RVUSA – Pioneers of Inventory Data Distribution

07rvusalogo

As I was going through the inventory imports and exports we have setup with various other classified websites, dealer management systems, CRMs, etc., I was thinking that we’ve been at this (data distribution) for a long time. So I did some digging through my emails and notes to find out just how long RVUSA.com has been sending dealers inventory over to RVTrader.com every night. I was a little surprised by the answer.

Why RVTrader.com?  Because the inventory feed to RVTrader.com was the first export my team setup, and we were the first company to successfully export inventory data to that classified website.

There were 11 RV Dealers in our first export, which happened 18 years ago this September.

My team has continued to grow the list of websites we can export inventory to over the past 18 years, making our service easy-to-use and a real time-saver for those dealers who list their inventory on not only their own website, but classified websites as well.

I remember well those days of entering the same units manually on multiple websites, and how much time that took to complete. I know we can all agree that NO ONE wants to go back there.

RV Dealers that have an account with RVUSA have access to our data distribution services.  Dealers can mix and match the exports we offer to meet their needs to websites that they have an active account with, including:

  • RVTrader.com
  • RVT.com
  • Jayco.com
  • AirstreamClassifieds.com
  • Auction123.com
  • Oodle.com
  • AutoConX
  • BuyAndSellRV.com
  • CUDL
  • CarBase
  • CarSoup
  • RVs.AutoTrader.com
  • RVRegistry.com
  • RV2Buy.com
  • DealerCMO
  • MotorhomeClassifieds.com
  • RV2Buy.com
  • MyRVLink
  • RacingJunk.com
  • SellRV.com
  • RVUniverse.com

My team was also the first to send an inventory export to Jayco.com, for those dealers who have one of their microsites.

In addtion to exporting inventory data, we like to be as flexible as we can when it comes to importing inventory data.  We have over 70 imports setup currently from other classified websites, dealership management systems, website providers, etc.

Our goal is to make it very easy for our dealers to list inventory on as many websites as they want, including their own, in a timely, efficient manner.  Our Member Management Console is the easiest and most flexible to use in the industry, with tools that include RV model SpecBase data that you can apply to units when entering / editing, a multi-picture uploader, a bulk price updater, inventory ledger creator, automated inventory exports, and much more.

Do you need help listing inventory on your website and/or submitting your inventory to multiple websites automatically?  I’d like the opportunity to discuss your specific needs and show you our MMC.

Fill out this form and I’ll get right back to you:

Cindy Spencer
Cindy Hendricks

As an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, I work with dealerships across the US helping them with responsive website design, website and email hosting, inventory management and distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Message me if you have any questions, or post your comments below+.

Taking Your Social Media Marketing to the Next Level

I know you probably get a ton of emails and calls from “social media experts” trying to get you to buy their management services. You can typically weed them out pretty quickly by asking them to send you stats for other dealerships in your specific industry that shows the growth they’ve provided. Also, take a look at the social media pages they are managing to see if they are re-using the same posts on multiple clients. If they are, run.

The bottom line is that marketing on social media websites can be a very effective way to stay in touch with current customers, and reach potential customers that your other marketing efforts won’t effectively target.

Unlike some other marketing you may be doing, such as radio, TV, or even PPC, marketing on social media websites can produce really good results, at a fraction of the cost. I know, the proof is in the pudding, and I’ll show you the puddin’ in just a minute.

First, I’d like to give a shout out to my social media marketing team. They are stellar to work with, and continue to pour 110% of their heart into getting our customers the most bang for their buck on social.

The stats I’m going to share with you are from a dealership that was taking care of their own Facebook page, and felt like they were doing a good job with the time they had to dedicate to it. However, they were only able to post a few times each month, and those posts didn’t get many likes, comments, or shares.

They signed up for our social media management plan and my team got to work. Here’s the results from the first month that my team managed their Facebook page for them.

I’m really excited to see how we help them grow their brand, traffic to their website, and more in the coming months through our social media marketing efforts.

My team can help your dealership on social media as well.
CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED TODAY

Cindy Hendricks
Cindy Hendricks

As an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, I work with dealerships across the US helping them with responsive website design, website & email hosting, inventory management & distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Message me if you have any questions, or post your comments below.

How to Get Your Inventory Listed on Facebook Marketplace

FBMarketplace_Banner

For those of you who don’t know, Facebook Marketplace gives Facebook users the ability to buy, sell and/or trade items with other people (or dealerships) in their area. Facebook users can use the Marketplace to browse through listings, search for specific items nearby, save items, save searches, and more.

The nice thing is that when an item is added that matches the filters they’ve used, they get a notification, so they can go check it out.

