Google Ads for Restaurants - Marketing tips and strategies

2019 March 06

In this article today, we will discuss the creation and execution of successful Google Ads campaigns for eateries such as Restaurant, Diner, Cafe, Bar, etc. From bringing new customers to try out your specialties to the kind of ambiance you offer, everything needs to be marketed for the world to know.

 In this scenario, Google Ads not only helps get the word out, but it also helps you target the right audiences.

Google Ads campaigns for Restaurants is a very delicate niche. Google Ads, however, can help be the first touch point between you and your customers who are trying to make a decision. Though it highly unlikely to convert online, yet the very first impression leaves a long-lasting impact. Therefore,  running a quality campaign is a must.

You might or might not be able to see the results soon enough in terms of Google Ads leads, but it surely is a shortcut if your website isn't ranking good organically.

Without any further delay, let’s begin with the basics and the best industry practices in Google Ads for Restaurants.

If you are someone in the Restaurants business and you haven’t yet set up a Google Ads campaign for your service region, you are practically missing out on a lot of potential customers.

Right PPC Keywords for Restaurants

Choosing the right keywords for any Google Ads campaign can be an intimidating task. The key here is to bid for the right keywords and keep evolving over time with the new keywords relevant to your business.

It will help you get the most out of your campaign. There are 4 major practices for Restaurants to keep in mind:

  • It is recommended to use Keywords which are most relevant to your offerings (very specific to your niche). For example, if you are a Restaurant offering Italian cuisine in Santa Barbara called Stoked, your parent keywords could include keywords like:

    • Restaurant in Santa Barbara

    • Italian Restaurant

    • Italian Cuisine

    • Stoked Italian

    • Pizza Restaurant

    • Italian food near me

Note: Avoid using one-word keywords which are highly searched for, as these search terms aren’t very informative about the kind of food you are serving your restaurant.

For example, if you use Pizza as a keyword for a Pizza Restaurant or an Italian Restaurant, it may trigger ads for search terms like Pizza recipe, Best Pizza Ingredients, Pizza place jobs, etc. which are not even close to what you want to target for. Therefore choosing the keywords carefully is very important.

  • Though you must be tempted by the high search volume of common keywords, do not underestimate the power of long tail keywords. Irrespective of the fact that they have small search volume and are too tedious to work with when creating a campaign, they offer higher conversions at a lower cost as compared to common keywords. They are like low hanging fruits which can offer an easy win with a low cost and the least competition. For example, if you are an Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara, considering the above cases, long tail search terms for your services can be as follows:

    • Best Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara

    • Best Italian restaurant near me

    • Best Italian food in California

    • Best restaurant in California

    • Best pizza place in Santa Barbara

    • Authentic Italian in Santa Barbara

    • Authentic Italian food

    • Italian food near me

    • Top rated restaurant in Santa Barbara

    • Italian places nearby

Above are a few examples of long tail keywords. As I mentioned, it can be tiresome to work with long tail keywords as it takes a long time to research and accumulate such data for your campaign. However, AdNabu can help you automatically create all the relevant long tails keywords using your basic keywords within minutes.

  • Another thing to keep in mind is the match type of targeted keywords.

  • Statistics show us that exact match type gives maximum conversion at minimum cost, but it has the least coverage of all. Similarly, each and every match type has its own benefits and shortcomings. Using all the match types while structuring your campaign is considered a wise choice.

AdNabu takes care of this from the very beginning itself. It creates the structure of the campaign such that each keyword type has 3 different AdGroup (one for each match type) ensuring that you target the right keyword for the right search term.

Advantage of using “Broad Match Modifier” over “Broad match”

Broad match modifier (a.k.a BMM) is a variation of Broad match. Broad match triggers ads for all searches around the keyword, keyword ideas, synonyms, grammatical forms as well as related words, etc. BMM gives you much more control over the search terms for which your ads will be a trigger. It excludes synonyms but allows variations. For example, if you target ‘Broad’ match-type for the keyword Italian restaurant, it might trigger for the search term Italian which may or may not be relevant for you. Instead, BMM will ensure that the word Italian and Restaurant are present in the search. AdNabu automatically creates campaigns which use BMM instead of Broad match.

