Grab Your New Facebook Page

March 2nd, 2012 by Kyle West

Facebook just released a major update to pages. Have you updated your page yet? We have. These new pages are huge for businesses that have something cool to show off. Our industry oozes cool stuff to show off – I bet you’re working on something awesome right now. Take an hour this weekend and let the world know about it.

RPMWare Facebook Page

Kyle’s 3 point guide to Facebook Awesomeness

  1. Do something awesome. In our industry that’s a given. You’re building cool shit every day.
  2. Take a good picture. Grab an app like Camera Awesome and snap a couple pictures, apply some effects. Boom!
  3. Best picture = Facebook cover photo. You have 268,065 pixels (815 x 315) to make an impression. Use it!

Kyle’s 5 tips for great pictures

I’m no professional but these tips should work 90% of the time. Of course, if you are a professional, carry on … nothing to see here.

  1. Clean up. Cluttered pictures are boring.
  2. Zoom in. I don’t care about the banner on the wall or the scenery. Walk closer, zoom in, crop.
  3. Get down. Cars look best when shot from a lower position. Kneel down then shoot.
  4. 1%. Don’t post every picture you take. Post the best.
  5. Easy on the effects. Less is more. Stick to one or two effects.

Need Help?

Our friends at Pix-L Graphx eat, sleep, and drink Facebook. Give Alcides a call and they’ll whip something up for you at a reasonable price.

Thursdays with Tom – Lay the Groundwork for Online Success with Free Tools from Google

November 17th, 2011 by Tom Masiero

Google Logo

Here’s a simple and cost effective way to register a domain, setup @yourdomain.com email, acquire a dedicated phone number, and setup an analytics tool for free. I know you may be thinking Tom has been hanging out with Matt and the Data Guys getting high on spreadsheets, but I’m serious. These next four steps lay the groundwork for your success online.

Step 1 – Your Own Domain

If you already own a domain name, you may skip this step. You’ll be able to use your existing domain name with step 2.

Head over to Google Apps and create a new account. Once you’re logged in, follow this link to purchase a domain from Google. The price is $10/year and guarantees you’ll be the only one able to use the domain. C’mon now, hurry up and lock down your super top secret domain name.

Step 2 – Google Apps

Google Apps is a web-based suite of applications specifically for your company. You can use all the Google tools such as GMail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs and a bunch more all from your own domain. GMail is incredible. You’ll be able to send professional emails from your own domain name (you@your-awesome-company.com). You can even setup groups like sales@your-awesome-company.com that forward to a number of users.

Once you complete step one you’ll be sent back to the Google Apps sign up page. Google offers a couple different packages but you shouldn’t need any of the extras. Click Solutions, then Google Apps (Free), then Get Started and follow the setup instructions.

Step 3 – Google Voice

Perhaps, the coolest application is Google Voice. Your Google Voice account (one for each user in your domain) comes with a dedicated phone number in an area-code of your choosing. You can direct calls to as many phones as you like and even place and receive calls directly from your computer, iPhone, or Android phone. gives you a virtual phone # that you can direct to forward to as many phones as you like or use with a headset via your computer. It’s a great tool and one that I have taken advantage of for the past 4 years.

Step 4 – Google Analytics

Our last step is the most powerful, and most underused application in the suite. Google Analtyics collects information about every visitor to your website and provides reports you can use to improve your online store. It’s an amazing tool but also very easy to be intimidated by. Over the next couple of weeks I will show you how to interpet and act on these reports. In the meantime, it’s easy to start collecting data. We have all the instructions in our support portal.

Be sure not to miss my next post as teach you how to create a simple SEO strategy that works.

RPMWare v2.3.0 – We Cleaned Up and Released Free Data Feeds

July 5th, 2011 by Kyle West

I just wrapped up my quarterly all-nighter and am excited to show off RPMWare’s new facelift. I think you’ll be equally excited about the Free Marketing Toolkit Data Feeds to Google, Bing, and Street Performance.

If things look weird: you have the old css and javascript cached in your browser. Please clear your browsers cache. All the browsers are different but most will react well to CTRL-F5, CTRL-R, or CMD-R.

RPMWare v2.3.0

Free Data Feeds

The RPMWare Data Feed (login required) has been a huge success for many of our customers since we launched it earlier this year. I get emails every day about how well it is working.

We never charged to process and deliver the items you manage on your own, but we did forget to create a $0.00 plan so you could do so without paying us. Whoops. We fixed that. Go activate your data feed and get indexed on (at least) Google Product Search – it’s free.

