First, introductions. My name is Ryan Goodwin and I’ve been with Dominion Enterprises, what used to be Trader Publishing Company, for about ten years. I came here out of college, with a degree in computer science, and have since shuffled around within the TraderOnline universe. About five months ago, I was promoted to lead our product and software development team for our Industrial websites, CommercialTruckTrader.com and EquipmentTraderOnline.com.
|The CommercialTruckTrader.com & EquipmentTraderOnline.com Development Team|
Why is this important and why should you care? Part of what we’ve been doing is re-aligning ourselves to be more agile and much more technology focused. It is no secret that we are gradually shutting down our magazines in markets across the United States. This means our bread-and-butter competency will have to be technology based solutions instead of printed solutions.
Our goal remains the same: provide the best tools for our users to sell and buy trucks and equipment. Only now, the focus of that goal is in the technology segment, not both technology and printed media.
To that end, you will see a change in how we introduce big products to our websites. You will see that we will start to introduce products through public beta. Other products we might select to introduce through a closed beta program. Regardless of which, we will actively seek your input on their design, experience, and functionality. We want to innovate using new tech, but in doing so, make sure we have your problems, and by extension, the solutions to those problems at the forefront of our decisions.
Just this month, we’ve begun two new beta programs. The one I can most freely discuss is our public beta on CommercialTruckTrader.com’s search. We call the new search “Supernova”.
Why have we redesigned our search? The main reason is to enhance the ability for search engines, like Google, to see that we have good, relevant content. If the search engines can see this, then we will rank higher in their searches for keywords. That means more eyes will see our site for those keywords which should translate into an increase in leads for users, both private party and business, that place vehicles for sale on our site.
You will see that we have links for Manufacturer, Model, and Type on the left side of the page. These links are easy for search engines to crawl, a way for us to say “Please look at these pages and index them.” Other criteria we’ve left as fields so that you can quickly adjust what ads are visible in the results. Clicking the “Update” button will read all the fields you’ve entered parameters into and update the results. You can select multiple classes of trucks, separate between new and used, and narrow down geographically all in a few key strokes and a single click of the “Update” button.
Under the hood we have been using a relatively new technology. This new tech isn’t limited by database load issues and is less susceptible to web server overload. It helps reduce our costs while also providing a faster, more potent search capability with better up-time. Which means more eyes seeing the ads listed on our sites.
We think this is a good first step into a better search platform that will both allow the search engines to index us better, but also provide a good user experience to you. But, we want to ask for and get your feedback before we fully integrate the product into our websites.
Give us your thoughts, good or bad, rude or nice! Building a better website to help you sell trucks is about addressing user needs, solving user problems, and doing it efficiently.
I will be using this blog as an avenue to communicate to you why we’re doing certain things and to discuss the technology underlying them. It will also serve as another method for you to ask me questions and provide feedback on what we’re doing.
Good day, to everyone!