Google Ads For Restaurants

by Toby

October 17, 2019

Google Ads For Restaurants

Do Google Ads Work for Restaurants?

Absolutely Google ads work. Remember this about Google – whether we’re talking about Google Ads or Google organic searches and SEO for Restaurants, no other marketing tactic provides a constant stream of pre-qualified leads 24 hours a day, 7 days per week like Google. The fact that a potential customer must type in a query that is specific to your restaurant means they are a warm, pre-qualified lead.

What other marketing channels can you advertise in where the customers have self-selected themselves as wanting the food and service from your restaurant?

The Restaurant Customer Journey

customer-journey-to-becoming-a-lead

The Restaurant Customer Journey

Within this discussion of Google Ads and how they work, it’s important to remember the customer journey to becoming your restaurant customer.

The path to conversion for a customer is typically not direct – meaning there are multiple steps, not just as simple as:

see Google ad --> click on ad --> become a customer

The above example, of course, does happen, but many customers take many steps over the course of hours or days. For example, perhaps you piqued their interest, but then they left to read your reviews, check out competitors, or maybe they stop their search altogether temporarily.

Google Ads Wants You To Be Successful and Provides The Channel and Tools

Understandably, most people unaware of how Google works don’t realize that the platform offers many tools to reach the ideal restaurant customer at any point during the customer journey and that you can be successful with even modest budgets whatever your goals are.

As an example, consider that Google provides a campaign objective that is designed to maximize conversions however you have defined it – restaurant phone calls, store visits, or conversions through your restaurant app.

The campaign optimizes to achieve that goal and reduces any ad spend that
doesn’t help achieve that goal. Google will also adhere to your cost per lead/cost per conversion limits as well, so you ensure you’re maintaining your ROI goals.

Here’s another example - use remarketing to increase repeat sales:

We had a restaurant client in NYC that had thousands on its remarketing list (past website visitors). We ran a remarketing campaign and every day we would advertise banners ads with the latest lunch special to thousands of hungry customers between 11 am – 2 pm that needed to decide on where to get lunch. These types of campaigns cost very little money. And the people that are most likely to buy from you are the ones that have bought from you in the past.

If lunch sales are important, why would you not want to run lunch special ads targeting people from 11 am – 1 pm when people are hungry, and you know they need lunch?

Untapped Opportunity for Restaurants

Consider the below chart showing the growth in searches in Google for “restaurant near me.” Are you sure you want to concede that traffic to your competitors?

restaurant-near-me-searches-trending-in-google

"Restaurant Near Me" searches trending in Google

Here’s another search: “Mexican restaurant near me”

mexican-restaurant-near-me-searches-trending-in-google

"Mexican Restaurant Near Me" Searches Trending In Google

And this one...

indian-restaurant-near-me-searches-trending-in-google

"Indian Restaurant Near Me" Searches Trending In Google

How Do Google Ads Work? Campaign Types

Google ads work in two basic ways:

Search Ads: text ads that show when searchers type keywords into Google search (or Google search partners) or on Google maps 

google-search-ad-for-pizza

Google Ads and Google Search Results for "Pizza Near Me" Search Results

Google Ads for Pizza
  • Display: image, video, and text ads that show on other websites you visit. Have you ever noticed those ads that follow you around after you have visited a website? Those are often Google Remarketing ads, which is one type of Google Display ad.
  • Video ads on YouTube – if you have video creative you can run ads on YouTube in very targeted ways. Remember that YouTube is the second largest search engine. With YouTube, you have many advantageous targeting options – based on keywords people are using to search for videos, placements – specific YouTube channels you know your audience visits, or even retargeting people that have previously visited your website.
  • App: you can drive app adoption as well using this ad type – with this campaign goal, you can increase app adoption and in-app usage as well.

But the core campaigns that the majority are focused on are Search and Display.

For Google Search ads, you as a restaurant advertiser bid on keywords specific to your business and have your ads show to those searchers.

For example, “Best hamburgers in San Diego.”

When someone clicks on your ads you are charged the cost-per-click (CPC), and the searcher is taken to your website, or a call is initiated to your restaurant, for example.