  • One of the mistakes that marketers often commit is using location-specific keywords exclusively. They might end up losing a lot of relevant searches.

  • For example, if you are an Italian Restaurant based out of Santa Barbara and targeting the keyword Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara, you will miss out on potential customers searching for the term Italian restaurant, Italian restaurant near me, etc. It is hence highly recommended to use the root keywords like Italian Restaurant in your campaigns. You can add location-specific keywords to your campaign but they should not be the only ones.

Best Negative Keywords for Restaurants

The role of negative keywords cannot be ignored, especially when each click costs a fortune. Though accumulating relevant Negative Keyword is an ongoing process, to begin with, below are a  few points to consider.  

  • Put cuisines that you don’t offer in your restaurant, to the negative keyword list. For example, if you offer Italian food only, you would want to put all other courses like Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Continental, etc in negative.

  • Add all the sub-categories which you do not offer, to the negative keyword list. For example, if under Italian menu, you do not offer desserts, then put Italian desserts, Macaroon, Opera pastry, etc in negative.

  • Consider adding the services that you don’t offer to the negative keyword list. For example, you have your Restaurant in Santa Barbara and no online ordering or home delivery, then you should put Online ordering and Home delivery in negative.

  • Negate all the keywords which are not leading to conversions or have a high cost per conversion to be profitable. You have to keep an eye on such keywords during reporting and assessment or you can use AdNabu which automatically recommends you to pause such ineffective keywords.

Include all high profitable keyword variants in your Google Ads campaigns in simple clicks. Make your Google Ads campaigns profitable with AdNabu - Google Ads Optimization Software.

What is a good landing page for you?

A landing page should include various elements like trust badges, result-oriented headlines, restaurant tour videos, testimonials, awards, etc. Such web landing pages are aimed at driving visitors to take a worthy action.  Since every visitor who gets to your landing page after clicking on your ad may cost you a fortune, there’s no room for an error when designing a landing page for your business. Below are some Do’s and Don't to follow:


  • Use headlines with words of authority like Award-winning or Certified to inspire trust in the potential customer.

  • In your headline, add the location you are situated at. It will immediately add to the confidence of the prospect that they are at the right place.

  • Use words like Complimentary dessert to allure customers to consider your Restaurant.

  • Have a feedback form with very limited fields to fill (not more than five). This makes it easier for the customers to reach you as well as makes them know that you care.

  • For content, have 2-3 bullet points. Showcase your awards, achievements or for how long the restaurant has existed, testimonials, etc.

  • Add an informative tour video for the customers about what are they entitled to or how you prepare food in your restaurant or how do you pick fresh and gourmet ingredients for your restaurant, etc. Always remember that visual representations have a greater impact, especially in the food industry.


  • Avoid using logos that are clickable with a  link to return to the homepage easily.

  • Do not design Disappearing label for the field name (for example, see the image below) instead simply name the fields.


  • Do not have content-heavy landing pages. It is very unlikely that customers will read through the entire thing.

  • Avoid multiple outbound links or multiple CTA on the same page as it can distract the customers.

Structuring Google Ads for Restaurants

Ad copy is extremely important because it is the initial touch point where the content of the ad compels the customer to click on your ad instead of competitor’s ads. Below are the few pointers you must keep in mind:

  • Your ad contains 4 sections. Firstly, the Headline 1 (character limit 30),  you should make sure that your headline is tailored as per the customer's search. Ideally, the ad title should include exactly what they were searching for. For example, an Authentic Italian Restaurant or Best Italian restaurant or Italian food in Santa Barbara, etc.

  • The next part of the ad is Headline 2 (character limit 30). It is separated from headline 1 by a hyphen(-). The best way to utilize this section is by persuading the prospect to click on the ad. A clear call to action should be included here. For example,  10 must-try desserts, Best Italian restaurant in town, 30-minute delivery, etc.

