Google Ads for Restaurants: 5 Tactics to Boost Online Presence

Nowadays, more and more diners are turning to online searches to find restaurants, making a strong digital presence essential. That’s where Google Ads comes in. In this comprehensive guide, I will dive deep into Google Ads for restaurants, exploring how this advertising platform can help you reach hungry customers, boost brand awareness, and drive more sales.

How Do Local Searchers Find Restaurants in Google?

Understanding how local searchers find restaurants on Google is key to crafting effective Google Ads campaigns. Here’s a breakdown of the typical search journey:

  • Keyword search: The user types a search query like “best tacos near me” or “restaurants with outdoor seating.”
  • Local search results: Google displays a map pack at the top of the search results page (SERP) showcasing nearby restaurants that match the user’s query.
  • Restaurant information: Each listing in the map pack includes the restaurant’s name, address, star rating, reviews, and sometimes even a photo.
  • Click-through and action: If a restaurant listing entices the user, they may click through to the restaurant’s website or Google My Business profile for more information, ultimately leading to a reservation, online order, or in-person visit.

In this example, someone is searching for a Dublin Asian restaurant, Mao, with the search term “Mao Dublin”.

Google ad for restaurant_ Mao dublin

Why You Should Use Google Ads to Promote Your Restaurant?

Here are just a few reasons why Google Ads should be a key ingredient in your restaurant’s marketing recipe:

Why You Should Use Google Ads to Promote Your Restaurant

Reach the right audience

With Google Ads, you can target your ideal customers based on demographics like location, age, interests, and even dining habits. This laser-focused approach ensures your ad reaches people most likely to be interested in what your restaurant offers.

Boost local visibility

Google prioritizes local businesses in search results, especially for mobile searches. Running Google Ads campaigns further increases your restaurant’s visibility in local search results, making it easier for hungry diners in your area to find you.

Promote special offers and events

Do you have a mouthwatering new menu item or an exciting upcoming event? Google Ads allows you to create targeted campaigns to highlight these specials and drive foot traffic during specific times.

Drive online orders and reservations

People are increasingly comfortable ordering food online or booking reservations through a restaurant’s website. Google Ads can be used to direct customers to your online ordering platform or reservation system, streamlining the process and boosting online sales.

Track and measure results

Unlike traditional advertising methods, Google Ads provides valuable data and insights into the performance of your campaigns. You can track metrics like impressions, clicks, website visits, and even conversions (reservations made or online orders placed) to see what’s working and optimize your campaigns for better results.

Examples of Google Ads for restaurants

1. Base Wood Fired Pizza

Google ads for restaurants_Base Wood Fired Pizza

The ad highlights that they offer special deals and the convenience of online ordering. The ad emphasizes the freshness of their food. They mention that their cooking methods are influenced by traditional Neapolitan techniques and inspired by modern flavors. This ad is designed to attract customers who value fresh, quality ingredients and the convenience of online ordering.

2. Dublin Meat Company

Google ads for restaurants_Dublin Meat Company

This ad from Dublin Meat Company is designed to attract customers who are looking for convenient, healthy meal options. It emphasizes “Healthy eating made easy” and labels the service as “Ireland’s favourite meal prep”. It offers meals that are perfect for all nutrition goals, including enticing options for those aiming to slim down. The ad promotes a special offer, the “All Day Bundle”, where customers can get a full week of healthy meals, covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for €50.

How do you use Google Ads for restaurants?

Now that you know what an effective Google Ad for restaurants looks like, you might want to know how to target hungry customers actively searching for their next meal. Here are some top tactics to maximize your success:

1. Set up your account properly

The first step in your restaurant’s journey with Google Ads is setting up your account. This process involves creating a Google account if you don’t already have one, and then signing up for Google Ads. Make sure to fill out all the necessary information accurately, including your business name, location, and contact information. Setting up your account properly is crucial as it forms the foundation of your advertising efforts.