When a user finds an item they are interested in, there’s several buttons that display on the detail page for that item that make it super easy for them to send the seller a message, or give them a call. If the seller is a dealer, they can view the dealership info with a link to their website, hours, etc., share it, and more.

If the user sends a message, there’s several “canned” messages they can send with a single click including: Is this still available, Can I schedule a time to see this, How many people owned this previously, etc.

For dealers that sell USED units, Facebook Marketplace can be a game changer.

I know, I know… who has the time to post and manage your inventory on yet another place online. The great news is that you don’t have to. We have an automatic posting tool that will list your USED units on Facebook Marketplace for you. When a unit is removed from our system, it’s removed from Facebook Marketplace.

I have a dealer that has about 50 used RVs listed on Facebook Marketplace. Last month, this dealer received 115 leads from those listings. Two of the most asked questions were, “Is this still available?”, and “Can I see more photos?”. If the unit is in fact still available, the response to either of those questions should be, “Yes, it is and you can view more information and pictures for this unit on our website here – URL.”, making sure to include a link to the details page for that unit on your website.

An active RVUSA.com Dealer Plan is required to use the Facebook Markplace Posting Tool.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP TODAY

Cindy Hendricks
Cindy Hendricks

As an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, I work with dealerships across the US helping them with responsive website design, website & email hosting, inventory management & distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Message me if you have any questions, or place your comments below.

Cindy Spencer is now Cindy Hendricks

I’ve had some questions about my name change recently, so I wanted to do a quick post so that everyone is in the loop.  I’ve been known as Cindy Spencer for about 25 years, so the name change is a little weird, but I’m getting used to it.

The explanation is simple really.  Alex and I have been together for 19 years.  We decided last year to get married, and so we did on August 4, 2018.  Both of our moms were there as well as other family and close friends.

AlexandCindywithMoms

Office 365 – Your Office in the Cloud

office365logoHave you thought about Office 365 Business for your dealership?

If so, you are not alone.

As everyone in your team becomes more “mobile”, you need a flexible solution that can be customized per user, provides the tools and apps you need where ever you are at, and on the device you are using, gives each user a large business class email, etc.

Some of the key features available to you with Office 365 for Business are:

  • Always Up-To-Date -> When you have Office connected to the cloud, you always have the latest version.  This can include Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and/or Publisher.
  • Business Class Email -> Each user will get a 50GB mailbox with contacts, shared calendars, spam protection, and malware protection.
  • Access to Documents -> Each user will get up to 1TB of storage, which you can access from anywhere, and on any device.  Plus, your files are automatically backed up.
  • Mobile Access -> You can use your tablet or smart phone to access your documents and make changes to them.
  • Mix & Match Licenses -> Each user on your team will likely have specific needs, and with Office 365 you can mix & match the licenses to fit your organization.
  • Up to 5 -> Each user can use the Office desktop applications on up to 5 Windows PCs, or MACs, at work or home.

My team can help you decide which plans of Office 365 for Business will be the best solution for your team, and help you set it up.

We have our most popular plans online for you to review here: https://www.netsourcemedia.com/office-365

If you would like one of my team members to give you a call to discuss your specific needs, fill out this form:

Cindy Spencer  🙂

Cindy SpencerCindy Spencer, an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, works with clients across the US with RVUSA.com, TrailersUSA.com and RVCanada.com. Cindy and her in-house team of designers and programmers helps dealers with responsive website design, website & email hosting, inventory management & distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Connect with Cindy on Google+.

Vilano Fifth Wheel by Vanleigh RV

Vilano Fifth Wheel by Vanleigh RV

The newest manufacturer I added to our Member Management Console (MMC) is Vanleigh RV, with a single model, the Vilano. I typically check out each new manufacturer we add to our system by going to their website, and having a look around. With VanleighRV.com, the only thing I could do is enter my email address to get updates, which I did by the way.

Sherman RV Center is the dealer that asked me to add Vanleigh RV to our MMC. They were the first dealer in the country to get a Vilano on their lot. I thought that was pretty special, so I contacted Sherman RV to find out more about this new RV manufacturer.

In talking with Mark Castor, Sales Manager at Sherman RV Center, I found out that they received the first 2 Vilano units off the line, and expect to get more sometime in September. Mark had nothing but praise for Vanleigh RV, and the Vilano. Per Mark, the Vilano high end features similar to what you would see in a motor home is what sets it apart – high quality solid wood cabinetry, hand-laid backsplash, unique panel for lighting and controls, 3rd A/C on 40’ fifth wheel, tall slide-outs, open space, 6-point leveling system, hydraulic leveling jacks, and more.

