s not bad.

In addition to that, they are growing at 50 percent a year. I think that this year they did sales at $ 20 billion. We started in 2014 when they were doing $ 3.7 billion and this year it’s $ 20 billion, next year is $ 30 billion. I think that in 12 to 13 years, by 2030, this could be a trillion dollar company. I think it’s clear they’re going to be $ 60 billion in three or four years. This could be a really big company.

Cash Flow Doesn’t Appear to be a Problem

As the cash flow goes, when I look at the numbers it doesn’t appear to be the problem. Elon Musk says it’s not a problem, I take him at his word. He could have sold equity a year and a half ago at $ 370 to $ 380 a share, people were scrambling to buy, he chose not to. You have these businesses that they invest and when they’re investing they penalize profitability.

When you build a faith factory and you spend $ 300 million on the factory and it’s built for 250,000 cars a year and you’re doing 20,000 cars a year or 30,000, you’re not going to be profitable with that. But all of a sudden, you get it to 250,000 cars a year, you’re making $ 150 million on a $ 300 million investment, then you can double it. You’re at the point now where incremental investments are going to be incredibly profitable. They are now doing 5,000 cars a week, they’re going to be able to do Model 3 for virtually no additional investment. They’re going to get to 7,000 cars a week.

It’s Remarkable What Elon Musk Has Done

They told Wall Street this quarter that just ended that they were hoping to produce a gross profit margin of 15 percent on the Model 3 and it came out over 20 percent. Internally, they were hoping for 20 percent and he kept calling meetings, you got to cut costs here, you’ve got to watch that. When you’re building something from the ground up it’s not easy, it’s not easy doing what he’s done, remarkable what he’s done.

When he started making the Model S and Model X, those cars initially, when they were selling for over $ 100,000 a car, they had gross profits of 20 percent. Now they’re in the 90s for the car and the gross profits are 31 percent. Gross profits keep going up even though the price has gone down. The same thing is going to happen with this car. I think the gross profits on the Model 3 are going to be as good as they are on the Model S and X and I think the Model Y is going to be the best one they’ve ever had.

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Google marks 14 years as a public company

Today the search giant ranks as the world’s third most valuable company.

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Search marketing software company WordStream acquired by Gannett for $150M

Founded in 2007, the popular PPC management tool has been sold.

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Selling SEO to the C-Suite: How to Convince Company Executives to Support SEO

Posted by rMaynes1

The implementation of a solid SEO strategy often gets put on the back burner — behind website redesigns, behind client work, behind almost everything — and even when it is taken seriously, you have to fight for every resource for implementation. SEO must be a priority. However, convincing the company executives to prioritize it and allocate budget to SEO initiatives can feel like scaling a mountain.

Sound familiar?

Convincing company executives that SEO is one of the most critical elements of a holistic digital marketing strategy to increase website traffic (and therefore customers, sales, and revenue) won’t be easy, but these steps can increase the chances of your program being taken seriously, and getting the budget needed to make it a success.

Before you start: Put yourself in the shoes of the C-Suite and be ready to answer their questions.

While it’s no doubt frustrating that your executives don’t understand the importance of SEO, put yourself in their shoes and consider what is important to them. Have solid answers ready to questions.

CEOs are decision-makers, not problem-solvers. They are going to ask:

  • Why should we invest in SEO vs. ?
  • Is this going to be profitable?
  • Do you have proven results?
  • What does success look like? What are your KPIS?

CIOs and CFOs will fixate on cost reductions. They are going to ask:

  • What will this cost us?
  • Can similar results be achieved at a reduced cost?
  • What level of spend will maximize ROI?

CMOs want to ensure the organization’s message is distributed to targeted audiences in order to meet sales objectives. They will ask:

  • How many more qualified leads will this bring us?
  • What will this do to increase our brand exposure?
  • What is our competition doing?

CEOs are unbelievably busy. In the nicest way, they don’t care about details, and they don’t care about tactics (because they simply do not have time to care). What do they care about? Results.

For example, the CEO of a large insurance broker sits in his office and Googles the term “Seattle insurance.” Success for him is seeing his company listed at #1 in the organic results. He doesn’t want to know how it was achieved, but for as long as that’s the result, he’s happy to invest.

Getting the support you need for your SEO strategy can be tough, to say the least, especially if there is no understanding, no interest, and no funding from the C-level executives in your company — and unfortunately, without these, your SEO plans will never get off the ground.

