Hijack Your Restaurant Bookings with Google AdWords!

Hijack Your Restaurant Bookings with Google AdWords!

In today’s world of digital consumers, you can see competition all around you just for getting attention. According to recent researches, a person is served with an average of 1700 banner ads in a month but only half of these ads are viewed. The food and restaurant industry has got into saturation and hence the new ones get lost in the wide sea of competitors. All your hard work goes in vain if you fail to impress your audience. Hence Google AdWords for restaurants is vital to get you all the sweet returns for your efforts. 

Google AdWords is one of the tools that can be used for creating online campaigns for advertising both locally as well as in the customized way. One can use the geographic as well as demographic settings for adjusting the distribution of the ads for targeting the people of the area in which your restaurant is situated. The ones who will be interested in your business should be targeted and good targeting is the most important key factor for marketing or advertising your restaurant.

Restaurant owners must know that Google has become an essential part of marketing for any business. Smart owners are aware of the fact that the platform of Google AdWords is the center of the world of search marketing.

How AdWords work for restaurants?

Google AdWords enables the users for selecting a keyword set as well as display ads for the Google search users those who have queries for keywords selected by you. You have a restaurant and you should choose keywords such as “wine bar” or “fresh meat” while preparing a small advertisement with a link to your business website. This will get displayed along with the search results for these terms. AdWords advertisers have to pay per click on the ad links per ad impression.

To stand out from your competitors Google AdWords for there can be fierce competition and you can stand out from the rest but this is not easy at all as it seems. Online marketing helps you in this and AdWords can help push up your establishment and remain at the top of Google search results. You must adopt the right keywords while drafting pertinent ads for keeping your website updated and then you can obtain higher ranking positions getting ahead of all other competitions.

You can gain more visibility for your website through Google AdWords. When you rank well, it is evident that you will naturally appear on the search results of Google. In this way, you can raise your chances of getting viewed and bringing in clicks for your ads with more traffic in your restaurant’s website and thereby you build an e-reputation, that is, online reputation for your restaurant. Restaurant marketers wants to get past the basics of Google AdWords while they try to dig more into the technical and more advanced strategies of AdWords.

Pay per click (PPC) via AdWords can prove to be a profitable funnel for advertising on your website. You need to be smart with your budget and target those people who are already in search of a restaurant in the local areas.

According to Google studies, 97% of the consumers search online and find local businesses including restaurants which only rely on only local customers and these restaurants cannot afford to have a web presence. Google AdWords is a platform which helps the advertisers to advertise their links in front of their audience who search for the keywords relevant to your business. AdWords is a useful tool that makes your restaurant noticed on the internet as well as on the streets. AdWords is one of the sophisticated ad platforms in which advertisers bid on the keywords for appearing on the Google search results pages when people search for those particular terms. The AdWords platform when compared to Facebook is a bit harder as so many of the restaurants cannot understand where to start. But many of the restaurant owners can understand well the theory of AdWords marketing but they can face a constant struggle while removing a few common concerns that comes with AdWords marketing

AdWords marketing for restaurants or eateries is a delicate niche and AdWords can be immensely helpful for you to build a connection with your customers those who are in search for a restaurant and are in the verge of making a decision. Running of a quality campaign is vital even though it is not much likely to bring you conversions but it leaves an impressive impact for the first time. One might not see results sooner while in AdWords leads but this is a good shortcut to make your website rank well organically, if it is not.

Tips for AdWords:

AdWords enables you in targeting audiences in terms of geographical locations for your restaurants. This means that your ads will not get displayed on the other continents those who are not much likely to make a reservation. One can also target the keyword selection for finding users those who are more prone to visit your restaurant. For instance, the term “wine” can be searched by users who are more likely to give your restaurant a visit and those in general, but the term “wine bar in Venice” can be searched by audiences looking for a wine bar in that area.

#1 Suitable keywords for restaurants:

The most intimidating task for AdWords campaign is to choose the right keywords. The key factor lies in the bidding of right keywords thus evolving through time with the help of new keywords that have relevance to your business. Keywords can give you the most out of your campaign and you should use keywords that are most relevant to your business offerings like a cuisine in a place in Italy; you can include keywords such as-

  • Italian restaurant
  • Restaurant in Venice
  • Italian cuisine in Venice
  • Pizza restaurant in Italy

Kindly avoid one-word keywords for they are not much informative and fail to provide information about the food type you are offering in your restaurant.

