The Vehicle Listing Ads (VLA) from Google are coming!

In the past few days, I was in Verona at the Automotive Dealer Days, where I had the opportunity to give a presentation about TikTok and the way we sell city cars at the Ligier Store Doesburg. It was a nice story, if I may say so myself, and the feedback was great! It was fun to do. But of course, there’s more to see, with many presentations on, of course, AI, and the agency model which includes many Dutch (failed) examples. How did it go again? Start fast, fail fast… something like that?

Google was also present, but Google is never really present, of course. It’s a company that earns a lot, a whole lot of money in the automotive industry, but rarely or never gives back to the automotive business by helping with various congresses and meetings. They are never sponsors, never present as speakers with substantive texts, and when they do speak, it’s the only company with Meta that gives a 100% pitch. In Verona, it’s no different, and as always, they leave it to their marketing agencies to do their marketing for them.

However, as a dealer, also at the Ligier Store Doesburg, we cannot ignore Google. It works, it functions, and it has a positive ROI for us, just like our other marketing investments such as the portals. However, now we are getting a new feature in the coming year, also in the Netherlands, and those are the Vehicle Listing Ads. I can say it’s a direct competitor to Gaspedaal.nl. After all, in a Google search result, you can then show your inventory that matches the specific search query next to or above the organic search results, and even above the normal Google Ads.

Inquiry in the US, where they have had this for a long time, teaches us that VLAs are a new way of advertising that directly leads to more traffic to the dealer’s VDP page, and you should know that your VDP page must therefore in many cases really be better than it is now because the VDP page is also your landing page! The CPL in the US is of course different, higher, but the dealers I recently spoke to in Kentucky about this topic were all positive without exception.

When you look at the Cost per VDP, it suddenly becomes important, measurable, and actually, this is a new KPI because you actually pay for the Cost per VDP page. Now, a VDP page visit on your own website may cost more than on, for example, a portal, but what should the difference be? In the US, the dealer pays more than 6 times as much for each VDP page as a VDP page on Autotrader.com or Cars.com. Comparable measurement models that we use at, among others, the Ligier Store Doesburg about the Cost per VDP view via Gaspedaal, or a VDP view on Marktplaats are always more favorable for the latter. I agree, I also prefer them on my own website because this is my ego, that I want more visitors, but if you purely look at the portals in the Netherlands, Autotrack, Voabivag, Autoscout, and Marktplaats, then it is the most cost-effective way of advertising your car inventory if you want more VDP views. The more VDP views, the more leads, opportunities you get, and ultimately you do more sales. So it’s great that the VLA is finally coming to the Netherlands, but then it also finally shows that portals are the most cost-effective way of advertising your car inventory!

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