What Are Google Vehicle Ads?

Everyone is talking about Google Vehicle Ads right now but what are they?

In simple terms, Google Vehicle ads are just like Google Shopping ads that you might see for retail items like watches, vacuum cleaners or laptops but for cars!

Each “panel” shows an image of the vehicle, the price, the mileage, the seller’s name and the location. Once clicked, the ads link to the vehicle detail page on your website.

What does Google say?

“Vehicle ads are a performance-focused, lower funnel ad format which allows auto advertisers to promote their entire inventory of vehicles to interested customers shopping for vehicles on Google. This format shows customers an image of the vehicle with important information such as make, model, price, mileage and advertiser name. Showing inventory of available vehicles enriches the customer’s purchase experience and provides more qualified leads for auto advertisers.

Vehicle ads help advertisers drive sales by optimising for both online conversions (leads) and offline conversions (shop visits).

Clicking on a vehicle ad will take the customer to the vehicle description page (VDP) on your website. From there, they can perform additional actions such as contacting the dealer, filling in a lead form, etc. before visiting the dealership.”

How do we set up vehicle Ads?

  • Google Vehicle Ads require a regularly updated data feed.
  • You need a Google Merchant Account and a Google Business Profile
  • You need to link your merchant account to your ads account and Business profile account
  • You then need to create a Performance Max Campaign
  • Then add any optimisation layers you need
  • You then monitor and optimise the campaigns


Why we like them

Vehicle ads are another way to get your stock in front of people actively looking for a car. They show an image, the price and mileage before the user clicks through (and you incur a cost).

Leads should be of better quality

Vehicle ads show an image, the price and mileage before the user clicks through (and you incur a cost).

Optimised for success

Vehicle ads are optimised for online conversions (leads) and offline conversions (shop visits).

Automated targeting

Vehicle ads show your most relevant listings for a related user query.

Why they don’t replace search or Performance Max

Vehicle ads are complementary to other ad formats not instead of. Whilst we’re big fans, they are far from perfect:-

  • They do little to promote your brand.
  • They don’t show as much information as AdFeeder for Search ads.
  • They certainly don’t allow you the degree of control you may be used to with search campaigns.
  • The image requirements can be a blocker for some dealers.
  • Google takes a long time to “learn” what works well.
  • The big players may saturate results and “hog” the best slots.

However, as part of an overall digital strategy, they make perfect sense.

and the good news is…

AdFeeder has been working with Google on the pilot of vehicle ads for some time and is one of the few agencies in the UK to do so.

AdFeeder will be including Vehicle Ads for all its UK used car customers as part of the current AdFeeder subscription with no extra charge.  Vehicle Ads is currently in “closed beta” which means that the availability of the product will depend on how Google plans to roll this out and that’s something we’re still waiting to hear about.

We’re excited to be part of the initial rollout and to be able to offer you this new service as a thank-you for your business to date.

Find out more.

Dave DibbleAdFeeder for Vehicle Ads