Note: the feeds upload nightly at 3:00AM EST

Organization

We moved a lot of stuff around to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Here’s a roadmap if you get lost.

  • Multiple websites in one account are gone. Nobody ever used it and the few that did were contacted before v2.3.0 went live.
  • Website Configuration (name, google analytics, domains, etc.) is under the Configuration tab.
  • DNS is under the Configuration tab.
  • Maintenance (to rebuild your catalog) is under the Configuration tab.
  • Featured Products are under the Product Catalog tab.
  • Sitemap is under the Marketing Toolkit tab.
  • Design, Content, and FileManager have been combined under the Website tab.

Orange!

Yep. It’s orange now. I have no idea why it was blue before. We’ve also laid the groundwork for customization down the line (use your own company colors and logo). If there is enough demand I’ll get it in.

Faster!

We’re using fewer images and more CSS3. If you’re not a geek like me that just means fewer images to load and a quicker website.

Love It? Hate It?

I’d love your feedback. Fire off in the comments below, on our support portal, on Facebook, or twitter.

Thanks guys!

Our Marketing Toolkit = ROI For You!

February 10th, 2011 by Tom Masiero

I’m thrilled to announce something many of you have been requesting for quite a while: the RPMWare Marketing Toolkit.

What Is It?

RPMWare is in business to help you succeed. The Marketing Toolkit is a collection of tools we’ve put together to help you compete online. You’ve had sitemaps, enhanced sitemaps, SEO friendly URLs, and SEO extensions for quite some time now. Today, you have access to product data feeds.

Data feeds syndicate your products to three online marketplaces: Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, and StreetPerformance. These feeds put your store in front of thousands of online shoppers actively looking to buy! The added visibility these sites provide will drive more visitors to your site and more orders to your cart.

The data feed is absolutely free for brands you have added yourself. Plans start at $99/mo with no contract if you’d like to syndicate the products we maintain for you.

Why Bother?

These product feeds get you in front of those customers actively looking to buy. I’m not simply window shopping while on a site like Google Shopping. I have my decision made, my wallet out, and am ready to commit. Make the most of your marketing dollars and get yourself in front of those customers. The ROI simply can’t be beat.

Signup Today

Signup is literally one-click. Login to your account, click Marketing Toolkit, then Data Feed.

Shopping Site Traffic

Thursdays with Tom – Gearing up for Holiday Sales?

November 4th, 2010 by Tom Masiero

The guys over at SearchEngineLand posted this great resource on gearing up a great marketing strategy for your online holiday season. In my opinion the holiday season is perhaps the most missed opportunitity in our market. We all know how big the spring and summer is but somehow we lose focus on a great opportunity during the holiday’s. Check out these 5 tips

Streamline Campaign Management

Automating many of the daily time-consuming campaign management processes reduces labor and saves valuable time, freeing advertisers to focus on more strategic issues. Managing multiple brands over several search engines and social media channels using the same system streamlines campaign management for additional efficiency.

Through automation and mass management one retailer increased the number of accounts that they were able to manage by a scale of 6 and the number of campaigns from 34 to over 140. Another retailer reported a 300% increase in workflow efficiency.

Keep Ads Relevant With Real-Time Inventory Updates

For e-retailers managing hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of SKUs, the ability to keep online ads in sync with specific daily or hourly sales objectives and actual inventory availability is challenging. What good is it to drive someone to buy an item if it is sold out? And why waste advertising spend on items that are mispriced against the competition?

Continuously updating on-line ads with feeds from back office systems enables retailers to advertise the most recent prices and promotions while ensuring that all available stock is advertised. The added bonus is the low cost per click and higher conversion rates that result from more relevant landing pages.

Use Automation To Make Quick And Easy Campaign And Promotion Changes

Year-end holidays follow one another quickly. The ability to update or pause ads on multiple campaigns and distribute those changes across various channels at one time can have a significant impact on performance. With automation solutions, advertisers can push or pause an ad across all engines at once, or can select the channels or networks of their choice and reduce the amount of heavy lifting traditionally needed to adjust to seasonal changes.

Using bulk editing across search engines and campaigns, one retailer managed the updates and changes required from Thanksgiving to Christmas through New Years in a matter of hours vs. weeks, while reaping the benefits of fully synchronized promotions.