Shortly thereafter I got a call from Ryan Ellson at Vanleigh RV, an extremely nice guy that was more than happy to answer all of my questions, and provide me with more details for this blog post.

Here’s my Q&A with Ryan Ellson:

Q: Why did Vanleigh RV choose Sherman RV Center as the 1st dealer to get / sell their Fifth Wheels?
A: Proximity – Sherman RV Center is about 60 miles from our plant, give or take. As we start our dealer network, we feel staying close to home will allow us to get our infrastructure up and running with the best customer service to both dealers and consumers.

Q: Is Vilano your only model?
A: Yes, but as we grow, and get market penetration, one of our goals is to expand our model line-up to include toy haulers, and smaller fifth wheels.

Q: How many floor plans are you offering for the Vilano?
A: We have 1 floor plan right now, and it’s considered our flagship floor plan. We will have another floor plan in September, and then another to present at the RVIA Show in Louisville, KY the first week in December.

Q: What response or feedback have you had so far on the Vilano?
A: I was at the dealership when a couple bought the first Vilano that Sherman RV received from us, and they loved it. They were looking for a high end motor home, but the features incorporated into the Vilano, such as the high end lighting, high quality mattress, nice and open spacing, etc., is what sold them. They thanked me for listening to feedback from RVers like them, and putting in the high end features in our fifth wheel that are typically only seen in a motor home.

When asked more about Vanleigh RV, Ryan let me know that the key individuals in the ownership are well respected in the RV Industry with many, many years of experience. They plan to take it one day at a time, one unit at a time, and focus on producing a high quality product.

Here’s a couple of links for you:  VanleighRV.com | Vanleigh RVs for Sale on RVUSA

Cindy Spencer  🙂

Cindy SpencerCindy Spencer, an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, works with clients across the US with RVUSA.com, TrailersUSA.com and RVCanada.com. Cindy and her in-house team of designers and programmers helps dealers with responsive website design, website & email hosting, inventory management & distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Connect with Cindy on Google+.

What is Google Webmaster Tools aka Search Console?

Google Search Console LogoGoogle has had Webmaster Tools up and running for almost a decade. Over the course of the last 12 months, they researched who their users were, their roles, goals, etc.  They found out that it’s not just “webmasters” using Webmaster Tools, but all kinds of people, from programmers and designers, to small business owners and hobbyists. With that in mind, Google renamed Webmaster Tools to Search Console in May 2015, to make sure they included everyone that cares about search.

Search Console Q & A:

Q:  What is Search Console?

A:  Search Console helps you monitor and maintain your website’s presence in Google Search results.  You don’t have to sign-up for Search Console in order for your website to be included in search results on Google, but doing so can help you understand how Google views your website and optimize its performance.

Q:  How much does Search Console cost?

A:  It’s a free service offered by Google.

Q:  What does Search Console do for me / my website?

A:  There’s many ways Search Console can be beneficial to you, and your website including:

  1. Make sure Google can access your content
  2. Submit new content or remove content you don’t want to show
  3. Create and monitor content engagement
  4. Monitor and resolve malware or spam issues
  5. Take a look at how Google, and the rest of the world sees your website
  6. Find out what queries cause your website to display in search results
  7. Find out what websites are linking to your website
  8. Find out how your website is performing for mobile search users

Q:  Should I use Search Console?

A:  If you have a website, then Yes, you should use it.  For business owners, if you have someone else take care of this for you, it’s recommended that you are aware of Search Console, and the basics of this tool.  For those that work on websites, from developers to SEO specialists, you will find this tool very helpful at varying degrees as it applies to the work you perform.

Q:  How often should I check my Search Console?

A:  Once your website is verified in Search Console, you will receive notification that your data is available.  The Search Console system will send you an email if any unusual event happens with your website, so there’s no need for you to check it daily.  It’s recommended that you check the Search Console Dashboard monthly, which gives you a quick visual on the health of your website.

Cindy Spencer  🙂

Cindy SpencerCindy Spencer, an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, works with clients across the US with RVUSA.com, TrailersUSA.com and RVCanada.com. Cindy and her in-house team of designers and programmers helps dealers with responsive website design, website & email hosting, inventory management & distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Connect with Cindy on Google+.

Local Listings for your Business – What, Why & How

As a kid, I loved looking up phone numbers in the Yellow Pages for my parents.  A business had to have a listing in the local phone book back then to get found by consumers like us.

Now, I can’t remember the last time I pulled out an actual phone book to search for a local business.  Can you?

As phone books were phased out, the Yellow Pages and many more companies created online local listing websites, and mapping apps to keep up with the mobile, smart phone consumers.

