Restaurant owners are often confronted with a slew of advertising options on a frequent basis, usually consisting of a heavy onslaught from radio stations, trade magazines, and local newspapers. These “traditional” mediums have recently been confronted with pressure from dining deal companies, usually offering their customers a heavy discount for dining at your restaurant and putting bodies in your empty seats. Although these companies definitely fulfill their end of the bargain by providing immediate results;is it the best bang for the buck? Let’s take a look at some reasons why AdWords may be the better option:
Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
Restaurant related terms often come in at very low cost per clicks, frequently under $2. This may sound high, but people searching for a place to go dinning are usually highly motivated buyers. If 1 in 4 make a reservation that means you spent $8 for typically 2+ patrons. That means around $4 for a new patron with NO DISCOUNT. If you could fill your restaurant with 50 seats for $200 on a Friday night would you?
If your website can take reservations online (which it should) you will be able to know immediately what reservations came from your AdWords efforts and know exactly what your ROI is for the advertising campaign. Frequently restaurants spend big bucks on advertising campaigns with no real measure of attribution. While the dining deal companies typically give you “estimated” revenue numbers, they are frequently not based in reality and often include the discount you will be absorbing as revenue.
The restaurant business is highly competitive in most marketplaces and having your restaurant appear on the first page of Google when someone searches for your type of restaurant can be highly valuable in itself. This means more traffic to your website, the potential to remarket to consumers that have shown interest in your restaurant, and an easier way to convince those searching why they should choose to dine at your establishment. Dinning Deal companies offer this as well, but they typically land their customers on your page in their system, not your website. When this happens you have limited tools at your disposal to attract the customer because they only display a limited amount of visual and written data.
When restaurant terms are being searched on a mobile device the consumer is often looking for a place to dine immediately. Being at the top of the page on mobile devices will drive consumers immediately to your restaurant. How many times have you been in the car and asked the passenger to search for a place to eat? Probably more than once. Being one of the first options the consumer sees is invaluable in this setting. This is not a service offered by most dinning deal companies.
Make sure you optimize your Google+ Page as well so you can be included in Google’s newer search carousel and hopefully take up 3 spots on that first page (Paid Search, Carousel, and Organic).
If you’re a restaurant owner and haven’t tried using AdWords yet you may be missing a huge opportunity. As a current restaurant owner and the owner of a Portland Internet Marketing Agency I would highly suggest you try AdWords before spending your advertising dollars elsewhere. Typically, you can get going for around $500 a month with a good company.