Skip to main content ↓

Theater operators report that moviegoers are spending more money on pricer tickets and concessions. If you’ve noticed these trends at your movie theater, you may wonder how to take advantage of the buzz to get more people seated for showings. Time for some digital marketing!

With PPC advertising, you can help your movie theater in the minds of people looking for a fun date night, a group hang with friends, or a new self-care activity!

What is PPC?

Have you ever searched on Google and found the word “ad” on all the top results? That’s an example of PPC at work! 

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, a subset of search engine marketing (SEM), allows you to pay a fee that makes your website appear in search results when someone types in a specific keyword or keyword phrase. The ad will take the person searching straight to your website and the fee you pay depends on how many people click on your ads. 

With a movie theater, people may type “Spider-Man movie theater near me” to find a local theater playing the most recent Marvel movie. With a PPC campaign, the corresponding page will pop up near the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for people to click on. 

Why PPC is important for movie theaters

One of the biggest benefits of PPC for movie theaters is it allows total control over how much you spend on an advertising campaign. You only pay when visitors click on your ads, meaning you’re getting your money’s worth with every click! You may spend more money on your PPC campaign when your theater shows a blockbuster film and less during slower months when fewer films are playing. 

Other benefits of PPC for small businesses like local movie theaters include:

  • Quick results: Although it’s rewarding to appear organically at the top of SERPs, it can take a lot of time to achieve. With PPC, you can appear toward the top of relevant search results within hours.
  • More precise targeting: Your ads will appear at the top of a search when the searcher is already interested in what you’re offering. Your website will reach the people most likely to click instead of trying to convert people who may not be interested. 
  • Ideal for testing: It’s easy to run A/B tests on your PPC campaigns to find out which of your ads are producing the most results and which are underperforming. 
  • Resistant to algorithm changes: Google updates its algorithm frequently, which adds a level of complexity to online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). However, PPC is not really affected by these updates, which gives you one less thing to worry about. 

4 Effective tips for movie theater PPC

There’s nothing like making a trip to the movie theater for a fun escape, complete with a soda and a tub of popcorn. Let’s jump into effective PPC tips for local movie theaters: 

1. Know how to target your audience

Consider using local keywords to target your ideal customer with PPC advertising. When people search for movie theaters, the odds are good that they’ll put “near me” or another geographical indicator at the end of their search. Attach your general location at the end of keywords, such as “movie theater in Atlanta” or “movie theater near Disney World” to attract attention from audiences near you. 

Keywords are a hot commodity for PPC campaigns. If your budget is tight, it’s okay to focus on a few high-value keywords rather than aiming for a high number of keywords. 

2. Set specific goals

Goals sit at the center of every marketing campaign, digital or otherwise. If you want to know how successful your campaigns are — and how you can improve them the next time around — you’ll want to set specific goals. Common goals of PPC campaigns include: 

  • Increasing brand awareness, or how familiar people are with your company. 
  • Improving your lead generation. 
  • Increasing sales and revenue. 
  • Encouraging more traffic toward your site. 

At your movie theater, your PPC goals might have to do with selling more tickets. For example, you might try to sell 10% more tickets for an advertised film during the month than you did without PPC the previous month. 

3. Get on Google Ads

How many times a day do you think to yourself, “I’ll Google that.” How many more times do you hear someone else muttering the same phrase, cell phone already in hand? Chances are, the answer is a lot. As a leading search engine, Google is a great place to start your PPC journey. 

With Google Ads, you can turn your advertisement investment into revenue. Businesses use this system to attract customers through ads in search results, videos, and mobile apps. Next time someone Googles where a movie is playing near them, Google Ads will help your business appear near the top of results. 

4. Monitor results

As with any other marketing strategy, one of the most crucial parts is monitoring your progress and making updates to enhance success. 

It’s up to you how and how often you monitor your results. You may do so every other week, once a month, every three months, or every six months. There are various ways to monitor your campaign success, including:

  • Setting SMART goals.
  • Knowing vanity metrics like pageviews and the running total of customers.
  • Tracking returning customers.
  • Monitoring the average duration of a visit. 
  • Analyzing the exit rate. 

Meet WebFX:

Your world-class, tech-enabled marketing agency with over 1.6 million hours of combined expertise.

cta38 img

WebFX can help your movie theater business handle PPC advertising

As the weather cools down and people look for indoor activities to enjoy with friends and family, encourage trips to the movie theater with PPC advertising. 

At WebFX, we have a team of PPC managers who are qualified to generate leads for your company. We know the different strategies for meeting your goals and will help you encourage audiences to visit your theaters. For more information on our PPC services, contact us online or call 888-601-5359!

We Drive Results for Movie Theaters

  • 140+ recreation industry experts
  • Renowned for our communication and transparency

Get a Quote

dots background

author image

background shape

Explore our recreation case studies

Read our case studies for a more in-depth look at our results.



Increase in revenue

Record Head


Increase in users

Golden Meadows Retrievers


Increase in conversions



Get a free proposal

Solving key challenges for movie theaters

We’re not driving enough traffic to our website

Our SEO and web design services help increase your website’s ranking in the search results when people search for your services or offerings, so you can enjoy more web traffic and sales.

Website icon.

We’re opening a new location

Set your new location up for future success with compelling web pages and marketing messages that get your new location in front of your audience where they spend their time.

Marketing icon with flame.

We’re not selling enough of our vacation/trip packages

Not selling enough of your trip packages or missing out on sales? We can help you provide a seamless user experience on your website and craft personalized marketing messages that encourage your visitors to purchase your packages

Branch icon of a storefront.

We’re not attracting new customers

Our marketing specialists help you launch strategies that expand your reach and online visibility so more people can discover your business online.

Target icon with archery arrow hitting target.