Google VLAs: Frequently Asked Questions

By: Whit Norrad   |   19 Jan 2022
man searching on tablet with a coffee

As a trusted partner in the Google VLA program, we’re committed to ensuring that our clients are in-the-know when it comes to their VLAs. Here are the questions that we encounter most often when it comes to signing up for Vehicle Listing Ads.
 

VLA Question #1: What is a Good Budget for VLAs?

The beauty of this question is that there is no good answer - yet. With search ads (or more common ad types), it’s reasonable to recommend a budget to new clients based on clients in areas of similar sizes, the same OEM or lack of one, and other factors. 

With VLAs, they’re brand-spankin’ new!

It would be irresponsible of us to suggest a budget until there is a large dataset to draw from for such a recommendation.

With that in mind, we recommend a minimum spend of $1,000-$2,000 per month to Google directly (Not to us, we’re flat rate and proud of it! We don’t take a percentage of your ad spend - that would be gross and would not be transparent) to ensure you’re getting visibility.

VLA budgets, like search budgets, will be forever changing. Google Ads are a pay-to-play game where the number of competitors and their budgets can impact you big time. Our goal is to keep you fresh and visible for as little spend as possible.
 

VLA Question #2: Is There a Contract?

Nope, not with us. FlexDealer believes in offering the best service level possible, which we know will make you want to continue the partnership. 

Our unbeatable service and proof of results is why we have partners that have been with us for over ten years.
 

VLA Question #3: How Does It Work?

It’s super technical, yet super easy:

1. Find a super cool Trusted Partner for the Google VLA Alpha Program who can grant you exclusive early access (hint: we’re both of these things here at Flex!).

2. Have that partner get access to your Google Ads + Merchant Centre accounts, and provide access to your full inventory feed.

3. Let your partner and Google take the wheel. Get allowlisted on the platform and start running stunning VLAs to convert users.
 

Whitney Norrad

Flex is one of the few Google Trusted Partners for the VLA program here in Canada. Want in? Let’s talk!

Talk With Whit


VLA Question #4: What Does an Alpha Program Mean?

In the tech world, alpha means that it’s the “A” stage of the product. The very first real-life test of the new technology.

It also means that the likelihood of encountering something funky like a bug or error is possible.

The neat thing about encountering bugs is that between the software itself and human reporting, they don’t go unnoticed. They’re submitted to the technical team behind them so that they can get fixed and make the product more accessible and functional. And don’t worry, any potential bugs will be handled by our team to ensure your ads continue to shine.

Being part of an Alpha program is also a spectacular opportunity to beat your competitors to the punch on something new. Just about every industry expert is anticipating Google VLAs to be THE next big thing in automotive digital marketing - who wouldn’t want to be first to the start line?
 

VLA Question #5: How Do I Get My Leads?

We’re in the car business; but luckily this isn’t question #1. With Google VLAs, the goal is to take the searcher from typing in what they’re looking for, to clicking on your VLA, to ending up on your website where your vehicle pages and online sales funnel do their work.

That vehicle page should be their ideal end destination based on their query, which means that they should have found what they want and submit that lead to you.

All that to say, the leads will come through your website and be routed to your DMS accordingly.
 

VLA Question #6: How Do I Know If It's Working?

That very much depends on your idea of “working.” As with any ads, performance should be monitored from multiple vantage points to understand the impact of that action on your buyers and bottom line. 

It’s a safe bet that VLAs will cannibalize some of your search budget: be prepared. Monitoring these campaign types together will help you to best-understand the true impact. Tracking tools will allow us to understand quantitative data, your team will be able to make qualitative decisions based on the leads, and no party should forget the importance of the intangibles in marketing.