Last week we started showing Listing Banners in more place on 4RoadService.com. Banners have been shown with listings in search results for a long time, but we are now showing relevant banners at the top of search results in some cases, and on Bronze listing pages.
This should give some more visibility to our service providers who have opted for the Listing Banner upgrade for their listings. The price of the Listing Banner upgrade has not changed.
Search Banners are now Listing Banners
If you’re confused about what “Listing Banners” are, we have simply renamed the “Search Banner” upgrade, because the banners are no longer restricted to search results.
Call-to-Action buttons are available on Gold and Platinum listings. These highly-visible tappable and clickable links are great for sending customers to online booking services or contact forms, or even your company website.
CTAs In Action
This is what the Call-to-Actions look like in real listings:
How to Add a Call to Action to your Gold or Platinum Listing
When creating a new listing or editing an existing listing, there is a section on the form called “Call-to-Action” with 2 fields:
Call-to-Action Label: This is the text that you want to appear on the call to action. In the demos above, the client entered “Click here to submit service request” into the Label field.
Call-to-Action URL: This is the URL, (website address), that customers should be sent to when they click or tap the CTA.
Once you have updated these two fields don’t forget to save your listing by clicking the “Create my Listing” or “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the form.
4RoadService just completed a major under-the-hood upgrade. Most of the changes aren’t visible but will help 4RoadService improve quickly, but there are some exiting visible changes, especially for Providers.
Brand New Provider Center
After more than six years the Provider Center has been upgraded and fully integrated into the current website design. The new Provider Center faster and fully responsive so it works on computers, phones, and everything in between. There’s a new way to access the Provider Center too. You can still choose “Provider” when logging in, or the Provider Center link in your tool drawer, and now there’s a “Provider Center” link on your dashboard.
Member Dashboards for All
Yes, you have a dashboard, and if you’re a provider there’s a “Provider Center” link on your dashboard. Our login systems are now unified so everyone – Members and Providers – have a member dashboard for quick access to your recent searches and favourite Providers. If you’re a provider and think you don’t need a dashboard, try adding your listings to your favourites & save a couple of clicks when you need to update them.
Fewer, Better-Looking, E-mails
The days of plain-text E-mails from 4RoadService.com are gone. Our E-mails now look great:
If you manage multiple listings there’s even better news for you: your renewal E-mails are combined for listings that expire on the same day. No more opening your E-mail in the morning and finding a bunch of E-mails from us, there will be just one, (good-looking), E-mail when needed.
It’s Easier to Edit & Perfect Listings
For Providers, there’s an “Edit Listing” link right on your listing when you’re logged in on 4RoadService.com, and you can see your own listings while they’re under review so you can tweak them to perfection.
Upgraded Account Security
In alignment with modern password best practices we now require passwords to be at least 8 characters long – but don’t restrict yourself to eight, passwords can be as long as you want! Remember, a password is best if it’s a passphrase. Go ahead and use a whole sentence, (maybe not all of Moby Dick, though). Sentences are easier to remember, (if you’re even trying to remember them. We recommend not bothering to remember and using a password manager).
As always, please reach out if you have any questions or feedback. Enjoy the new Provider Center and your cleaner inbox!
Some, (actually, most) people prefer native apps over a great mobile website, so it’s time to shine the light on the 4RoadService Breakdown Directory Mobile Apps.
Android devices are the mobile workhorse of the trucking industry, and while we would prefer you’re rolling instead of looking up repair vendors, when you do need some truck repairs 4RoadService for Android is there.
Recent Android highlights include:
12 updates in 2016, and we’ve already released an update in 2017.
Maps of search results
Error Reporting and Vendor Suggestions from within the app, (and thanks to anyone that submitted reports or suggestions – you rock!)
Lots of error fixes, because the last thing you need is a broken app when you’ve got a broken truck.
Apple seems to rule the world, so it’s only appropriate to have a world-ruling iPhone app. That’s why 4RoadService for iPhone, (the original Truck Repair Locator in the App Store), got a complete rewrite in 2016, just in time for Christmas, with some snazzy new features:
Find truck service near you with one tap and your phone’s GPS.
Save your favourite repair companies to your phone.
Report problems & suggest new repair shops from within the app.
See repair shops on a map.
While both our Android and iOS apps are great, there’s so much more that we can, and will do with them. Keep your auto-update turned on and check the release notes to keep up with the latest tricks we add to your phone.
4RoadService.com is always being updated & improved, but this week we have some updates that we would like to share.