However, executive-level buy-in is crucial for a successful SEO campaign, so don’t give up!

Educate your stakeholders

1. Start at the beginning: Define what SEO is, and what it isn’t

It might sound like a no-brainer, but before you even start, find out your C-Suite’s SEO expertise level. Bizarre as it may sound, some might not even really fully understand what SEO is, and the concept of keywords might be entirely alien.

Start from the very beginning with examples of what SEO is, and what it isn’t.


  • How people search for your business online with non-branded industry keywords. Use analytics to show that this is what people are actually searching for.
  • Show what happens when you conduct a simple search for a related keyword. Where does your business rank and where do your competitors rank?

If you want to go into a bit more detail, you can show things like where keywords appear in your page content, or what meta-data in the titles and description fields look like. Gather as much valuable insight as you can from the CMO to help tailor your presentation to fit the style the CEO is used to. It will vary from CEO to CEO. Same story — but a different approach to getting the message across.

Remember, keep it high-level. When talking to your C-Suite about SEO, it’s important to talk to them in a language they’ll understand. If your presentation includes references to “schema,” “link audits,” or “domain authority,” start again, scrapping the technical jargon. Instead, talk about how SEO helps businesses connect directly with people who are searching online for the products and services that are being offered by the company. Highlight how it’s a powerful business development tool that aligns your business with customer intent, one that targets potential customers further down the sales funnel because it attracts traffic mostly from people who are in the market to convert. Focus on the purpose of an SEO program being to build a sustainable base of monthly quality potential customers by generating additional traffic to the website.

Use hard facts to support your points. For example:

  • 72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
  • 71% of B2B researchers start with a generic search. (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
  • Conversion rates are 10 times higher on search than from social on desktops, on average. (Source: GoDaddy 2016)
  • Half of search queries are four words or longer. Not including long-tail keywords could mean losing potential leads. (Source: Propecta 2017).
  • Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0–4 monthly posts. (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

2. The meat of your presentation: Why SEO is so important

Once you’ve shown what SEO is, you can move onto why it’s so important to the organizational goals. Sounds simple, but this is probably the most difficult part of convincing your executives of the need for an SEO strategy.

C-Suite executives are not interested in the how of SEO. They want to know the why (the value, the return on investment), and the when (how long it will take to see the results and the ROI of this endeavor). It’s almost guaranteed that they’re not going to want to know the minute details and tactics of your proposed strategy.

Outline the project at a high level, and don’t get bogged down in the details. If the CEO is well-educated in other channels (like paid search, offline marketing, print marketing, or display advertising), try to use SEO examples that can be understood in a relative way to how these other channels perform.

Note: To sell SEO to the C-suite doesn’t necessarily mean you’re committing to doing all of this work yourself. You might be pitching for the budget to use an SEO agency to do all of this for you.

Break out the proposed project into 4 sections, each with a “what” and a “why.”

1. SEO audit:

Your website is a business development tool, and so the SEO audit is focused on assessing how well the site is performing currently. Talk about how you’ll assess the website in several areas to understand any problems impacting site performance and identify any potential optimization opportunities to make it more search engine-friendly, and to align it to business objectives both from a technical and content perspective.

2. Recommendations:

From the audit, determine what needs to be done and when. Not all tactics will work for all organizations, and as an SEO expert, you’ll be able to review the business and draw on your past experience to determine what’s going to earn the highest ROI. Prioritize recommendations and have a case to present for each, proving how it’s more important than another recommendation, and how it will impact the overall business if implemented. Ensure that those critical SEO components that will expedite the results are implemented first. Be sure to address these questions:

  • What combination of tactics is going to work best for this organization?
  • What is going to have the biggest impact now, and what can wait?
  • What should be a top organizational priority?
  • Do you have access to the internal resources and knowledge to be able to implement the recommendations, or do you need to consider using an external agency?

3. Implementation:

Whether this is an internal project or you’re engaging an SEO agency, the project lead should be very hands-on, making SEO recommendations and guiding the IT team through the successful implementation of as many of them as possible so as to have the biggest impact on organic search. At times it can feel like you have to jump through hoops to get the smallest recommendation implemented, and that’s understandable. However, if you endeavor to understand the internal IT processes, you can customize recommendations to fit the IT team’s schedule. You’ll see more success that way.

This is one of the biggest obstacles that Mediative, as an agency, runs into. We conduct SEO audits and provide recommendations for success, in priority order — but getting access to internal IT resources and getting your SEO recommendations into the implementation queue can be incredibly challenging.