Here’s an example of a search ad on a mobile device:

google-search-ad-example-with-sitelinks-location-extension

Google Search Ad Example With Sitelinks, Location Extensions

The above ad highlights an important benefit of Google Ads over organic non-paid listings in Search.

Remember that the majority of search traffic right now is on mobile devices.

Notice with this mobile ad the entire visible part of the mobile screen is taken up by an ad! You have to scroll down quite a ways just to get to the non-paid organic listings. With mobile Google ads, your restaurant dominates the screen.

How Much Do Google Ads Cost?

The CPC (cost-per-click) varies greatly depending on the type of campaign, whether it’s Search or Display, but often it can be as low as $0.20 per click to more than $10 per click for restaurants
depending on the search term and the type of campaign.

Here’s some estimated CPCs for restaurant terms for a Search campaign:

estimated-CPCs-for-restaurant-search-terms

Estimated CPCs (cost per click) For Restaurant Search Terms

Keep in mind that Display campaigns can drive traffic for much lower CPCs. It’s not uncommon for a Display remarketing banner campaign to see CPCs less than $0.50 per click.

For Search campaigns, the cost you pay varies by keyword. Some keywords will be more economically valuable than others.

The two main variables that affect the cost per click with a Search campaign are competition for the search terms you’re bidding – how many other restaurants are bidding for those keywords – and for the relevance of your ad and website to the searcher.

 Later we’ll talk about how to identify which keywords are the most economically viable.

Identify Your Goals For Your Google Ads Campaign

What are you trying to achieve with a Google Ad campaign?

Everyone is going to say sales, of course, and that may be a goal, but there are additional options:

  • Increase repeat business through retargeting
  • Increase phone calls
  • Grow website traffic
  • App promotion and more

Likely you will have multiple goals.

Spend some time identifying what you are trying to achieve – this will drive what types of campaign you set up and what types of budgets you need to achieve your goals. Below are some of the kinds of goals that Google Ads provides for your campaigns.

google-ads-campaign-goals

Google Ads Campaign Goals

Search Campaign Structure

Campaigns, Ad Groups, Ads, Keywords

Organization is at the heart of successful Google Ad campaigns. The hierarchy in a Search campaign is: Campaigns à Ad Groups à Ads à Keywords

Campaigns are where you set top-level settings, such as your geotargeting, budgets, start and end dates, etc.

The Three Amigos

  • Ad Groups
  • Ads
  • Keywords

The above are the Three Amigos – they go hand-in-hand and are organized in themes.

For example, here’s a possible theme (i.e., ad group, ads, keywords):

Let’s say you offer the best hamburgers around and want to acquire more hamburger customers.

You have one ad group called Best Hamburgers. Within that ad group are ads that are written about why you have the best hamburgers along with a promotion. And the keywords you bid on revolve around, best hamburgers near me, best hamburgers in…, etc.

Here’s a possible second theme - catering:
Perhaps you offer catering as well – a second ad group would have ads focused on your catering services, benefits, pricing options, etc and keywords that are focused on “restaurant catering”, for example.

So in each ad group example, you have aligned the Ads with the Keywords (meaning the ads have the keywords in them) – this is a fundamental principle in Search campaigns.

But we don’t stop there…

Each landing page you send the traffic to is about that theme…don’t send catering traffic to a generic home page. Send your catering traffic to a detailed page about your catering services that has pricing, pictures, testimonials, etc.

Conversely, don’t send your “best hamburgers” ad group traffic to a page that isn’t talking about why you have the best hamburgers.

Both ad groups could be under one campaign, as illustrated below.

structure-of-google-ad-campaign

Structure of Google Ad Campaigns

This alignment between ads, keywords, and landing pages is essential and will cost you more money if you violate it and lead to poor user experience for searchers.  Nobody wants to click on
a catering ad and land on a generic Home page of website with little to no information about your catering services.

Campaign Details

Campaigns are at the top where you designate key features. It’s crucial that you designate campaigns for one ad channel only.

For example, a Search campaign should only focus on Search, not Search and Display.

A YouTube campaign should only run YouTube ads, not Display or Search as well.

