Cars for Sale & Vehicle Listing Ads: A Strategy for Automotive Dealerships

Illustration of a hand holding a magnifying glass over a car
The digital marketplace is busier than ever. With more people turning to the web to find and select their next vehicle—over 89% in fact—they’re purchasing their dream car without even test driving on the lot! How can a dealership take advantage of these ads and spearhead a new level of growth? With this article, you’ll learn more about what each feature is, how they can be used, their benefits, who may qualify for these features, and best next steps to kickstart your business’s engine.

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What are Cars for Sale & Vehicle Listing Ads?

Illustrated image of a dealership displaying vehicle inventory

Cars for Sale Advertisements are comprised of inventory directories located directly within search results through the dealership’s Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business. Basically, how it works is prospective or repeat customers search and apply filters to navigate through the dealership’s inventory, outside of their direct website, to learn more information about a specific vehicle. Once they find the vehicle they want, it will potentially direct them straight to the dealership to make a purchase.

Vehicle Listing Advertisements are set up after you create a vehicle inventory data feed with the Google Merchant Center. With the added information, Google will then match the details to potential shoppers with the relevant vehicle makes and models they’re searching for. From a buyer’s perspective, think of it as Google being your personal shopper. You put in the features you want, and it provides relative vehicles you can see or a dealership that can ship it to you. All the information about your chosen vehicle will be at the touch of your trackpad—location, make, model, price, mileage, and more. All you’ll have to do next is contact the dealership to get the car.

Are These Features Worthwhile for Dealership Marketing?

Illustration of the manufacturing process of car making to the point of sale at a dealership

Since Google launched its new vehicle ads platform, it has helped dealerships reach new buyers much easier and faster via smartphone. This digital transition resulted in fewer buyers wanting to visit car dealerships and using online car buying as a valued alternative to visiting dealers and test driving on the lot. It can be time-consuming to set up a Google Merchant Center since the process begins with creating the inventory for each feature, maintaining it, managing incoming available vehicles, and ensuring leads are tracked, etc. But when looking at the long-term effects and weighing the benefits versus the costs, the results are very much worth the effort.

Take the statistics into account! Google claims that dealerships who’ve used Vehicle Listing Ads with existing search campaigns increased their conversion rates by 25%, with some seeing as much as 55% or more! Now that’s some premium fuel to kickstart your dealer’s engine.

Can a Private Seller Create Vehicle Listing Ads?

Illustration of two men shopping for a car on a phone

Unfortunately, for those who are not a verified dealership, vehicle ads from private sellers, individuals, or automotive brokers are not permitted. Currently, the vehicle ad platform can only be used for dealers who advertise non-commercial passenger vehicles. However, with evolving supply and demand, available offerings can certainly change in the future.

Other vehicle types that are prohibited, along with non-commercial passenger vehicles, include, but are not limited to:

Recreational vehicles (such as RV’s, motorhomes, trailers, etc.)

Farm vehicles and equipment

Buses of all kinds

Two-wheelers

Trains

Boats

Airplanes, and

Outdoor utility vehicles

Hitch a Ride to Greater Marketing Capabilities & Sales Opportunities with Us!

Illustration of two men shaking hands after one sells the other a car

The post-pandemic world has revolutionized the car-buying process, including customer behavior. Stay-at-home orders triggered a massive shift to online shopping and the trend has only increased since. It’s necessary to remain ahead of the evolving demands and expectations by adapting to market needs. With that being said, the need for online shopping has reached a new level. Don’t allow your dealership to have a downward turn; let the newfound need to go “digital” initiate a drive to remain competitive in an ever-changing marketplace! For any dealership, being the top automotive provider is the goal and is critical for long-term business growth.

Since Google implemented Cars for Sale and Vehicle Listing Ads in 2021, our team at Reach Marketing Pro has worked hard to perfect their process. Don’t rely on trying to perfect your own system; instead, let us take the wheel and drive you down victory lane. We’ll do the grunt work and put the pedal to the metal so that your dealership does what does best—sell cars!

It’s time to hit the gas; contact us today to learn more.

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