Google Vehicle Ads UK Launch

February 15, 2024

Details of Google’s Vehicle Listing Ads will be revealed at Car Dealer Live 2024

Google is set to become the dominant force for online vehicle sales as it prepares to launch its much-anticipated Google Vehicle Ads product to the UK market. The search giant has chosen the annual automotive conference – Car Dealer Live 2024 – to reveal all to the motor industry and we can’t wait to hear more!

Already live in America and working wonders for those dealerships located across the pond, Google has been secretly testing the product over here during a private pilot scheme known as the closed ‘beta’ phase.  

Whether it’s new SUVs, used family cars, budget hatchbacks, or luxury models, Vehicle Ads will promote relevant stock to interested searchers across Google’s massive reach. These visual, inventory-linked ads enable dealerships of all sizes to showcase vehicles directly from their showroom. For dealers in the UK looking to tap into this high-demand audience and promote their inventory more efficiently, Google Vehicle Ads deserve serious consideration.  

In this article, we’ll share what we know about Google Vehicle Ads so far, give a brief insight into how they work, anticipate what will be revealed at Car Dealer Live 2024, and of course when we can expect the online advertising solution to officially go live in the UK. Read on to find out more… 

What are Google Vehicle Ads UK?

Google Vehicle Ads (also known as Vehicle Listing Ads) allow businesses to advertise their vehicles like cars, vans, and motorcycles on Google Search. They allow car dealerships, OEMs, and automotive-related companies to promote their vehicle inventory to people actively searching for vehicles across Google.

When people search for things like ‘Volkswagen Golf for sale’ or ‘used electric car’, relevant Vehicle Ads will appear next to the search results, showcasing details of actual vehicles available for sale in their local area from paying advertisers. The ads link directly to the dealer or seller’s website, enabling buyers to learn more about that specific vehicle and the dealership from where it is being sold. 

Much like standard Google Ads in the shopping channel, Vehicle Ads can promote details like make, model, year, mileage, price, and dealership name to generate more leads. Google will look for keywords and phrases within the vehicle title and description to work out the most relevant ads to serve users, so ads are charged on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. 

Ads can link directly to the advertiser’s website or existing inventory pages, enabling direct contact with those interested in purchasing that vehicle. As with any form of online selling, performance reports will provide valuable insight into impressions, clicks, and conversions to help dealerships optimise and attribute sales driven through Google Vehicle Ads.

How do Google Vehicle Ads work?

For a potential advertiser to use Google Vehicle Ads, a Google Ads account is required, and a Google Business Profile with which a dedicated Merchant Center account will then need to be set up and linked. This is where the feed is housed as campaigns are all created and served within Google Ads.

Merchant Center feed 

Both new and used vehicles can be uploaded to the Merchant Center and you’ll need to make sure that you include important information for each piece of stock you upload. The details you use will contextually match details users search for on Google, so ensure you cover as much as you can to make it relevant and engaging! 

Be aware that there are strict rules when it comes to permitted vehicle types. For example, only non-commercial and passenger vehicles can be advertised, so any vehicle that needs a special licence to be driven or operated – or is not eligible for use on public roads – will automatically be excluded from the feed. To ensure your advertised stock is correct and up-to-date, it is recommended that you check the feed at least once a day.

Performance Max campaigns

When inventory campaigns are created – these are known as Performance Max campaigns – make sure to target potential customers in your area who match the demographics of the type of vehicles being sold. If you are a national company then of course you’ll want to target the whole of the UK, but if you are restricted by region or local to a certain area, be realistic about who you are targeting. Remember you want to attract high-intent buyers! 

Google will use the information you’ve provided in the Merchant Center feeds and your campaign settings to match it with a user’s search query. The user will then be served relevant ads that are displayed in the shopping carousel at the top of a search page.

Pay-per-click structure 

Vehicle advertisers will pay for their Google Ads on a cost-per-click basis, so only when users engage with the ads will they be charged a fee on an auction basis determined by varying factors. This means you can set a daily budget for your business that can be managed accordingly so you know exactly how much you’ll be spending.   

How will Google Vehicle Ads benefit car dealers?

For many dealerships in the UK, Google Vehicle Ads will be a no-brainer. If you’re not 100% convinced just yet, then we’ve highlighted five benefits of Vehicle Listing Ads:

  1. Increased Reach – Expand your brand to potential customers beyond the likes of AutoTrader and Facebook by attracting shoppers searching on Google. 
  2. Qualified Leads – All the top-level information about the vehicle is present before they click through to your website or selling page so you only attract interested buyers.
  3. Omnichannel Goals – Ads can be optimised to convert leads online or encourage potential buyers to your showroom, giving interested parties the choice.
  4. Automated Targeting – Accurate information ensures that only the most relevant listings are shown to a user matching their search terms.
  5. Cost-Effective Advertising –  Vehicle Ads are charged to the seller on a cost-per-click basis, so you only pay when a shopper engages. More clicks likely mean more conversions!

What will Google announce about Vehicle Ads at Car Dealer Live 2024?

In a statement issued by Car Dealer Magazine, it has been confirmed that the Car Dealer Live 2024 event will feature a special presentation by Mohammad Lone, Omnichannel Strategist at Google, to officially announce the launch of Google Vehicle Ads to a UK market. 

So what news can we expect to hear at the event? Well, we’ve been told that we will hear about how Vehicle Listing Ads work, how car dealers selected for the ‘beta’ testing phase have found the selling solution, and what that means for the go-live launch. We hope to hear exactly when that date will be so watch this space.  

Car Dealer Live 2024 takes place on Thursday 7th March at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon – we’ll see you there!

When will Google Vehicle Ads be available in the UK?

While we don’t yet know exactly when Google Vehicle Ads will go live in the UK just yet, the closed ‘beta’ phase has been in place for a number of months now to gather testing results and pre-launch information. 

An announcement by Google in January 2024 confirmed that UK sellers will be able to utilise the highly anticipated Vehicle Listing Ads service before 2025. It is expected that the Vehicle Ads solution will be in full use by dealers certainly in the latter half of 2024 – we’ll keep you updated as soon as we have a confirmed go-live date.   

Switch on Google Vehicle Ads for your dealership

There’s no doubt that the implementation of Google Vehicle Ads in the UK will be an absolute game-changer for dealers up and down the country. The online selling solution will open up dealerships of all sizes to brand-new potential customers and showcase their stock to those in the market to buy.

With Google processing over 3.5 billion vehicle-related searches per year already, this is an opportunity not to be missed! If you are a 67 Degrees customer already, then we are here to help. Our team is prepped and ready to get you set up with a Vehicle Listing Ad account feed and can create pay-per-click based campaigns for your latest stock.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be one of the first sets of our dealers advertising on the brand new Google Vehicle Ads platform – speak to us about putting yourself in pole position today!  

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