So before, when I had maybe 2-3 different phone books, the information was easy enough to keep updated and consistent.  Now there’s a ton of local listing websites, and mapping apps out there with no single source for all of this data, which makes it really easy for your business information to get entered incorrectly, have multiple listings, etc.

What are local listings?
Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Yellow Pages, and Yahoo! Local are some of the local listing websites you might recognize.  Hopefully, each of the local listing websites has a “profile” in their system for your business. The information you can display in your profile varies somewhat from site to site, but typically it contains business name, address, and phone number.

43% of US business listings had an incorrect or missing address

The owner of the business, once verified, can “claim” the listing, update the information they have online for you if needed, and add details about your business that they are missing.  The verification process is different from site to site, so you’ll need to follow the instructions on each one to ensure you complete their process to claim the business listing as your own.

Why do you need local listings?
The purpose of creating local listings is to make your business visible on the internet with accurate and consistent information, and to increase your ranking in local searches.

According to Moz, the #1 negative local ranking factor is a “listing detected at false business location”.

Mismatched NAP (name, address, and phone number) is the 3rd biggest negative ranking factor.  It’s pretty clear that inaccurate local listing data will kill your local SEO, which is fairly vital to your business’ online success.

How do you setup and/or update your local listings?
It’s not easy, but I have a few options for you to consider:

  1. If you have nothing else to do for the next 3-6 months… Manually locate and update each local listing for your business.  You can start this process by just typing in your company name, city and state into a search engine.  Sift through the results that produces, go to each local listing website, and claim/verify/update your profile with them individually.
  2. If you have about 6-10 hours of uninterrupted time you can dedicate… Sign up with a reputable local listing service.  Typically, you can enter /manage your company information in their system, and they will handle updating it to the local listing websites for you.
  3. Hire someone to take care of it for you.  If a service is recommended to you from another business that is using it, search for their company name, city and state in a search engine to see how their local listings rank and look.

If going with #2 or #3, you’ll want to use a service that allows you to make the most use of your local listings, which should be much more than just name, address, and phone number… videos, photo galleries, payments accepted, hours of operation, social media links, website address, etc., AND helps you get rid of the duplicate local listings for your business.

Keep in mind, when you use a service to claim / verify / update your local listings, if you decide to cancel that service, you might need to start all over again with the local listings.

Local Listings Scan

Click HERE to run a free scan of your local listings.

Send me an email, cindy@rvusa.com, if you would like me to send you our Local Listings Plan information.

Cindy Spencer  🙂

Cindy SpencerCindy Spencer, an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, works with clients across the US with RVUSA.com, TrailersUSA.com and RVCanada.com. Cindy and her in-house team of designers and programmers helps dealers with responsive website design, website & email hosting, inventory management & distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Connect with Cindy on Google+.

 

 

RVUSA.com – Online for 20 Years!!

RVUSA.com has been online for 20 years, and I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane from when it was first launched in 1995, to the new Responsive Mobile Website we have now.  I used the Way Back Machine to pull all our logos to share with you, starting with our first logo:

RVUSA.com Logo 1995

Back then, we had dealers from 16 different states advertising with us.

In 1997, a logo and website refresh was needed as the site continued to grow, and more dealers came on board (left).  Then another quick logo refresh in 2000 was made (right) using Flash.

RVUSA.com Logo 1997   RVUSA.com Logo 2000

As word got out that RVUSA was building websites, we had more and more demand to create websites for dealers across the US.  I came on board in March 1999 as a website designer.  With no designated customer service person in place, I pretty quickly became website designer / account manager.  By early 2000, we had dealers from 39 different states advertising with us, and the RVUSA website was growing at a steady pace.

On September 1, 2000, NetSource Technologies, an established website development company, acquired RVUSA.  Our team doubled in size overnight, and a brand new RVUSA logo, and website design was introduced.

RVUSA.com Logo 2000

As more and more RV Classified websites came online, our dealers asked for a solution that gave them the ability to enter/manage their inventory in once place, and then have it sent automatically to the other RV Classified websites they were advertising with.  My team got to work.  In September 2001, we sent our first successful file of inventory for 11 dealers to RVTrader.com.  We were the first company to set up an inventory export with RVTrader.com, and have since setup imports and exports for other classified websites, dealer management systems, etc.

MSNBC posted an article in November 2003 about “The RV Life“, and RVUSA.com was included.  Here’s what they said:

RV USA (http://www.rvusa.com) is among the best organized and most useful RV sites available. The site includes interesting features such as cookbook links (like “The Four Ingredient Cookbook”) especially selected for the small RV kitchens. The site also features forums for RV-ers to ask questions, and exchange tips and information, and allows members to post classified ads selling RV’s for free. A host of travel information, including campgrounds, places to eat, sights to see, grocery stores, and events around the country, can also be found on the site.

