How to promote your restaurant with Google AdWords

Creating ads in AdWords

This year, Google has changed the way ads are displayed, thus transitioning from the standard ads to the so called expanded ads. Essentially, it means almost 50% more space for text. Although the standard ads are still functioning, starting with October you only be able to create expended ads.

This means:

  • Headline 1: 30 characters
  • Headline 2: 30 characters
  • Description: 80 characters

Final URL is the link to your website, where your visitor should land. Since this URL might look messy (too long, packed with tracking parameters etc), Google allows displaying a “nice url” instead, which you can simply write in Path. That’s what will show up in the ad.

Free AdWords generator for restaurants

Tips for writing a performing restaurant ad

To set the expectations right, it’s good to mention that getting to a great ad requires some effort and testing. Chances are you’re not going to nail it from the beginning. However, there are some tips you should consider to make your job easier.

  • Insert the keyword in the first headline: If you want to capture attention, your ad must be relevant, it must offer your prospects what they need. So make sure you have the keyword in the ad’s text, especially in the first headline.
  • Highlight the benefits and what makes you special: Is it the authentic Italian food or 30-minutes delivery? Tell people why they should pick you and not the competition.
  • Highlight promotions and prices: When it comes to food, promotions often influence the purchasing decision. Tell your prospects up-front about your special offers and you’ll get extra clicks.
  • Insert a call to action: It’s often helpful to include a call to action in the ad (like See menu & order). It gives your visitor a strong indication of what is going to find on the landing page and what he/she should do next.
  • Take advantage of the (new) second headline: With the expended ads, you have twice more space for headlines. And truth be told, these are the most important parts of the ad, as often times this is all that people read from the ad.
  • Use ad extensions: Ad extensions are a great way of increasing your real estate and consequently, the click rate - with zero cost. Location, call and sitelinks are very good examples of extensions that can be used when advertising for restaurants.
  • Meet Google’s quality standard: Make sure you follow Google’s policy on writing ads, otherwise they might not approved them. No worries though, the requirements are common sense things like spelling and decent vocabulary.

Do your best to add at least two ads per ad group. Google will display them alternatively and you’ll be able to see their performance in the reports. A good practice is to have two ads running, determine a winner and then challenge it with a new and improved ad. Do this a couple of times and you’ll soon have a better ad and a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not.

Final tip: If you have troubles writing your first ad, start by taking a look at the competition. Notice what they do well and go ahead from there. Don’t expect yourself to reinvent the wheel.

The quality score

Once an ad has a decent number of impression (views), Google assigns a quality score to it, representing how well your ad has performed so far. The score is calculated based on factors related to the user’s overall experience: click rate, ad’s relevance and landing page performance.

The quality score is an important feedback for you, in your endeavor to getting a high performing ad. Moreover, as you will see in the next section, the quality of your ad has a direct impact on the ad rank (where the ad is positioned in the search page) and the cost you need to pay per click. See here how to check the quality score.