Even though Google will allow you to mix campaign types, mixing campaign types is a bad idea because each channel, whether it’s Search, Display, or YouTube, behave very differently, and the campaign level metrics are different.

Search campaigns often have CTRs (click-through-rates) of 4% or higher, while Display campaigns are usually less than 0.5% - 1% - mixing these campaign types in one campaign distorts the data, among other issues.

Below we go through the options at the campaign level of setting up your campaign.

Campaign Detail Features:

  • Networks: In the case of a Search campaign – just Google search or Search Partners as well. We recommend Google and Search Partners
  • Type of campaign – Search, Display, App, or YouTube
  • Budgeting is set at this level
  • Where you’re advertising geographically
  • What languages you’re targeting
    • We typically set this to English, of course, and add in Spanish often. If other languages apply to your type of restaurant, you want to select those here. This feature is essential for those people that have set their browser preferences to a particular language.
  • Bidding type
    • We’ll discuss more about bidding below
  • Campaign Start and End Dates
    • Setting dates for campaigns is very beneficial especially if you’re running a temporary promotion or holiday campaign, or want to stop the campaign at one point automatically
  • Conversions – select which conversions are included
  • Ad Rotation – Google gives you several options here…the default is set to “Optimize: Prefer best performing ads.” However, if you want to split test ad creative and copy to uncover which performs better, then set this to “Do not optimize: Rotate ads indefinitely.”
  • Campaign URL options – typically you do not need to worry about this – we set campaign URLs at the Ad level
  • Dynamic Search Ads Setting – more of an advanced feature. I do not recommend using this right out of the gate if at all.
  • IP Exclusions – not something you will need to worry about, but it allows you to block specific IPs and thus geo areas

Search Ad Groups

Ad groups are just a name placeholder. You can set ad group bids which will apply to all your keywords in the ad group (unless you specify keyword-level bidding on keywords), but the ad group is just the place that will hold your ads and keywords for a particular theme.

Search Ads

Write at least two ads per ad group to split test ad copy, offers, and CTAs (calls-to-action).

Here’s an example ad from within the Google Ad Manager:

restaurant-search-ad-with-sitelinks

Restaurant Search Ad With Sitelinks

And then the interface to create the ad:

Google-Ad-Creation-Interface

Google Ad Creation Interface

Google Ad Creation Interface

Text Ad Character Limits

  • 3 Headlines – 30 characters each
    • The third headline will not show all the time
  • Description 1 and 2 – 90 characters each

You don’t have much space, so make sure you highlight your unique features and benefits that customers love the most. Add in any offers and of course a CTA (call-to-action).

  • USP – unique selling proposition – what makes you different? Think in terms of what your customers want – what are their needs and translate that into compelling ad copy.
    • CTAs – add appropriate calls-to-action.For example, call now, download our app today, order now, etc
    • Features and benefits – what is unique about your restaurant, and what’s the benefit to your customer?
    • Prices and promotions – for sure, include these…can improve CTRs

If you’re a multi-unit restaurant, don’t forget that the Final URL, which is the first field in this example should land you on the location page for that restaurant, not necessarily the Home page unless that’s the most relevant page. Unless you have many locations in a metro area, your
campaign can cover all those locations and, in that case, land the visitor on a page that lists all the locations.

And remember, there’s only one URL per ad group, so you cannot have one ad with the Final URL going to the location page, and another ad in the same ad group go to the Home page.

Ad Extensions: Use all the Google Ad features

  • Callouts – these have 25-character limits and will appear below the ad. Callouts make the ad larger and will show per Google’s discretion. Use these. Examples include: Open until 2 am, Vegan Food, 20 Beers On Draft, etc
    • Sitelinks – these also appear below the ad and are links to other areas of your site. You can use them to link to your Contact Us page, About Us, or other areas of your website that are relevant
    • Location Extensions – if your ad represents one location, absolutely add in a location extension…this too makes your ad more significant and will include your address and phone number in the ad. If your ad represents many locations in one geo area, likely you should not use Location Extensions as Google will show location extension that performs the best, not necessarily the one that is closest to the searcher.
    • Click to call extension – a great way to increase phone calls
    • Message extensions – can you handle messages coming to you from ads? If yes, consider adding this.