>>> Read more: How to Set Up a Google Ads Account in Five Minutes [2024]

2. Target restaurant searchers near your area

One of the biggest advantages of Google Ads is its ability to target ads based on location. As a restaurant, you want to attract customers in your local area. With Google Ads, you can set your ads to appear only to people searching for restaurants in your specific geographic area. This ensures that your ads are seen by the people most likely to visit your restaurant.

Target restaurant searchers in your geographic area

3. Bid on keywords with high search intent

Keywords are the terms that people type into Google when they’re looking for something. By bidding on keywords related to your restaurant and the food you serve, you can ensure that your ads appear when potential customers are searching for what you offer. But which exactly are the keywords you should bid on?

  • Local is Key: Remember, the vast majority of restaurant searches are location-specific. Focus on incorporating keywords that geographically target your audience. Examples include:
    • “[Your City Name] + restaurants”
    • “[Type of Cuisine] + near me”
    • “[Restaurant Name] + reservations”
  • Go Beyond Basic Searches: Keywords like “restaurants” might seem appealing, but they lack focus. Target keywords that indicate a strong desire to dine out. These could be:
    • “Best [Type of Cuisine] near me tonight”
    • “Restaurants with outdoor seating”
    • “[Restaurant Name] + menu”

4. Set your restaurant ad schedule

Google Ads allows you to schedule your ads to run at certain times. As a restaurant, you might want to run your ads right at the time when people are likely to be thinking about food. Here’s a deeper dive into when you should set your restaurant Google Ads to appear:

Focus on peak operating hours

There’s no point in advertising your delicious lunch specials when your restaurant is closed for breakfast.  Schedule your ads to run during the times you’re open for business. This ensures your message reaches potential customers who can realistically visit your establishment and enjoy your offerings.

Target lunch and dinner rushes

People are most likely to search for restaurants when their stomachs start rumbling.  Align your ad schedule with your peak dining times. For most restaurants, this translates to:

  • Lunch: Schedule your ads to appear during the typical lunch hour in your area. This could be anywhere between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM depending on your location and target audience.
  • Dinner: The evening rush is another prime time to showcase your restaurant’s offerings. Schedule your ads to appear in the late afternoon or early evening, typically between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

Holidays and special occasions

People are more likely to dine out on holidays like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.  Adapt your ad schedule to coincide with these special occasions.  You can even create specific ad campaigns highlighting your holiday menus or special offers to attract customers.

5. Include ad extensions in your restaurant ads

Ad extensions are extra pieces of information that you can add to your Google ad. These might include your restaurant’s address, phone number, or links to specific pages on your website like your menu or online reservation system. Just like adding the perfect side dish complements your main course, ad extensions enhance your Google Ads for restaurants, providing valuable information and increasing click-through rates. Here’s how to leverage different ad extension types to make your restaurant ads even more enticing:

Location extensions

Imagine a potential customer searching for “Italian food near me.” With location extensions enabled, your ad can display your restaurant’s address and phone number directly alongside the ad itself. This eliminates the need for users to search for your contact information, making it incredibly convenient for them to find your restaurant on a map or initiate a call for reservations.

Use location extensions for Google restaurant ads

Call extensions

These extensions display your restaurant’s phone number within your ad, allowing potential customers to connect with you with a single click. This is particularly valuable for users searching on mobile devices, as they can instantly initiate a call without needing to navigate to your website or search for your phone number elsewhere.

Use call extensions for Google restaurant ads

Sitelink extensions

Think of sitelink extensions as miniaturized menus within your ad. These extensions allow you to include links to specific, relevant pages on your website. Here’s how you can leverage them for your restaurant:

Use sitelink extensions for Google restaurant ads
  • Link to your online menu: Entice potential customers with a direct link to your online menu. This allows them to browse your offerings and make informed decisions before even visiting your website.
  • Highlight your reservations page: For restaurants that accept online reservations, including a sitelink to your reservation page simplifies the process for diners. This eliminates the need for them to search for the reservation option on your website.
  • Promote special offers: Running a limited-time happy hour or offering a special discount? Utilize sitelink extensions to showcase these promotions within your ad, grabbing attention and potentially driving more customers during off-peak hours.