Experiment With Conversion Attribution Models

Understanding the path to conversion is key to ensuring proper ROI measurement. Capturing that knowledge across multiple advertising channels will help in minimizing skewed data and avoiding the mistake of under estimating the value of contributing keywords. Potential customers can reach you across a variety of touch points. Why should the last click always be given total credit? Attribution models can include equal distribution to all keywords in the path or assigning equal weight to the first and last. Having the ability to test and report on these and other attribution models will allow a retailer to create campaigns that reap the most conversions and to understand which keywords are contributing to each sale.

With a more sophisticated attribution model, one retailer was able to create campaigns and keyword lists that resulted in a 100% increase in click through rates.

Optimize Generic Keywords To Attract And Convert The Most Targeted Prospects

For some retailers, generic terms can be the most effective if managed properly. By analyzing not only the last click but also each stop across online sessions and search engines, retailers can have a clear picture of each keyword that brought in new customers, including generic terms that were part of the initial search.

For example, last Christmas season one retailer added “holiday gifts” to their keywords, which contributed to a significant boost in end of the year sales.

The Bottom Line

Paid search marketing program strategies which incorporate a combination of automation, experimentation and real-time inventory intelligence can enable marketers to achieve remarkable results this holiday season. Taking into consideration that some retailers can bring in up to 80% of their yearly revenues over just these few key months, the impact of on annual sales can be significant.

If online shopping continues to grow as predicted, adding a level of sophistication to campaign management can pay off more than ever, making this a bright holiday season for savvy retailers.

5 Surefire Tips to Boost Your Sales

August 10th, 2010 by Kyle West

Success red arrow

I have been getting a lot of questions lately along the lines of “Kyle, what can I do to boost my sales?” The problem with that question is there is no single answer and no guarantee that whatever I tell you is going to work in your situation. You can, however, stack the deck in your favor by doing a lot of little things well.

Below I’ve listed what I’ve seen working. If you’re asking yourself the question: “what can I do to boost my sales” you may want to check them out.

Don’t Do It All

RPMWare makes it so easy for you to setup shop and offer your customers 200 product lines. That is an immediate recipe for failure unless you have the resources to learn about 200 different product lines. We’re not selling bubble gum here guys, and, generally speaking, your customers are going to need some support for whatever they are buying. If you can’t deliver they aren’t going to buy from you because they can’t trust you.

Bottom line: pick a niche and focus on it. You can do 350Z parts, or drivetrain parts, or product lines that start with the letter B, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is you know the lines you are selling and can speak about them intelligently when a customer gives you a call.

Set Your Pricing Competitively

Now that you’ve trimmed your offering it is time to focus on them and make your shop the go-to source. To start, make sure your pricing is competitive. You don’t have to be the cheapest guy on the block, but very, very few people are going to pay a $50+ premium to do business with you.

RPMWare makes it easy to set your pricing, and gives you a lot of flexibility in how you choose to do so. Take some time and scope the competition, see what they are charging and make sure you are in the same ballpark.

Be Original

Raise your hand if this is on your website somewhere: “We offer you the best prices and the best customer service.” Of course you do, and so does everybody else. Nobody is going to put on their website: “Our prices are 10 times higher than the competition and our customer service is crap.” You must do something that can really set you apart — your shop cars are a great example. Make it the hero of your website.

Invest In Your Website

Your site is how the majority of your customers will know you. You should spend some time to make it an accurate representation of your brand. We offer some design packages or your own designer can make your site really stand apart from the crowd.

Once it it looking good you should spend some time to add some original content. The RPMWare about us page is one of the most popular on this site. Consumers want to know who they are doing business with and are far more likely to do business with someone they like.

Take Advantage of SEO

First: please, please, please do NOT pay anyone any sum of money if they call themselves a SEO expert and promise to “get you on the first page of Google” or make any other ridiculous claims. Google is a behemoth and its first page is very valuable real estate if anyone knew the secret to getting results on the first page, they wouldn’t be after us, they would be after clients with much deeper pockets.

That said there are things you can do to get yourself moving up the ranks. The most important thing Google tracks is PageRank. It’s basically a popularity index based on what sites are linking to you and how many of them there are. If you could manage to score links from CNN, Ford, Yahoo, Digg, Facebook, Fool.com, TechCrunch and Gizmodo you’re PageRank is instantly going to be better than the guy with one link from Bob’s Muffler Barn. So get out there and get the word out. Write articles for online magazines, start a blog, submit pictures of your shop cars. Basically whatever you can do, aside from spamming, to get your name out is going to help your PageRank.

Second, invest some time and create some custom descriptions for your top selling product groups. Make sure they are absolutely awesome, loaded with the keywords (terms people may be searching for) and extremely helpful. You can do that in any product group’s detail page under SEO Extensions.

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