Keyword Tools: What Keywords Should I use?

Below are several tools to help you identify the best keywords for your restaurant Search campaigns. A best practice is to identify 10 – 15 keywords per Search ad group.

Cluster your keywords in ad groups around tight themes – for example, searches related to “best hamburgers in town,” or “best hamburgers near me.”

Google Keyword Planner

To access the Google Keyword Planner, just set up a free Google Ads account.  The Keyword Planner is located under Tools & Reporting and then Planning.

google ad keyword planner tool

Google Ad Keyword Planner Tool

Let’s say you’re creating an ad group for “Best Hamburgers” – I typed in two seed keywords below.

discover-new-keywords-google-keyword-planner

Discover New Keywords Using Google Keyword P:lanner

Make sure you set your geolocation to where you are targeting your ads otherwise you won’t have realistic numbers – in the below example, we need to change this from the United States to the specific area we’re targeting (e.g., within specific zip codes, a town or city, etc).

google-keyword-planner-results

Google Keyword Planner Results

When I update the geo-targeting to San Diego, as an example, I get accurate monthly search data. Google also gives you data on the “keywords you provided” and then many additional recommendations.

In the below example under “Keyword ideas” there’s one additional keyword with “best” – if I were targeting terms related to “best burgers,” I would use the two I suggested, and the one Google suggested in the ad group, but not the others. For the other terms, I might create another ad
group for “best burgers” where all the keywords have “best burgers” in them.

Keep in mind Google Ads will not show you all the keywords people use to search…it is primarily showing you the keywords it believes have value since it doesn’t want you blaming them that your campaign didn’t work if you choose other keywords.

So to cover your bases, use different tools to uncover potential keywords. Big G is not always right.

keyword-ideas-google-keyword-planner

Keyword Ideas - Google Keyword Planner

Keep in mind Google Ads will not show you all the keywords people use to search…it is primarily showing you the keywords it believes have economic value since it doesn’t want you blaming them that your campaign didn’t work if you choose other keywords. So to cover your bases, use different tools to uncover potential keywords. Big G is not always right.

Brand and Competitor Terms
Don’t forget to consider bidding on brand and competitor restaurant terms as well – set up ad groups for your brand terms and consider going after competitor brand terms. If it’s a well-known restaurant brand, you might be blocked from using the keyword if they filed with Google to protect the term, but it’s worth a try. Competitor terms will be more expensive since you don’t
own that word on your site anywhere.

Why Go After Paid Brand Searches?
Some may question why you would set up brand queries in a Google Ad campaign when you know you will win that organically. A couple of reasons this can make sense:

  • There’s a chance your competitors may bid on your brand terms so by you bidding on them too you will raise their cost
  • The cost for you to bid on your brand terms is typically inexpensive. You can also highlight different features/benefits in ads that you cannot display easily in the organic results that Google serves up – for example, maybe you’re having a special promotion that is only today, for example.
  • You can deep link your ads into specific parts of your site

Keywords: Google My Business Insights

Within your Google My Business page, there is an area called Insights, which will show you all the terms your Google My Business page has shown for in Google Search and Google Maps (go to business.google.com).

google-my-business-insights-keywords

Google My Business (GMB) Insights Keywords

Google Related Searches

Anytime you do a Google search, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page Google serves up searches related to your initial query – these are additional restaurant and food searches that people are using.

Below is an example for related Google searches to “catering services.”

Google-Related-Searches

Google Related Searches

Any additional terms you find from Google My Business Insights and Google related searches, throw these terms into the Google Keyword Planner to check for metrics, such as competition, seasonality, and CPC (cost-per-click).

Choosing The Correct Keywords

When you’re finalizing restaurant keywords for your ad groups within your Google search campaign here are things to consider:

  • Monthly search volume – is there volume enough to make it worthwhile?
    • It’s ok to use search terms with low volume or no reported volume from Google but know you are not likely to drive much traffic
  • Competition – is there too much competition to make it profitable? Remember, the Google Keyword Planner will show the competition level along with the CPC.
  • What is the CPC per keyword?
  • Relevance to your food and services

And you can always add keywords to your actual plan and test and later remove them if they are not meeting your goals.

