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+.

Mobile Traffic Review

Mobile DevicesIn 2012, what percentage of your website traffic was from mobile users?

If you have Google Analytics, you can find this information pretty easily.  I went through several of the dealer websites that we host, both RV Dealers and Trailer Dealers, found the month in 2012 when their individual traffic was at it’s highest point and then pulled the percentage of mobile users.

When I say “mobile users”, this includes visitors using iPads, Tablets, iPhones, Andriod phones, iPods, etc.  In Google Analytics, it will give you pretty specific details on the mobile devices used to access your website.

Here’s what I found for 2012:

  • Dealer #1 – 15.83%
  • Dealer #2 – 26.64%
  • Dealer #3 – 15.03%
  • Dealer #4 – 18.21%
  • Dealer #5 – 20.16%

Now let’s take a look at those same dealers and see what percentage of their January 2013 traffic is from mobile users so far:

  • Dealer #1 – 18.53%
  • Dealer #2 – 30.14%
  • Dealer #3 – 22.93%
  • Dealer #4 – 20.97%
  • Dealer #5 – 22.22%

As you can see, the mobile user traffic numbers continue to increase.  There’s other information you can check in Google Analytics in regards to your mobile traffic, including averages for: how many pages they visit, how long they stay on your website, what percentage are new visitors and what percentage are bounces.

What I’ve found in my research is that for Pages / Visit, this mobile user stat is either the same or slightly higher.  This could be due to mobile users having more time to browse through your website, maybe they are at home rather than at work (no one ever does that right).  The average visit duration is slightly less and I’m thinking this could be due to less content.  Most dealer websites that have a mobile version have less pages and a lot less content than their main website.  The other two stats are fairly similar.

How to access mobile stats in Google Analytics

It’s really easy to access your mobile stats in Google Analytics.  If you don’t have access to your Google Analytics, talk to your website designer and/or hosting provider and ask them to add you as a user.  The email account they add as a user must be connected to a Google Account.  If you don’t have a Google Account yet, you can get started here:  https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount

If you are not sure if you have Google Analytics tracking on your website, send me an email (cindy@rvusa.com).  I’ll check it out and let you know right away.

Now, to access your mobile stats:

  1. Login to Google (https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?hl=en&continue=https://www.google.com/).
  2. Click on your name in the right corner, then click on Account.
  3. Click on Products on the left side.
  4. Click on the Analytics button in the center of the page.
  5. Click on the UA link, then click on your domain name.
  6. The stats that pull up by default are an overview of your traffic for the past 30 days.  You can leave the time frame the same or click the down arrow next to the date range located at the top right to select a specific time frame.  Once you have the time frame you want, click Apply.
  7. On the left side of the page click on Mobile, then click on Overview.
  8. To see percentages, click on the pie icon to the right of the advanced search field.
  9. To see a list of the specific mobile devices used to access your website during the selected time frame, click on the Devices link located on the right side under Mobile.

I’d like to hear from you.

If you’ve held off setting up a mobile site for your dealership, why?

If you already have a mobile site, I’d like to hear from you and find out how it’s doing for you.

Cindy Spencer  🙂

The Importance of Mobile Websites

Many of the dealers that I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to recently are contemplating a mobile website for their dealership.  This is an excellent idea.
Last May, I wrote a blog post on “What is a mobile enabled website and why do you need one?“.  This is by far my most read post.

A recent study found that 1/2 of the local searches performed were done so on a mobile device.  I thought that can’t be true, but then I started thinking about how I use my iPhone and it’s definitely true.

When I need gas, I check my phone for the lowest price in my area, when I’m going to the movies, I check my phone for movies playing at my local theaters, when we want to go out to eat, I check my phone for local restaurants, etc., and of course with everything I do, I check for local coupons or specials.  I can’t help it… I love coupons.

Making sure your website is mobile friendly IS important.  Did you know that 60% of users expect a mobile website to load in 5 seconds or less?  And, more than 1/2 of users wouldn’t recommend a business with a bad mobile site?  (I personally think this last statement is true for both a website you access on your computer and your mobile device.)

Basically, even if you think you don’t need a mobile version of your website, if you don’t have one, you could be losing customers.

Keep in mind, your potential customers are expecting to have the same experience with your website on their mobile device as they can with their desktop PC.

Mobile Designs

Have your checked your website on a mobile phone to see how it displays?

Here’s some things to look for when you do to see if your website is mobile friendly:

  1. Does it load in 5 seconds or less?
  2. Is the navigation simple?
  3. Can you click on a button without zooming in?
  4. Can you read the text without zooming in?

Making sure your business website is ready to leverage the mobile market, which reaches current and new customers, is key to moving forward.

HELP:  If you aren’t sure if your website is mobile friendly, post a link to it here and I’ll check it out for you.

YOUR TURN:  If you have a mobile enabled website, what kind of feedback are you getting from it?  Are you tracking your mobile website traffic?  If so, are you tracking it via Google Analytics or something else?

Cindy Spencer  🙂