We worked with a Fortune 500 company for four years on SEO, covering the major areas of site architecture and site content, with the ultimate goal of increasing site traffic. At any given time, there were 40+ active SEO initiatives — open tickets with the client’s IT department — all of which had an impact on the SEO of the client’s website. However, they represented only about 20% of the total open tickets for all IT service requests in this client’s IT department; as a result, vying for precious IT resources became a huge challenge. A great SEO agency will learn to adapt tactics to fit in with whatever sort of IT procedures your company already has in place.

4. Goals and measurement of results:

HubSpot has presented the core metrics that CEOs care about the most; you should address these metrics with benchmarks and informed predictions (not vague guesses) for how SEO can improve them. Unlike channels such as paid search, it can be difficult to give the exact cost and the exact number of leads or revenue SEO can generate. The key here is to get the understanding of the CMO to help present your case to the CEO. SEO or organic search traffic (when measured properly with analytics) can be the biggest driver of low-cost traffic and quality visitors to your website.

  1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – This is the total cost of acquiring a customer in the organization. If you can show how SEO acquires customers below the company average, you’re already winning.
  2. Time to Payback CAC – This is the number of months it takes you to earn back the CAC you spent to get a new customer. Again, if you can show that SEO reduces this number, it will increase the likelihood of your program getting the thumbs up.
  3. Marketing Originated Customer % – This ratio shows what percentage of your new business is driven by marketing efforts, a sure-fire way to secure more SEO budget if you can prove exactly how many new customers it’s driving.

Look at simpler metrics as well, such as:

  • Traffic to your website.
  • Number of leads generated.
  • Decreased bounce rates.

Inform your executives that you’ll be measuring these metrics in conjunction with other metrics, such as average ranking position, to see the overall impact of your SEO efforts.

  • Use industry research to put a monetary value on ranking higher. For example, the fictional company Acme Shoes sells shoes online. The company website recently ranked #4 on a desktop Google search for [women’s shoes].
    • A #4 ranking sends the website 20,000 unique visitors per month.
    • The average value of a website visitor has been calculated at $ 20, therefore ranking at #4 is valued at $ 400,000/month.
    • Research has shown that, on average, the #4 ranking gets 7.3% of Google results page clicks, and the #1 ranking gets 32.8% of page clicks — 4.5x more. Therefore, it can be estimated that increasing ranking to #1 will lead to 90,000 monthly unique visitors.
    • The estimated revenue from ranking #1 for [women’s shoes]: $ 1.8m/month.
  • Present different scenarios. For example, what would happen if no SEO efforts are made over the next 12 months? Now in contrast, what do you predict will happen with $ X of investment, and how that would increase even further if doubled? Be sure to have a few options available, not just all-or-nothing.
  • Be very specific about the goals at each level of investment. Find examples of SEO strategies that have had great results. Best case would be results from your own tests in preparation for a larger project, but sometimes even small SEO tests are not approved until the C-suite has bought in. In this case, find case studies from your industry, or research/results of similar tactics to those that you want to implement. The C-Suite want tangible, real-world solutions that are proven to work, not vague ideas.

Tip: A lot of SEO is “free” — it just takes time, knowledge, and resources (which is where it gets expensive) to make it successful. Use the word “free” as much as you can. For example, an online listings component of an SEO strategy may utilize free directory listings.

In summary, an SEO project may address all 4 sections listed above very well, but the key is communication. Great SEO agencies are strong communicators with all stakeholders involved — the marketing team, IT teams, content writers, designers, code developers, etc. It’s important to remember that following best practices, executing SEO tactics in a timely manner, and measuring the results all require clear and concise communication at different levels of the organization.

Congratulations! You’ve perfectly pitched SEO to your C-Suite. You’re almost guaranteed to get the green light! So what now?

Manage expectations from day one.

Basketball player Michael Jordan was once quoted as saying: “Be true to the game, because the game will be true to you. If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you. If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you. That’s truly about the game, and in some ways that’s about life, too.”

He could have been talking about SEO.

SEO is a commitment. To reap the long-term benefits, you have to put in the effort with minimal gains at first. Make sure your C-Suite knows this. They might get frustrated that after 3 months of effort, the results are not prominent. But that’s how SEO goes. SEO isn’t a “set it and forget it” tactic. It’s an ongoing program that builds successes with time and consistency.