You might get tempted by the great search volumes that come with the commonly found keywords but you should not underestimate the potential of the long tail keywords. These keywords offer higher conversions at lower costs in comparison to the common keywords. Although it can be tiresome for you while doing research for your campaign or during the accumulation of data, but you must be able to create long tailed keywords in relevance to your business by using the basic keywords. You should also put focus on the match type of the targeted keywords. Exact match keywords can give you maximum conversions at the minimum cost and every type of keyword match types has its own benefits and using all the match types of keywords is the wisest choice for your campaign structuring.

#2 Negative keywords are essential for restaurants:

The importance of negative keywords is unavoidable as each click can cost you a fortune. You can put the cuisines that are not included in your restaurant menu in the negative keywords list. For example, you specialize in Chinese cuisine in your restaurant offerings, you can put Italian, Mexican, continental and Indian cuisines in your negative keyword list.

You can also add sub-categories of the menu that you do not offer such as if you do not have desserts or pastries then you can add them in the negative list of keywords. Also, the negative keywords list can include services which you do not offer to your customers such as home delivery or online orders.

Also the keywords that are not leading to any conversion or have high CPC rates (cost per conversion) should be included in the negative keyword list. You should learn the structuring and organization of the campaigns for optimizing bidding strategies, targeting, ad extensions, etc as well as to drive in traffic to your business website and help in the generation of phone calls.

#3 Landing page is important:

Landing page includes several elements such as trust badges, result oriented headlines, testimonials, awards, etc. landing pages are aimed for driving in traffic to your website. Every visitor coming on to your landing page after clicking on your ad and this might cost you a fortune. Hence there must be no room for any error.

Do’s and don’ts:


You should use headlines through words of authority for inspiring trust in your potential customers. Add your location and all details in the headline and this can add confidence in the prospects and ensure them that they are at the right place. You can use alluring headlines and phrases like “complementary dessert” and the customers shall consider your restaurant for dining.

You should have feedback forms and include very limited fields for filling. These forms make it easier for the customers in reaching out to you and this assures them that you care for them.

Showcase your awards and achievements, testimonials and your shining history, years of experience in the content.

You can add an informative video for your customers and they can watch how you prepare food in your restaurant and how you pick up fresh ingredients for your restaurant. Keep in mind that visual representations have greater impact on audiences particularly on the food industry.


Make sure that you are not using logos with clickable links that make you return back to the home page. Do not use disappearing labels for the field names. Do not load the landing pages with heavy content for it is not likely that the customers will read throughout the entire site pages. Avoid giving multiple links or multiple all-to-action (CTA) on the same page for this can bring distraction to your customers.

#4 Importance of Ad copies:

Ad copies are equally important for it is the initial touching point where the content of your ad will be compelling to your customers and they will be tempted to click on your ad and not on your competitor’s ads.


Ad copies must contain four sections:

  1. Headline 1: your headline must be tailored depending on the customer’s search habits so your ad must target the words exactly what they are looking for.
  2. Headline 2: this is separated from headline 1 by a hyphen. Example- best Chinese cuisine in town, 10-must try starters, etc. this section must be persuaded to the customers so that they click on your ads.
  3. Display URL: one can customize it with path fields. Display URL need not be a valid one; this is only used for aesthetic purpose.
  4. Description: this contains ample space for your ad’s message. Here, you need to state clearly the value and specialty of your restaurant that makes it distinguished from the other competitors in the restaurant market business. Example- one stop for authentic Chinese flavors. Free delivery!

But the main URL is the first page of your website that the prospect visits after clicking on your ad so it would be better that you do not put the link of your home page as the final URL. You must keep in mind that the customers land on the specific page of your website related to their searches of dishes.  

#5 Ad extensions used by restaurants:

Google ad extensions can add life to your ads by turning them professional as well as trustworthy. If used in the right ways, ad extensions are more visible to your potential customers. The best extensions that work for restaurants are:

  1. Location extension- this enables your restaurant to add a physical location beside your ad and this can help your ad to be authenticated as a restaurant which in turn assures your customers with a streak of confidence. It also encourages your customers living nearby and they can contact you immediately or the best visit you. The location extension also makes it easier to navigate easily to your restaurant.

Ad extensions are enticing to the searchers who click your ads and they find it useful with supplementing information including direction, contact number, products, etc. 