Search Match types

For Search campaigns, Keyword Match Types are Google’s way of allowing you to narrow your searches to precisely that query or broadening it to expand to all the possible query variations your ad can show for.

Here’s a table from Google that summarizes the different match types your keywords can have. This table can be found at Google as well here.

google-ads-keyword-match-types

Google Ads Keyword Match Types

Broad Match Keywords:
Be careful using “broad match” – this can match to some wild variants you would not expect and that likely won’t be a good fit for your business so you run the risk of wasting ad spend on non-valuable keywords. We rarely use this match type.

  • Pros: can expose you to many different queries that perhaps you would not have thought of that could be valuable
  • Cons: you can waste ad spend on keywords that are not relevant

Modified Broad Match Keywords:
We typically recommend starting your campaign with “broad match modifier” terms – this ensures your ads will show with the core set of keywords you have designated, albeit in any order, but allow you to capture search terms you didn’t think of or that came up in your keyword research. For example, if you used -  +best +hamburgers - as a term to bid on this could match to “hamburgers that are best in…”With broad match modifiers, the order of the keyword doesn’t matter, just that those keywords are used somewhere in the search phrase.

  • Pros: Allows for flexibility to match to queries that have those core terms in any order and additional terms that perhaps you didn’t think of. For example, if you used “+best +hamburgers” as the modified broad terms (designated by the + sign), this could match “best hamburgers near me” or “best hamburgers in San Diego” or “Best
    hamburgers open at 2 am”
    or “which hamburgers are best in san diego” – notice this last one the order of the terms was reversed with a word in between.
  • Cons: there are still search terms that show up that are not likely to be valuable with wasted ad spend.

Phrase Match Keywords:
If you want to be slightly more conservative, use phrase match, “best hamburgers”- this will ensure that your ad only shows for queries where those terms are used in precisely that order, but words can appear before and after…so same example as above, the ad could show for, “best hamburgers in San Diego.”

  • Pros: Narrow your focus on core set terms and eliminate wasteful keywords
  • Cons: Still allows your ad to show for some search terms that might not be a good fit, but more restrictive than Modified Broad

Exact Match Keywords:
Exact match is the most conservative – “best hamburgers” will only match those two words, so this match type is very restrictive, and you would miss out on “best hamburgers near me,” for example.

  • Pros: the most precise, least wasteful keyword setup
  • Cons: The drawback is that you will lose out on keywords that were valuable. Another drawback is that search volume for exact match is low compared to the other match types so you will not drive as much traffic. There are times when using Exact Match makes sense – for example, if one particular keyword generates a sufficient volume of clicks and conversions, sometimes pulling just that keyword out of its existing ad group and creating its own ad group with just that keyword can help drive even more clicks for that word – this can focus your ad spend on one of your most
    successful keywords.

Using Negative Keywords

What are negative keywords? Keywords that you don’t want your ads to show for. Adding negative keywords to your campaign is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to make your campaign more efficient and waste less money.

Within your Google Ads account, you can run a Search Terms report for any Search campaign to uncover the actual terms that your ads showed for. Below is where to find that report.

results-search-terms-report-google-ads

Results Search Terms Report Google Ads

n this example, I checked the phrase match term, “restaurant near me” which is a term that was added to the campaign then clicked on Search Terms. Below are the keyword variations that matched to “restaurant near me” with a 2 week period. With the Search Terms report, you can see
terms that your ad showed for based on that particular keyword you added to your campaign, for example:

  • Breakfast restaurants near me
  • 24 hour restaurant near me
  • Indian restaurant near me

So, if any of those were not appropriate, you would add them as negatives to avoid your ads from showing for them in the future.

Run the Search Terms report regularly, beginning in the first two weeks then regularly - monthly perhaps after that.

Example Display Campaign: What are display ads?

Display ads are typically image ads that show on other websites, within Gmail, or on YouTube (although you can use text ads as well in Display campaigns). Unlike search ads that are keyword driven, Display ads use different targeting methods.

