Google Vehicle Ads

March 24, 2022

You may well remember that back in April 2021 and after much speculation, we predicted ‘Google For Cars’ could be on the horizon. Fast forward a year and it seems our crystal ball really does work!

Introducing Vehicle Ads from Google which is set to revolutionise the way that shoppers online search for cars… 

Why has Google introduced Vehicle Ads?

If you’re familiar with online shopping, you’ll know that Google offers a helpful way for shoppers to review and purchase goods via its search engine. From TVs to tea towels, there are quite literally millions of retail items listed on Google Shopping Ads. But up until now, the automotive industry has been missing out. 

So why is that? Pre-Covid, car buyers tended to research their new or used vehicle online, but since the pandemic hit, it drove a dramatic shift in car buying behaviour due to spending much more time at home. According to Google, 16% of new car buyers purchased their vehicle online in 2021, whereas only 1% did in the previous year.

With more people logging online to purchase their next car, it makes sense that the search engine giant has introduced Google Vehicle Ads. Announced at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) on the 11th March 2022, this new ad format on search shows nearby cars for sale. However, this service is currently only available in the U.S. for now, but will be coming to more countries soon. It’s likely we will see Google Vehicle Ads introduced in the UK later this year.

What are Google Vehicle Ads?

Vehicle ads help customers easily locate their new set of wheels by injecting adverts for cars in the search results, rather than buyers clicking through to different websites to find them. This change puts Google in direct competition with the likes of AutoTrader and eBay Motors Group.

For example, someone searching for a 2002 hatchback will see several vehicle options that they can either purchase locally or get delivered to them. Although not everyone wants to purchase a vehicle online, the ad will direct them to the car’s description page on the seller’s website. From here, the customer can complete a lead form or get the dealership’s contact information. 

Vehicle ads target customers at the bottom of the shopping funnel, closer to their purchasing decision, so appear on search queries with a high vehicle shopping intent. This in turn provides customers with a better overall purchase experience and drives qualified leads to auto advertisers.

How are Google Vehicle Ads implemented?

To take advantage of the vehicle ads service, a smart shopping campaign will need to be created in Google Ads. This will then link to a Merchant Center account and a Google Business profile.

Advertisers will need to include vehicle information in the data feed – including make, model, price, mileage, colour, and more. Once this is uploaded to the Merchant Center and approved, Google will use the information to return ads which match a customer’s search enquiry.

When displayed, the ad format displays an image of the vehicle to the customer, as well as its location, the advertiser name (dealership) and additional vehicle information.

What are the benefits of Google Vehicle Ads? 

The question we put to you is, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of Google Vehicle Ads? There are so many benefits to utilising the service once its introduced in the UK, including:

  • More qualified leads. This is due to the fact that customers are being presented with key information and visuals about a vehicle before they click through to the website. 
  • Automated targeting. This is because Google will automatically show the most relevant ad listing related to the search query.
  • Increased exposure. This is largely because the ads will be taking up more real estate in the search results and serving alongside test ads.

Google Vehicle Ads support both new and used cars from dealer and retail stock, but exclude private sales – music to the ears of dealers up and down the country. There are however some vehicle types which are not permitted, these include; recreational vehicles, commercial vehicles, farm vehicles, buses, two-wheelers, trains, boats, aeroplanes, or outdoor utility vehicles. 

Designated beta testing showed advertisers who complemented their existing search campaigns with vehicle ads, had an average 25% increase in conversions – not a bad result at all!  

Allow us to help accelerate your car sales. Whilst we do not know the exact date Google Vehicle Ads will be introduced to the UK, if you are interested in advertising within the Google Shopping Ads feed, please get in touch with the team here at 67 Degrees and we’ll be able to talk you through the process.

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