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He's already on the right track for improving the restaurant's local stature by engaging in thoughtful offline community building (sponsoring a little league team, adding free wi-fi, etc.), and I couldn't help but think he should consider online marketing / advertising as well.
I recommended that he submit his restaurant's menu to Amazon.com (for their free scanned-restaurant-menu section)... and was debating on whether to suggest that he engage in an AdWords campaign.
Now this guy probably can't afford to hire me to do AdWords stuff for him, but I was wondering whether it'd instead be worth his dollars and time for him to plunk down $299 for the AdWords Jumpstart service.
Heck, I'm not even sure if he has a Web site, but he could at least link to his restaurant's CitySearch profile or have his son whip up a fast page with a printable coupon, etc.
My main questions:
1) Are many people really using the Web to scope out pizza places to go to? I know I use Citysearch and related sites for reviews on high-end restaurants, but for pizza, I'll generally go to a place I already know or I'll try out a place if I get a coupon on my doorstep or in the newspaper. I don't generally look for "pizza" or "pizza in [my zip code]" on Google.
2) Have any of you done regional campaigns on AdWords for something like this? How successful were your efforts? Any tips?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
The problem is how large an area is covered, the campaign we are running probably only sees 1 click per month for every 6000 people covered (with an OK CTR), but it does cover a very large city which makes it worthwhile.
In short, if it's a place where people would make an effort to visit it may be OK, otherwise you will be limited by the coverage radius and population density.
I hope that helps.
>think of a two word phrase that describes the language associated with pizza followed by a place where you would sit down to enjoy a meal.
Think of a three word phrase that means 'bring me the kinds of things people from China like to eat because I'm too lazy to go there and get it'.
Are many people really using the Web to scope out pizza places to go to?
Never know till ya give it a try and if they aren't the clicks and the costs will be low. If it is a town with a fair amount of tourism, it may be the tourists that find the ads, not the locals. Locals are probably more likely to already have a place in mind, though those new to the area may look and may present an opportunity to gain new long-term customers.
Yahoo directory, SuperPages, Yahoo Local - [listings.local.yahoo.com...] , and an ODP regional category (submissions there often go through faster than the more general commercial categories) would also be good bets.
The one issue is that people often don't search with geographic qualifiers.
Therefore, when running a campaign like this, it's very important to not only run a geographic keyword based campaign (i.e. Chicago pizza delivery) but also an IP targeted campaign.
These aren't in any order.
The best free exposure for a small business is:
superpages.com free profiles
switchboard.com free profiles
local.yahoo.com free profiles
local.google.com free profiles
a9.com (part of amazon)
The best low cost exposure is:
google adwords ip targeted campaign
adwords geographic keyword campaign
yahoo enhanced listings
switchboard enhanced listings
any local based portals for that specific area
There are also services on the net where you can input all of the free data into a central source and then they will distribute your data for you (and have a single point of contact update if you change your data).
Google AdWords has been terrific with the campaign, letting us high positions for specific targeted terms only in our client’s target market, with no spill-over outside of that market (with Google AdWord’s regional targeting). High CPC’s, but very very high conversions.
As far as Yahoo goes, for top keywords we cannot target to the specific region, so we use geo-specific terms in the copy. Lots of spillover but the lower CPC’s than Google.
We tried Yahoo SM’s Local Match, but were restricted to searches for our keywords + “town name” in the specific area. Very little traffic, but very targeted.
Additionally, MSN AdCenter, when launched outside of Beta testing, will be offering locally targeted search ads in MSN search. Jot that down on your to-do list for when it goes live.
Personally, I would also suggest Verizon Smart Pages or other Yellow Pages opps in your area along with taking advantage of the local enhanced listings in Yahoo and Amazon (with user reviews), TrueLocal, Verizon's Enhanced Listings, and 'renting a web page' on other local sites in your area.
Before I grab some pizza over at this place again, I think I'll write up a quick summary of suggestions for the owner... encouraging him to take advantage of the many good online local resources for reaching current and new customers.
Thanks again for the helpful suggestions!