For most restaurants, Remarketing ads (i.e. serving ads to people who have previously visited your website) are some of the most common types of Display ads and often cost very little compared to Search ads.

An example of a remarketing ad is:
Someone visited your website and then left your website and went to read the news on NBC, for example, and a banner ad for your restaurant showed on that website.

You should be running Remarketing campaigns if you do nothing else. The benefit of remarketing ads is that it keeps your brand front and center with your customer and helps you maintain mindshare, which ultimately results in increases in new customers and repeat customers. Except
for Facebook, no other marketing tactics allow you to do this.

The other targeting methods outside of remarketing for Display campaigns drive more branding and upper-funnel awareness – while branding is essential, for most small to medium-sized restaurants it’s hard to justify the expense versus actual conversions to the store.

Campaigns, Ad Groups, Ads, Targeting

The hierarchy is the same as in a Search campaign. The most significant difference from a Search campaign is the targeting to reach your customer, where the ads show, and that you’re using banner ads.

Here are some of the Display targeting options which are very different from Search campaigns:

Audiences

  • How they have interacted with your business (i.e. Remarketing and Similar Audiences) –
    • Remarketing: targeting past website visitors. This is by far the most common and effective Display campaign targeting for most restaurants. Can cost very little and the benefit is huge
      and encourages repeat business or closing longer sales cycle customers that didn’t convert on a first website visit.
      Website visitors can stay on your Remarketing lists for longer than 1 year!
      • Requires the Google Pixel to be placed on the
        website
    • Similar To – with Similar To audiences you can take your Remarketing audience of website visitors and tell Google to
      create an audience with similar demographics and behaviors – another effective way to leverage your remarketing audience and the Google pixel

What their interests and habits are:

  • Affinity Audiences – people grouped by their habits and preferences
  • Custom Affinity Audience – here you enter interests, URLs, types of places, or apps to generate a custom audience

What are they actively researching or planning? 

  • In-market and Custom Intent – are they actively
    searching for recipes, food, or traveling and perhaps might be a good fit for your ethnic food?

Demographics – you can target based on age, gender, household income, parental status and combinations thereof

Topics – you can have your ads show on websites and pages that are about a topic. For example, if you’re a barbeque restaurant, you can choose to show ads on topics related to BBQ & Grilling.

Keywords – keywords used in Display \campaigns are different than in Search campaigns. Keywords are used to target contextually relevant pages which just means pages talking about those keywords. Typically, 5 keywords help Google understand the topic well enough to identify website pages to show your ads on.

Placements – specific websites or pages on websites that you choose to have your ads show.

Creative

Make your ads visually appealing. Showcase your food and people having fun. Include calls-to-action (CTAs) and some benefits but not too much text as you have limited space. Tell a story with your images.

If you’re promoting an event, showcase the best image for that event.

If you’re showcasing a promotion, highlight that in the ad creative.

Consider using social media to help you split test which creative works best. Run Facebook ads with different creative and see which performs better then roll that creative out to your Google Display ads for your restaurant.

Consider dayparting

Dayparting is just running your campaigns during specific times of the day. For example, we run breakfast ads – in both Search and Display campaigns - for a client only during the morning from 6 am to 10 am, and then lunch ads from 10 am to 2 pm so we’re always promoting the most
current options.

Geo-targeting

Set your ads to show within the radius that the majority of your customers will travel from to visit you. The only exception to consider with this is for your retargeting campaign. Anyone that has landed on your site or a specific page on your site is likely local traffic – likely got there from
an organic search or social efforts locally. So, if you want to reach those people even if they’re traveling with remarketing ads, then consider not limiting your geotargeting for remarketing.

Bidding Strategy

Google Ads offers many different bidding strategies, depending on what your goals are.  Below are the bidding options Google Ads provides.

google-ads-bidding-options

Google Ads Bidding Options

Often Maximize Conversions are the appropriate choice for Search and Display campaigns – in this scenario, Google will try to maximize the number of conversions it gets for the budget you have allocated. The conversion you choose could be phone calls, directions to your restaurant, app downloads, or online orders, among others.

Conversions – make sure to set this up.

