Leverage Google Vehicle Ads in Your Digital Strategy 

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Leverage Google Vehicle Ads in Your Digital Strategy 

Zero-click search results for everyday shopping items drive traffic to the products people want, and this year at NADA, Google announced a product that helps dealers take advantage of this shopping behavior. 

New and used dealer inventory is available. No private ads or broker listings will appear. Commercial vehicles are not yet permitted. 

Google Vehicle Listing Ads (VLAs) give dealers the ability to market vehicles right on the search results page. These ads are highly visible and take up prime real estate. Clicks take shoppers directly to the VDP on the dealer’s website, which is a powerful tool that increases engagement and conversions.  

Depending on a shopper’s search, the most relevant ads featuring the dealer’s real-time inventory will display. In this example, the search for 2019 SUVs for sale turns up several viable options based on location.

How to Get Started with VLAs

To get started with Google Vehicle Listing Ads, a dealer must get verified in Merchant Center and then go through all the steps to set up an account. The Merchant Center then links to Google Ads & Google Business Profile. Once that is complete, an inventory feed is created and set to upload in the Merchant Center account. Specific details must be included in the inventory feed, including (but not limited to) make, model, price, mileage, and color.

The final step is to create Smart Shopping Campaigns within Google ads. The inventory upload is the biggest lift to get VLAs live, and the reason dealers may see additional fees associated with this advertising campaign. Because of the complex setup, it is highly recommended dealers partner with a certified Google partner, like Sincro. Our DAA’s are ready and available to make this setup easy for your dealership.  

Tracking Performance 

It is important to note that performance may vary with VLA campaigns. This is still a very new offering for automotive and we are all still learning best practices around performance, bid strategies, and campaign management. As data trends emerge, stay tuned to Sincro’s Google Whisperer for the latest information on how to optimize your performance. 

Learn more about Google Vehicle Listing Ads and more strategies for driving used car traffic to your site in our webinar, Used Car Strategies for Dealer Groups.


Erin Zaborac, Senior Manager in Learning & Development

Erin has worked in the automotive landscape for 27 years. She is the host of our Sincro webinars where she works with our teams to bring actionable insights to dealers, OEMs and partners. Pictured here with her 3 kids, she spends way too much time googling things and is hoping to have lots of adventures in the sunshine this Spring and Summer! 

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