Location extensions help to display your restaurant address while a searcher is nearby your location or if Google considers it to be relevant to show on Google search results. This can offer the searcher to quickly find your restaurant. Call extensions allow restaurants to add contact numbers in their ads. This can work more effectively for mobile devices for Google provides a clickable call button with the ad and this allows you to get customer calls directly. This is particularly most effective for customers for they can do advance bookings or have any customized requirement or want to know anything about your restaurant and this extension encourages them to call you more easily.

It can optimize the process of contacting and removes the hassles of visiting the site, then find your contact number and then contacting you. The contact number on the website might not be clickable and so call extensions.

Site extension: Site extensions enable all you restaurant owners to add additional links for sharing your achievements or photos of your restaurant, food and ambiance to attract the customers’ eye. In case you are targeting a generic keyword for the ad, the site extension helps you to add extra options to your customers so that they can have a look at your gallery or get the chef’s details or even book a table just by a single click. This makes things easier for the customers and so they can relate their preferences by clicking on your ads. The ad copy also can gain relevance by redirecting the customers onto the most relevant page of your website.

Almost half a percentage of people are turning on the internet for getting all their questions answered. Many people simply type “where should I dine tonight?” an increasing percentage of people can search like “restaurants Newcastle, Australia” on Google and after a quick view on the reviews, menu and then one can even order online right then right from their smart devices. So make your restaurant show on top of the results page when local people search Google for dining recommendations and this is where PPC works.

#6 Track and set your budget for AdWords:

AdWords comprise of a number of features that can help you to track the success of your AdWords campaign including the statistics of the number of users looking at your content and those who actually clicks on your link. Conversion tracking also helps to find out the number of users who make an online booking, etc. The features help to evaluate your campaign on a continuous run with modifications to the ad copies or keyword list. You must choose some unique terms such as any special dish of your restaurant can be cost saving and better targeting for users.

The best secret to online marketing is to cast a wide network.  Google offers a series of services which can help you in improving your search engine performance. Google places allow you to set your profile thereby appearing in local search results with the help of navigated location. Also, other social platforms like Twitter and Facebook can help to enhance your online exposure by complementing your AdWords.

#7 Location and device targeting for optimization and organization of the searchers:

Organization is the basic and primary step of any campaign. You should know the ad groups and related keywords that you want to group together and all these are subjected to the settings or restrictions of your campaign.

We offer you with some campaigns, that are restaurant focused and these would help you to target different types of search audience. Each of your campaigns can optimize targeting options, bidding as well as scheduling some strategies and adding ad extensions.

Campaign 1- targeting local searchers:

Broader keywords should be used for local targeting to desktops, tablets and mobiles. This campaign is for targeting locally and comprise of broader keywords. We assume that when a user is typing a keyword “restaurant” without adding a geographical term like a name of a place, California, then it can be assumed that their intention is to dine at a local restaurant. The broad nature of keywords helps you to generate search query reports as well as addition of negative keywords on a regular basis so that your ads do not show for any unnecessary search terms.

Campaign 2- targeting regional searchers:

Restaurant keywords are for regional targeting for desktops, tablets and mobiles. Campaign 2- is for capturing searchers outside your area for those who are planning to visit your place or dine at your restaurant sometime near. Regional targeting excluding your location for campaign 1 have geographic search terms such as ‘Glasgow restaurant’ or “Dining in Glasgow” and you may assume that searchers are planning to visit Glasgow  and make a visit at your restaurant.

Campaign 3- capturing the local searchers on smart mobile devices and broad keywords related to restaurants are used for local targeting:

This campaign is a reflection of campaign 1 in the sense that the campaign is intended for capturing the local searchers though targeting of broad keywords. But there lies a difference that campaign 3 can target mobile devices only. The best practice should be always to create individual campaigns for mobile devices for tailoring ad copies as well as their destination URLs respectively according to the ad copy. The campaign allows offering a better analysis regarding the devices that bring conversions and those who fail to.

Campaign 4- targeting the intent of “dining” is what these campaigns are for:

Dinner keywords are locally targeted for desktops and tablets. Conversions or impressions that are generated from dinner keywords usually increases between the time slots of 2-6 pm and this graph tends to spike more form Thursday onward till Saturday in the same time slot. Therefore you should increase your bid multiplier during the 2-6 pm slot and increase your bid more from Thursday-Saturday in the same time slot and then you can maximize the number of impressions and thereby increase your ad rank. If you notice that you have failed to receive any conversion between the time of midnight-6 am, you do not need to your ads in that particular time slot and then you should deactivate the ads with the help of ad scheduling feature.