For each campaign, there are many types of conversions you can setup. Make sure to set up all that are appropriate for what you are trying to achieve. Not setting this up means you not only won’t be tracking important conversion events for your campaigns, but if you cannot run a Maximize Conversion bidding strategy.

google-ads-conversion-set-up

Google Ads Conversion Set Up

Quality Score:

Google Ads are an efficient advertising platform that rewards advertisers with lower costs that run quality campaigns.

In a search campaign, your keywords will have a quality score of a low of 1 to a high of 10. Google will charge you more per click for lower quality score keywords. And the differences in CPCs can be significant – more than double or triple the cost from a high of 10 to a low of 1. Also,
Google will restrict your exposure and limit how many searchers see your ads with lower quality scores – meaning your ad won’t always show.

Here’s an example:
If you are advertising catering services, make sure the keywords you use in your ad group are all about catering, make sure your ads are about catering, and finally make sure the landing page you’re sending the traffic to is about catering.

To get even more specific, perhaps you specialize in barbeque catering. Don’t just use basic catering terms – use barbeque catering keywords and send the traffic to a page about barbeque catering.

If your specialty is vegetarian burgers, use vegetarian burger keywords, ads that reflect the keywords and landing pages that are about vegetarian burgers.

Google will assign an initial quality score once you start, but that will adjust as the campaign runs.

What is too low of a quality score?

If you have keywords with quality scores at a 5 or 4, you need to consider pausing those keywords.

What can you do to improve your quality score?

Consider not using the keywords if they are not a perfect fit for what people are expecting, or most importantly, what the searcher was expecting. Or consider creating a new ad group with those lower score keywords, write new ads with those keywords, and use a different landing page that is
specific to those keywords.

Landing pages

What makes for a good landing page?

Any good strategy starts with the customer, and landing pages are no different. What is this person trying to achieve?

Likely they want to get a good sense of what you’re about, the food ambiance, pricing, are you kid-friendly? They probably also want to quickly find out where you are located and how to contact you. The internet is goal-oriented and so give them what they are looking for.

Also, your job is to reduce friction in the customer journey – don’t make it hard for them to find your phone number or where you’re located, or pricing information.

So, a useful landing page will have quality images showcasing your food and the restaurant. Write descriptions of your food and services that highlight your strengths.

Include trust marks to build confidence (testimonials, awards, etc).

Embedded video if you have – people like videos, and it’s a positive engagement factor for SEO and your ads.

Value of a customer

It’s essential to understand the lifetime value of a customer and not just your average order to run successful Google Ad campaigns. The majority of customers are repeat visitors – what is the value of a customer to you?

As an example, I probably go to a Jersey Mike’s 20 times per year and my average order is around $8 – just simple math puts my annual value at $160. In this scenario, a restaurant can afford to pay a fair amount to acquire a new customer. What is that value for your restaurant? This value
affects how you run your campaign.

Focus your campaigns on your most profitable foods and services before promoting lower value foods and services.

How Much Should You Spend On Ads?

I wrote an easy-to-follow process to help you identify how much to spend monthly.

Technical Website Issues

  • Ensure your site is mobile friendly – most of your traffic will be coming from mobile devices. Google runs a mobile-first index now so if your site is not mobile-friendly you will not only suffer organically in ranking in the search results, but your ad campaigns will suffer from lower quality scores too.
  • Hosing is important – don’t skimp – use a dedicated host, not a shared server where site speeds can be slow…slow page load times will give you negatively affect your quality scores

To wrap up this post, if you haven't considered Google Ads, I would encourage you to reconsider.

Remember on mobile devices, Google Ads take up the entire screen before the organic non-paid listings - that is invaluable screen real estate, especially when you consider that people spend up to 3 hours per day on their phones and check them as often as 150 times per day.

Google Ads is complex and it's not possible to cover all the strategies, tactics, and campaign optimizations for a restaurant, but feel free to ask questions below in the comments.

And if you are looking for an agency to help, reach out to us.

About the author 

Toby

Toby is the co-founder of 39 Celsius. He has over 20 years of digital marketing experience and has started several different companies throughout his career.

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