Google Vehicle Ads UK - Update March 2024 - ld icon 42

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Google Vehicle Ads UK – Update March 2024

March 2024 Update: GREAT NEWS!! Google has finalised the launch of Google Vehicle Ads in the UK. Google’s Mohammad Lone announced this at Car Dealer Live. The great news is that these ads will be taken directly from the car dealers’ own feed rather than through a third-party advertiser such as an auto trader.

October Update: Google has announced new structured data for car dealerships to enable them to provide details of the cars they have for sale on Google search. This can be achieved by using its vehicle listing markup. Google will report on the implementation via the Google search console. For more information, read this.

From an agency perspective, we see this as a mechanism that supports Google vehicle ads usage in the future, as the data needed would be the same from a feed perspective. It will be interesting to see how the results would be presented side by side, particularly on mobile.

Update: According to Car Dealer Magazine, Google has confirmed that the Google Vehicle ads format will launch later this year, so watch this space.

Google Vehicle Ads UK - Update March 2024 - Google Vehicle Ads UK

Speaking at the Car Dealer Live Event, Google UK’s Industry Expert Ben Gault was quoted as:

He said: ‘[Vehicle Ads] are coming. It’s been a long time coming, but hopefully, towards the end of the year, we will have an update on that particular product.

‘They have been very successful within the other markets, by and large, where they have launched.

‘Very simply, we will be able to surface [used car] results on the Google search that is getting real-time promotions to inventory that is in stock now.

‘It’s dynamic, and it’s providing a much more real time nuanced feature that will compliment traditional text PPC ads.’

Google launched Vehicle ads in the US in March 2022. This launch has been a significant development for US car dealers and buyers. Therefore, we expect this format to roll out into the UK soon.

Update: Vehicle ads have now been rolled out to the Canadian market and Australia via a closed beta programme.

Why Do We Think Google Has Launched Google Vehicle Ads?

Data from a recent Google/Kantar study found that:

94% of new car buyers now use online sources when researching a new vehicle, accounting for 73% of total engagement.

In 2018, only 25% of people discovered their next car online — that’s now up to 83%.

18% of respondents to the survey said they had bought a car online or via an app, yet more than 70% said they would consider purchasing a car online now or in the future.

What are the benefits of Google Vehicle Ads?

Google Vehicle Ads UK - Update March 2024 - google vehicle ads

According to Google US, the benefits are as follows:

“Vehicle ads help you get in front of auto shoppers online at the right moment, with the right listings and information to move them closer to a purchase. Key benefits include:

More qualified leads: Showing customers key information and visuals about the car before they click helps provide more qualified leads

Omnichannel goals: Optimise for both online conversions (leads) and offline conversions (store visits)

Automated targeting: Vehicle ads automatically show your most relevant listings for a related user query

Increased exposure: Serve alongside your text ads on Google.”

Who can advertise on Google Vehicle Ads?

Google Vehicle Ads can take inventory of new and used vehicles from dealers or independent retailers. With rising costs on Auto Trader and eBay, this will be a game changer in automotive marketing. The format only supports promoting non-commercial vehicles (cars and pickups), not vans, trucks, or parts.

How do Google Vehicle Ads work?

Google Vehicle Ads UK - Update March 2024 - google merchant centre

The simple explanation:

Google takes a feed of your car data via Merchant Centre. This feed will contain vehicle details, including make, model, price, mileage, colour and specifications. This information is used to match user searches with the most relevant cars.

Once you have done this, you must set up a Smart Shopping Campaign linking your Google ads account to your merchant centre account. Interestingly, Google also wants these connected to your (Google My Business) Google Business Profile. There is an option of using a feed if you don’t own or manage your business profile.

When is Google Vehicle Ads coming to the UK?

Google hasn’t announced a date to launch the Google Vehicle ads in the UK. However, services that launch in the US typically take up to a year to roll into the UK. So, watch this space.

“However, the coming of GVAs is something we should all prepare for. While, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no announcement, the UK is an important market for Google with a highly developed, digitally-aware vehicle retail sector – and it seems almost inevitable that they will arrive here sooner rather than later.” James Tew, CEO, iVendi

What Are The Google Vehicle Ads Inventory Feed Requirements?

Google Vehicle Ads UK - Update March 2024 - shoptimised screenshot

According to Feedonomics, the inventory feed requirements are as follows:

Your inventory feed must include these required attributes for each car listing:

Google Product Category: Use Vehicles & Parts > Vehicles > Motor Vehicles > Cars, Trucks & Vans

Vehicle Fulfillment: Acceptable options include in-store, ship-to-store, and online

VIN: Vehicle identification number

ID: Internal stock identifier or VIN is acceptable

Store Code: Each code must match the store codes submitted within your dealership’s Google Business Profile

Image Link: URL of the vehicle you are promoting

Link Template: URL parameter added to your vehicle’s landing page that includes your store code, ex:{store code}

Link: Only required for online-only ads. It is a link to the landing page on your desktop website that includes specific vehicle details.

Price: This must match the price on your vehicle’s landing page

Vehicle MSRP: The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is required for new cars and optional for used vehicles

Condition: Accepted values are used, or new

Brand: Name of the car’s manufacturer

Model: The model of the car you wish to promote, without mention of the trim level

Year: The vehicle’s model year

Mileage: Ensure you include the mileage in both kilometres and miles

Colour: You can submit up to three colours separated by “/”

In addition to the required attributes, the following are recommended attributes:

Recommended attributes:

Product Type
Additional image link
Mobile link template
Mobile link
Ads redirect
Certified pre-owned
Vehicle option
Body style
Custom label
Included destination
Excluded destination

How to get better results with Google Vehicle Ads?

It’s all about the Inventory Feed

As with Google shopping ads, the more information you can provide, the more likely your car will be advertised when a user searches for your make and model.

Optimise your vehicle landing page; make sure it’s mobile-friendly and optimised for speed.

Make sure that your website is fast; it’s expected that most users will be mobile users. Make it easy to call your business or enquire online.

What information must I have on my Landing page to ensure it’s optimised for Google Vehicle ads?

dealership name
dealership location
vehicle price
MSRP (if listing a new vehicle)
mileage (if listing a used vehicle)
availability information

What should I do in advance of the UK Launch of Google Vehicle Ads

We will update this blog post with the most recent information and news about the UK launch of Google Vehicle Ads, so watch this space.

If you want to learn more about Google ad types formats, read this post.

Google Vehicle Ads UK - Update March 2024 - shape img cta1

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