Google Vehicle Ads: The Digital Master Key for the Motor Industry

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Advertising via Google is constantly evolving, and new ways to showcase your brand and business offering are regularly being rolled out. The latest off the production line is Google's Vehicle Ads, which have now kicked off in the UK - with some sponsored ads being spotted across the Google landscape.

A closed beta program has also started, with limited access being given to businesses who work closely with their Google representative to enrol. Google Vehicle Ads are expected to have a major impact on paid media and the broader marketing industry - so let's delve into it.

Google's Digital Expansion Era continues

The shift in advertising budgets from traditional media to digital platforms has been huge, and this latest development could cause yet a further shift within the motor industry. 

Now, automotive dealerships can showcase their entire vehicle inventory within Google's search results with automated, machine-learning algorithms paving the way for a faster way to sell cars to the market. 

Google Vehicle Ads Offer Targeted Advertising

One of the key advantages of Google's Vehicle Ads (VLAs or Vehicle Listing Ads) for dealerships is the ability to target specific audiences. Using advanced targeting options, such as demographics, interests, and search themes, advertisers can ensure that their ads are reaching the users most likely to be interested in their products.

This targeted approach not only maximises the efficiency of advertising spend, but also enhances the overall effectiveness of campaigns. 

How do Google Vehicle Ads work?

Vehicle Feeds

Dealerships upload their vehicle inventory or feed to a Google Merchant Center account. This data includes everything from make, model and price to mileage, colour and additional features. The more detailed the feed, the better Google can match vehicles to relevant searches.

Matching the Search Term

When a user searches for a car on Google, for example "Grey Audi A5", Google's algorithms get to work. They scan VLA data feeds, looking for vehicles that match the search query. The most relevant cars are then displayed through a digital 'shop window' at the top of the search results.

Information at a Glance

These ads will showcase key details like the vehicle's image, make, model, price and mileage. This allows the user make an educated and informed decision before clicking through to the website.

Easy Convert Journey

Clicking on a VLA takes the user straight to the landing page of the vehicle - offering an express route to conversion as they don't need to navigate through a website to find the specific model they are looking for, which is the current process with standard text ads. 

Performance Max

Currently, VLAs work through Google Ads' Performance Max campaigns. This means that advertisers don't directly target specific keywords, and instead Google uses its knowledge of the vehicle inventory and search behaviour to show your VLAs to the users who show the highest conversion intent.

What are the benefits for Automotive Dealerships?

For dealerships, Vehicle Listing Ads offer several benefits they can make use of:

  • Increased Stock Visibility to showcase vehicles in a unique and more visual way to increase the number of visitors to specific product pages.
  • Audience Customisation, with algorithms in Google Ads matching relevant vehicles with users searching for those models or brands. This ensures budget is maximised and ads are shown to the most relevant consumers.
  • Granularity Controls allow dealerships to build VLAs as granularly as they want, meaning that excess stock can be pushed more aggressively on SERPs.
  • Data-Driven Attribution means that conversion data is split across channels so that businesses can see which touchpoint in their marketing funnel has contributed the most to a sale.

How important could Google Vehicle Ads Be?

The impact of Google Vehicle Ads on Google Ads and the motor industry cannot be overstated.

By leveraging the targeting capabilities, immersive ad formats and measurement tools offered by digital platforms like Google Ads, automotive advertisers can reach their target audiences more effectively, deliver more engaging brand experiences, and drive measurable results.

In the most important digital year for the motor industry, ensuring digital performance is at the forefront is a necessity. We've updated our Automotive Dealerships League Table to show who's standing out among competitors this year.

Prepare for the full roll-out of Google Vehicle Ads and capitalise during a huge year for automotive by booking in a chat with one of our digital experts today.

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