By setting realistic expectations that it will take several months before results are seen, there won’t be pressure to try other tactics, like paid search or display advertising, at the expense of SEO. Of course, these tactics can complement your SEO efforts and can provide a short-term benefit that SEO can’t, but don’t be swayed from SEO as a core strategy. Stay the course, and keep focused on the long-term benefits of what you’re doing. It will be worth it!

Continually measure and track performance

You should be ready at the drop of a hat to provide up-to-date results with performance measured to key metrics (to the last month) of how your SEO efforts are stacking up. You never know when cost-cutting measures might be implemented, and if you’re not ready with solid results, it might be your program that gets cut.

Show how your SEO efforts compare to other programs in the company, such as social media marketing or paid search. Search is always evolving, so keep up and be seen keeping up. 
Never stop selling!

In the case of our Fortune 500 client, we were able to implement all of the key SEO initiatives by prioritizing and building cases for implementation. After several months, organic search traffic and revenue was leading all other digital marketing channels for this client — more than PPC and email marketing. 
Organic search generated approximately 30% of all visits to the client’s site, while maintaining year-over-year growth of 20–25%. This increase was not simply from branded traffic, however — year-over-year non-branded traffic had increased approximately 50%.

These are the kind of results that are going to make the company executives sit up and take SEO seriously.

To conclude:

As the proponent for SEO in your organization, you play a critical role in ensuring that the strategies with the quickest and biggest impact on results are implemented and prioritized first. There’s no magic bullet with SEO – no one thing that works. A solid SEO strategy — and one that will convince stakeholders of its worth — is made up of a myriad of components from audits to content development, from link building to site architecture. The trick is picking what is going to work for your organization and what isn’t, and this is no mean feat!

For more SEO tips from Mediative, download our new e-book, The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Google’s Search Engine Results Page.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Eric Schmidt stepping down as Executive Chairman of Google parent company, Alphabet

Longtime Google executive will transition to role of technical advisor.

The post Eric Schmidt stepping down as Executive Chairman of Google parent company, Alphabet appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Customer-First Marketing: The customer is always right … but not always right for your company

Customer feedback can be extremely valuable. It is, essentially, business intelligence direct from the person who most impacts your company’s success. However, just because customer feedback CAN be valuable, that doesn’t mean it’s always the case. Read on for tips to help you separate the signal from the noise.
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SearchCap: AdSense exploit, Google local links and UK boots fake Google company

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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What It’s Really Like to Start an Ultra-Successful Company: Meet Moz’s Rand Fishkin

rand fishkin - build a business on a foundation of core values

Rand Fishkin is known for founding an incredibly successful company — while keeping an unwavering commitment to his core values.

You may have noticed, if you look around at the general business landscape, that a lot of successful founders are a bit cocky. They tend to overestimate the role of their own genius in their success — and underestimate the hard work of their teams and the luck that went into that success.

(And no, for the curious, I’m not counting Rainmaker Digital founder Brian Clark in that group.) ”</p

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How to Choose the Best Solar Panel Company


Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to produce electricity at home with no monthly fee. Strategically located on its property, a solar panel company will ensure that the panel absorbs sunlight and provides power 24 hours a day.

The production of energy from the solar panel can be translated into costs of your electricity bill. If your panel generates 75% of the required electricity, the monthly payment of its electricity will also be reduced.

In the long term, the solar panel will create added value to your home as an asset. If you decide to sell your home, your investment in a solar panel to pick a healthy return.

When looking for a residential solar contractor, look for someone who has extensive experience in the installation of a solar panel and make sure they are licensed and insured. It never hurts to ask if both are accredited by the BBB.

The longer someone has been in business, the more experience they have and other tips and tricks you know. It also tends to be a reflection of good business due to bad company do not stay for long! Probably also they experienced more problems than a person who has been in business for a short time in order to have the knowledge to help avoid these problems.

Feel free to ask questions or ask for references. A good contractor will be happy to provide you with everything you need and take the time to explain all the details and make sure you are comfortable. Learn about financing options and ask if you can show an estimate of energy savings over time. A reliable and qualified contractor offering residential solar financing options include lease with zero down so you can save money on electricity costs immediately.

There are state and federal incentives programs that can be tapped to help finance the cost of your solar panel. Ask what kind of incentives are available in your area, a competent contractor update this information.

Ask about warranties and learn about the best manufacturers – not all solar panels are created equal and are manufacturers. You want to make sure to protect your investment by using a top manufacturer and receives a guarantee not only of the panels, but also the installation and manufacturing.

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