Campaign 5- keywords regarding lunch are targeted locally for mobile devices including tablets and desktops:

Targeting “lunch” searchers and the ad scheduling is Monday-Saturday.  The bidding adjustment is 10 am -2 pm.

Campaign 6– brunch keywords are targeted locally for desktops and tablets:

For brunch keywords the ad scheduling is Saturday- Sunday and time set for bid adjustments should be 100%.  

Campaigns 4-6 are used for targeting the more descriptive search queries preferred for dining intending terms like brunch, lunch and dinner with local targeting enabled for the campaigns. The campaigns enable bid multipliers as well as ad scheduling that are set at the campaign level. Get more to know on the campaign levels and AdWords structure from our expert AdWords services

#8 Targeting your searchers for AdWords focus on ad scheduling:

Ad scheduling allows specifying your ads when you want to run your ads whereas bid adjustments or bid specifications enable you to increase or decrease your keyword bid by a percentage for certain times throughout the day.

Implementation of ad scheduling or bid adjustments is advisable based on analyzing of data and this helps you to take decisions when you are deciding if you should go for implementation or not.


Additional PPC tips for restaurants:  

In terms of PPC for restaurants, there are a lot of strategies that can work effectively. Some tips might help you to optimize your campaigns and bring out the best results.

1.     Go the mobile way: 

according to 2016 results of search engine queries which is related to food and beverages conducted on mobile devices. It means that the campaigns can make it easy for the customers to have on smart phones or other mobile devices while taking action. If you want to build effective PPC campaigns you need to include the click-to-call feature for all the ads and this allows people to click on your number from their mobile phones and then directly call you. Your ads take people land on pages and these landing pages should be accessible on mobile devices too except for desktops. You should ensure that the lading pages are responsive and they look equally great even on mobile screens and they load swiftly on any device screen.

2.     Incorporate location intent keywords:

people usually look for places near their vicinity while searching for restaurants. PPC ads for restaurants take advantage of this factor and you can use location based keywords. So you must include the name of your location, city or region in your keywords. Detailed keywords are cheaper for they are less common from the other search terms. Also, these keywords are more likely to provide more paying customers and potential conversions as they are more specific in comparison to the other keywords.

3.     Remarketing:

in some cases of digital marketing, it can be that people are not willing to visit your business immediately. And remarketing helps to increase conversion rates over the time. Remarketing comprises of advertising to the audience who already have had interactions with your website in some or the other way and reminding them about the products or services they took interest in. There are a whole lot of food and restaurant options available so it is quite natural that people might forget the name of the restaurant even if they have dined out there and liked the food. So if your restaurant can be viewed as top search results you can be reminded of them and perhaps you get back to the restaurant.

4.     Optimization of your landing pages:

If you want your PPC campaign to work, then the landing pages need to be effective in converting users into paying customers. But for this you must have a call to action for this or a request button for something special. It can be signing up for emails, downloading coupons, placing of orders, etc. you should display your call-to-action (CTA) on your landing page.

You can put photographs of your restaurant and the food for convincing people to buy from your restaurant. It might look appealing to the customers when they are hungry and searching for restaurants online surfing the net.

5.     Analyzing and revising campaigns on a regular basis:

Another vital aspect of PPC is one should monitor the ads and watch its graph regarding success or failures on a daily basis. You should also adjust the campaigns according to the performances and you can use Google AdWords for monitoring your clicks as well as conversions. This will help to determine those ads which will generate the best results.

You can incorporate call tracking feature in your monitoring when you have click-to-call ads.

When an ad is a good performer, you want to put some more investment into it or you can take the other way round- create a number of similar ads. When your ad doesn’t work, then you should change your focus from it and spend on another ad that is more effective than the previous one. One needs to analyze and revise and this is the most important part of marketing process via internet.

Article by Biplab Poddar

Biplab is the Founder/CEO of Oxedent. He is a Google Ads Lover and CRO Strategist. He Helped more than 200 businesses launch their first PPC campaigns as well as optimize the campaigns to get maximum out of their Ad spend.

Author: Biplab Poddar
Biplab is the Founder/CEO of Oxedent. He is a Google Ads Lover and CRO Strategist. He Helped more than 200 businesses launch their first PPC campaigns as well as optimize the campaigns to get maximum out of their Ad spend.

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