Improved & Faster City Location Data
We have cleaned, merged, sorted, imported, beautified, and turbocharged our location data for cities, added several thousand more cities to our database, and improved the accuracy of the location of most cities, (over 60,000 of them)! Cities with multiple spellings have been merged, but old spelling and abbreviations are still recognized, so if you need Truck Repair in Eighty-Eight, KY, you can type “88 ky” “Eighty Eight Kentucky” or any combination of those into the search box and we’ll find it. If ever you search for a city and can’t find it, let us know, and we’ll add it, (Twitter & Facebook work too).
Several non-cities that had worked their way into our data-set, (mostly because they have their own ZIP codes), have been removed, so no more suggestions to search near the city of “Dept of Human Resources!”
Even with all the improvements, the auto-suggestion for cities has been sped up. That’s right, we made it faster.
Android App Update Roundup
A new version of 4 Road Service for Android went live late last week. This new version supports searching by ZIP or Postal code in addition to using your phone or tablet’s GPS or searching by city, so if you need a tow in 90210, you can find it on your Android device. Previously, but not announced here, the app was updated to let you suggest new service providers and report problems with listings – so use the orange buttons in the app to let us know who we’re missing!
Regular visitors to 4RoadService will have noticed that we’re sporting an entirely new design – and even a new logo! Besides improving our looks the new design is a responsive one – which means that 4RoadService.com works great to find truck repair on phones and tablets, as well as computers, and it’s fast.
Our old design dated from 2008. At that point the iPhone was less than a year old and there were no Android phones yet. The mobile web was very different, the few smartphones out there were Blackberries, and if you were using the web on your phone it was probably a WAP site.
Since 2008 smartphones have saturated the world. Today over half of the people who visit 4RoadService.com do so on mobile devices so we built our new design for mobile devices first, and use Responsive Web Design to provide a desktop layout when the website is viewed on a computer. We want everyone, from the dispatcher at a desk with a 24-inch monitor to the co-driver in the sleeper with a laptop to the driver stuck at the side of the road with looking up the closest truck repair company on his phone, to find the service they are looking for quickly and easily.
Part of designing for all screen sizes is designing for all network connections. If you’re in a mountain pass with a patchy cell connection making you wait while your phone downloads images 10 times the size of the screen doesn’t help you get back on the road quickly, it’s just frustrating and possibly expensive. We’re proud that the new design is incredibly fast-loading. It’s so fast that we’ll be writing a whole separate blog post about it in a few days, so stay tuned.
The great thing about the web is that anything can change at anytime, so 4 Road Service will keep being tuned to be faster and easier to use. If you run into problems or have suggestions please let us know with our contact form, or hit us up on Facebook or @4RoadService on Twitter.
Truck Repair Service Locator is completely re-written as a native Android app for Android Phones and Tablets. Features include:
Search for road service near your current location, (using the phone or tablet’s GPS)
Choose a city where you need service.
Choose a location on a map to find service nearby
Save your favourite service providers
Show the service provider’s location on a map
1-Tap calling: Phone a service provider by tapping it’s phone number
Share a service provider’s contact information with other drivers using Android’s built-in sharing, (great for dispatchers to E-mail repair information to drivers, or the other way around!)
Truck Repair Service Locator is not an upgrade of our old Android app, it is a completely new app that must be installed from Google Play or the Amazon Appstore. Install it today so it’s there when you need it.
We are upgrading the server that powers 4RoadService.com today. This will require a short time when the site will be unavailable. We will post updates on our Twitter account as we perform the upgrade, so you can follow along there and know when to start hitting refresh.
The length of the outage will vary depending on where you are in the world and how long your Internet Service Provider caches internet address information.
Today we’re proud to launch multiple categories per listing on 4RoadService.com. This means that you no longer need to buy a separate listing for every category that you want to appear in. To add categories to your listings log in to your account at https://www.4roadservice.com/login and choose Show & Edit Listings from the menu on the left.
With the launch of multiple categories per listing we have a new rate card. We’ve chosen rates that represent the added value of being listed in multiple categories without being unaffordable. We’re still one of the most affordable road service directories there is.
Suggestions for updating your listings
Update your listings to include all appropriate categories.
You should now only need one listing per location, so delete any old listings that existed only to appear in multiple categories.
If you have any trouble or questions we’ll post answers to common problems here on the blog. If your answer isn’t here send us an E-mail. We’ll do our best to solve any problems quickly, but please bear with us if there are a lot of people to help out.