I remember feeling so proud of myself, and my team.  All the hard work we had put into RVUSA.com was recognized at a National level, and it was pretty exciting.

The next overhaul of the RVUSA.com website happened in 2004.  We changed up the logo  a little, and added the tag line “The Original Online RV Guide“:

RVUSA.com Logo 2004

The design was kept the same for 5 years, mainly because it worked so well, but in 2009 it was time for a fresh new look for the website and logo.  We also changed the tag line to “Your Guide to Everything RV“:

RVUSA.com Logo 2009

This is my personal favorite logo and design… I love the American flag, stars and stripes feel, etc.  We’ve used this logo on our lanyard at the RVIA show for at least 5 years, and we always get a fantastic response.

In 2015, you just can’t have a website that is not mobile friendly, and Google is doing all they can to deter you from having one.  In April, they released their new “mobile-friendly” algorithm, started displaying “mobile-friendly” on each listing in their search results, and just yesterday I saw a blog post that they are trying out a new “Slow to Load” alert.

So here we are to our NEW Responsive Mobile Website Design, and Logo for 2015:

Responsive Website Design for RVUSA

The coolest feature we added was MyRVUSA.  This free tool gives you the ability to save units, searches you perform, etc., and have access to them very quickly.  If you haven’t checked it out, I’d highly recommend it.

Thank you for taking this walk through RVUSA.com history with me.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Cindy Spencer  🙂

Cindy SpencerCindy Spencer, an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, works with clients across the US with RVUSA.com, TrailersUSA.com and RVCanada.com. Cindy and her in-house team of designers and programmers helps dealers with responsive website design, website & email hosting, inventory management & distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Connect with Cindy on Google+.

Responsive Mobile Website Design

May 26, 2011 is the first time I wrote a blog article to let you know that you need to have a “mobile enabled” website design.  A good number of our customers opted to get ahead of the curve, and had my website design team setup a mobile friendly website for their dealerships. Those folks are now in good shape for the looming April 21, 2015 deadline Google has set as the day they are going to use “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal in their ever changing algorithm.  Per Google, “This change will have a significant impact in our search results.”  If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, this is bad news for you.

-> 1 in 5 people in the world own a smart phone.
-> 74% of smart phone users use their phone to help with shopping.

When we first started setting up mobile friendly websites, we created what we called a “Basic Mobile Site”, which was a trimmed down version of a dealers website that only had the most important information visitors wanted to see.  As technology has evolved, so has my design team, and the way we setup websites for mobile viewing.  I believe we are the only website design team creating Responsive Mobile Website Designs for dealers in the RV & Trailer Industries.

Many people are confused by the differences between a Basic Mobile Site and a Responsive Mobile Design, so I’d like to help clear that up for you.  First a visual:

Basic Mobile & Responsive Mobile Examples

Some tell-tale signs to help you spot the difference when viewed on your smart phone:

  • If there is a link for “View Full Site”, “View Normal Website”, “Non-Mobile Version”, etc., you’re looking at a Basic Mobile Site.
  • If the design is very basic, and looks like all the other dealer mobile sites your website provider built, you’re looking at a Basic Mobile Site.
  • If you open the website on your desktop computer, shrink the screen down to the width of your smart phone, and you have to scroll left to right to see all of the page content, you’re looking at a Basic Mobile Site.

If you have a Basic Mobile Site, you’re probably ok for now… Google will most likely determine that to be a “mobile-friendly” website.  You can use Google’s Testing tool to find out if your website is mobile friendly or not.  But if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you’ll need a Responsive Mobile Website Design.

As I’ve been going through dealer website stats, I’ve found that on average 35%-50% of their visitors use a mobile device to access it.  That’s up about 10%-15% from last year.  You want to give mobile visitors the best experience possible, allow them to access all of the content on your website, and keep the “look” fairly consistent regardless of what device they are using to view it (desktop, tablet or smart phone).  In my opinion, a responsive mobile website design is the way to go.

If you need help setting up a responsive mobile website or have questions, you can either post them here or email me directly – cindy@netsourcemedia.com.

Cindy Spencer  🙂

Cindy SpencerCindy Spencer, an Account Manager at NetSource Media since 2000, works with clients across the US with RVUSA.com, TrailersUSA.com and RVCanada.com. Cindy and her in-house team of designers and programmers helps dealers with responsive website design, website & email hosting, inventory management & distribution, website maintenance, SEO, and much more. Connect with Cindy on Google+.