Structured snippets

These extensions provide additional details about your restaurant’s unique selling propositions. Here are some examples of how to leverage structured snippets for restaurants:

Use structured snippets for Google restaurant ads
  • Cuisine: Highlight the specific type of cuisine you offer (Italian, Thai, Vegan, etc.). This helps users searching for specific culinary experiences find your restaurant quickly.
  • Price range: Provide transparency by showcasing your restaurant’s price range (Budget-friendly, Moderate, Fine Dining). This allows users to make informed decisions based on their budget.
  • Amenities: Do you offer outdoor seating, a great happy hour, or free Wi-Fi? Promote these amenities with structured snippets to stand out from competitors and entice diners seeking specific features.

Following the strategies above will ensure your restaurant approaches the hungry customers at the right time. If you need help from experts, you can contact a trusted Google Ads Premier agency, like Mega Digital. Partnering with Mega Digital, you will receive guidance that helps you craft compelling ad copy, target the right audience, and optimize campaigns for your restaurants.

How much does it cost for a restaurant to run Google Ads?

The cost of running Google Ads for a restaurant can vary depending on several factors such as the competitiveness of your keywords, your geographic location, and your overall advertising budget. On average, small-to-medium-sized businesses spend between $9,000 and $10,000 per month on Google Ads.

To give you a general idea of how your ad is performing compared to competitor’s, let’s look at some average benchmarks for the restaurant industry:

Average Cost Per Click (CPC)

This is the average amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. For restaurants, the average CPC is typically around $1.95.

Average Cost Per Lead (CPL)

This is the average amount you pay to acquire a lead, which could be someone who makes a reservation, places an online order, or signs up for your email list. The average CPL for restaurants is approximately $34.81.

Average Click-Through Rate (CTR)

This is the proportion of people who see your ad and click on it. A higher CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and appealing to your audience. The average CTR for restaurants is about 8.65%.

Average Conversion Rate

This is the percentage of people who click on your ad and then take a desired action, such as making a reservation or placing an order. The average conversion rate for restaurants is around 5.06%.

Avg. Cost Per Click ($)1.95
Avg. Cost Per Lead ($)34.81
Avg. Click-Through Rate (%)8.65
Avg. Conversion Rate (%)5.06

>>> Read more: Google Ads Benchmarks 2024 by Industry [Original & Latest data]

Remember, these figures are just averages. Your actual costs may vary depending on your specific circumstances. It’s also important to note that running a successful Google Ads campaign involves more than just spending money. It requires ongoing testing, monitoring, and optimization to ensure you’re getting the best possible return on your investment.

FAQs about Google Ads for Restaurants

In this section, I answer some frequently asked questions about leveraging Google Ads for your restaurant business.

How can I track the success of my Google Ads9 campaign?

Google Ads provides a range of metrics that you can use to measure the success of your ads, including impressions, clicks, and conversions. You can use these metrics to understand how your ads are performing and make adjustments as needed.

Can I target my ads to a specific geographic area?

Yes, Google Ads allows you to target your ads to a specific location, whether that’s a certain city, a radius around your restaurant, or even a specific zip code.

What kind of ads can I run?

Google offers several types of ads including Search ads, Display ads, and Video ads. For restaurants, Search ads (those that appear on Google search results) are often the most effective.

Final words

In conclusion, Google Ads offers a powerful platform for restaurants to reach out to potential customers, increase visibility, and drive more sales. By understanding how to effectively use Google Ads for restaurants, you can leverage the power of online advertising to stay competent. Whether you’re a small local diner or a large restaurant chain, Google Ads can help you connect with your target audience and grow your business.

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