  • Following the two headlines is the Display URL. Here you have an option to customize it with 2 Path fields - Path1 and Path2 (up to 15 characters each). Make sure the display URL is relatable to the types of courses the prospect is seeking for. For example,,, etc. Please note the display URL need not be a valid URL. It is only for aesthetic purposes.

  • The next major field is Description (character limit 80). It gives you ample space for your ad’s message. Here, clearly define the value proposition and specialty of your institution that distinguishes you from the other competitors in the market. For example, Get the best Italian food in town at affordable prices. Free home delivery. or The one stop for Authentic Italian flavors. 30-minute delivery or Free!!!

  • Finally, the Final URL is the first page the prospect reaches after clicking on the Ad. Instead of using the home page as a final URL, ensure that the customer lands on the specific section of your website that relates to his initial search or dishes they are interested in.

  • An effective sample ad:


What Google ad-extension should a restaurant use?

Google ad extensions add life to your ads and make them more professional and trustworthy. When used the right way, they can make you easily approachable and hence lead to better visibility for your potential customers. Ad extensions work differently for different Industries. Some deliver a better result than others. 

For restaurants, best working extensions are:

Location extension

Location extension enables restaurants to add a physical location besides their ads. This helps you in numerous ways:

  • Having a physical address adds to the authenticity of your restaurant and reassures the customers against fraudulent advertisements.

  • It encourages customers who live nearby to contact you immediately or visit you.

  • It also makes it easier for people to navigate their way easily to your restaurant.

  • For example


  • P.S.: If you are offering online delivery only, then you need not use this extension.

The Sitelink extension enables restaurant owners to add extra links to share achievements or Photo gallery or other links that might catch the customer’s attention. For example, in case you are targeting a generic keyword for your Ad, this extension might help you add options for customers to have a look at the pictures gallery or Chef’s details or book appointment with a single click.

  • This makes it easy for the customers to relate their choices/cravings and it is highly likely for them to click on your ad.

  • It also adds to the relevance of the ad copy itself, it redirects the customer directly to the most relevant page that encourages them to take a step further.

  • For example:


Callout extension

Callout extension gives you an additional 25 characters of space to add beyond the basic description of the add. It is recommended to use this space to encourage the customers to take action.

  • Some examples of callout extension are Free Delivery or 30-minute delivery or Certified Authentic Italian or Established in 1920 or Rooftop restaurant, etc.


Call extension

Call extension allows restaurants to add a contact number in their ads. It works much effectively for mobile devices as Google adds a clickable call button to the ad. This allows the customer to call you right away. For Restaurants, it is considered to be very effective because usually, customers have a personalized requirement for advance booking/ questions regarding the restaurant, which encourages them to call.

 For example:


Structured snippet extension

Structured snippets allow you to describe the brief and specific features of the offerings. It provides customers with access to the information about the variety of food you serve. In case of Restaurants, structured snippets can show potential customers about types of cuisine offered.

 For example,


Conversion Tracking for Restaurants

Now that your campaign is ready to work its way with the competitors, conversion tracking is very important and is the last thing to set up as it will help you analyze your performance and optimize it later. Depending on the business type, different conversion types are tracked. 

For a restaurant, it mainly works in two ways:

Conversion Pixel

It helps track which keywords resulted in leads. This can further help in optimizing your campaigns. Setting up conversion pixel required some amount of technical effort (you would need the person handling your lead page). Having said that, benefits of results from it overpowers the hassle. 

Here is a guide to help you setup conversion pixel.

Call conversion Tracking

This will help if you are allowing customers to make a call directly through their phones. Calls are extremely beneficial for a Restaurants and luckily Google makes tracking calls even from a website easy. Check out how to set up call conversion tracking here. 

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If you follow the above suggestions, you would be able to create a well-structured campaign for your industry.This guide will help you get started. In case you haven’t tried your hands on Google Ads for your business, we suggest you to consider setting up a campaign right now!  

If you are still not sure about how to start or to take your Google Ads campaign to next level, sign up with AdNabu & automate campaign creation within minutes.

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