An increasing number of people are turning to the Internet for all of their questions – including those as simple as “Where should I go for dinner?” They type phrases like “restaurants Harrisburg PA” into search engines like Google, then read restaurant reviews, view menus and even order food right from their smartphones.
So what if your restaurant could reliably show up as a top result when local, hungry people ask Google for dining suggestions? Well, with PPC that’s exactly what happens.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click, and it’s an advertising model that allows businesses to place ads on search engines, but only pay whenever a user actually clicks on an ad.
To start a PPC campaign, you choose the keywords you want to trigger your ads, then place a bid on each of those keywords. Your keywords should be the words and phrases your potential customers type into search engines when they’re searching for restaurants like yours.
Whenever a user searches your keyword, the ad platform determines which advertisers bid the highest on it, then serve their ads above the regular search engine results.
An ad is usually made up of a title, a link to the business’ website, and two lines of text. When someone clicks the link in the ad, it takes them to a landing page on the company’s site. On that page, the company can begin the process of converting the visitor into a paying customer.
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How PPC can benefit restaurants
Before many consumers make purchasing decisions, they conduct research online – even for something as simple as which restaurant to go to. They may want to see what’s in the area, available specials, menus, prices and more.
The majority of these Internet users start their research on a search engine. But when they’re on Google or Bing, they often don’t click past the first page of results.
In fact, the top three results for any given search get close to half (41%) of the clicks on a page – meaning that showing up near the top of search results can be extremely beneficial for any business.
PPC also offers a chance for smaller companies to beat out larger ones that have better rankings in search engines. For example, a small pizza shop might not be able to rank higher than a large chain in organic search results due to the chain’s influence and size.
But by bidding on the right keywords, they can still get a top spot. And because you only pay for actual clicks, the financial risk is fairly low as well.
PPC tips for restaurants
When it comes to PPC for restaurants, certain strategies work especially well. The following tips will help you optimize your campaigns for the best results.
1. Go mobile
72% of search engine queries related to food and beverage were conducted on mobile devices. This means that your campaigns should make it easy for users on smartphones and other devices to take action.
In order to make your PPC campaigns more effective, include the click-to-call feature on all your ads, which lets people click your number on their phone and call you automatically.
The landing pages your ads take people to should also be accessible on mobile devices. You should ensure they’re responsive so that they look great on any screen and load as quickly as possible.
2. Include location-based keywords
When people search for restaurants online, they’re usually looking for something in their vicinity. Restaurant PPC ads should take advantage of this fact by using location-based keywords. Include the name of your city, region, and part of town in your keywords.
These more detailed keywords will not only be cheaper because they’re less common than other search terms, but they’re also more likely to bring in paying customers because of their specificity.
3. Use remarketing
In some Internet marketing situations, people may not be ready to visit a business immediately. This is why remarketing increases conversion rates over time.
Remarketing involves advertising to people who have already interacted with your site in some way, and reminding them of the products or deals they were interested in.
With so many food options available, people may forget about your restaurant, even if they ate there and liked it. Showing up as a top search result can remind them of you and make them want to come back to your restaurant.
4. Optimize your landing pages
In order for a PPC campaign to work, the landing pages that the ads take people to need to effectively convert them into paying customers.
In order to do this, they should include a call to action, or a request for them to do something specific. This action could be signing up for an email list, downloading a coupon, placing an order, or anything else that accomplishes a marketing goal. Always display your call to action on your landing page.
Having images of your restaurant’s food on your landing pages can also help convince people to make a purchase. It’ll look appealing to them if they’re hungry – and if they’re searching for restaurants online, they probably are.
5. Analyze and revise your campaigns regularly
Another important aspect of PPC for restaurants is monitoring your ads’ successes and failures and adjusting your campaigns accordingly. You can use programs like Google Ads to monitor your clicks and conversions, and determine which ads generate the best results.
You can also include call tracking in your monitoring if you’ve placed any click-to-call ads.
If an ad is performing well, you may want to put more of your budget into it or create more similar ads. And if an ad isn’t working, you can move your spend into a more effective one.
Analyzing and revising is all part of the Internet marketing process.
PPC campaign management from WebFX
Search engines are becoming increasingly important factors in how people choose restaurants to visit, and your search engine visibility can make the difference in whether a potential customer chooses yours.
PPC is an effective way to improve your visibility, attract more customers, and reach your business goals.
If you’re ready to start a campaign, WebFX can help. Our experienced team of PPC campaign managers will work with you to create a campaign that’s tailored to your goals, and we’ll monitor and make adjustments to get the best possible results.
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