How to Generate Catering Leads Using SEO and Google Ads
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How to Generate Catering Leads Using SEO and Google Ads

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The growth and overall success of your catering business is dependent on constantly generating new leads through several different catering marketing campaigns. More inbound leads means more chances to convert those leads into catering customers.

What are most potential catering customers in your local market going to do when they have an event coming up that requires they hire a catering company? They are going to sit at their computer or pull out their mobile devices and perform a Google search.

If your catering company isn’t visible during that search session you miss out on a potential lead. Google is where you will find the highest quality leads and the most volume, so it’s important that your catering business marketing is focused on the search giant — both organic and paid traffic.

When you combine catering search engine optimization (SEO) and catering pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns you have the opportunity to dominate the search results, placing your business in front of local customers that have an immediate desire to hire a catering company.

Let’s dive right into how to generate catering leads using both SEO and PPC. Your catering marketing strategy needs to include both organic and paid traffic campaigns. Our expertise in organic search and Google Ads for catering companies can help you attract a steady flow of inbound leads ready for you to convert into catering customers.

Catering SEO: Organic Traffic Strategy

Constant organic traffic on your website is highly desired — ranking on top of Google Maps in your local market when a potential customer searches for a catering company creates an opportunity to generate catering leads.

When it comes to caterer advertising, local search can produce the most lucrative results in terms of lead acquisition costs. Therefore, a top ranking on the Google Maps results is highly coveted. There are a couple of things you can do to help improve your catering SEO.

Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

The content within your Google My Business profile directly impacts your caterer SEO. Google’s local search algorithm pulls data from these profiles, displaying it within the Maps results. Your address, description and profile content all come into play.

Simply signing up for a Google My Business profile and entering your business name and website isn’t enough. Your profile needs to be optimized correctly in order for it to thrive in the local results, especially for a competitive industry like catering.

When we optimize a catering Google My Business profile, we focus on writing descriptions that will help increase the number of organic impressions your business receives. The catering SEO effort doesn’t just stop there — being listed on top is just half the battle. You now need to convert that click-through traffic into leads.

Complete contact information, optimized images that showcase your catering company and recent Google reviews all play a role in the conversion process. Sure, ranking on the top spot of Google Maps is great, but all of that time, money and effort is for nothing if you aren’t generating catering leads.

Constantly Attract Google Reviews

As mentioned above, attracting catering Google reviews plays a major role in your caterer SEO results. Google’s main objection when it comes to local results is to show its users the most relevant and helpful results.

So, if a local customer is searching for a catering company, is it in Google’s best interest to show them a local company with one or two reviews that are more than a year old, or a catering company with dozens of reviews, with the most recent one being one week old?

The likelihood of the latter option being a better choice is much higher, which is why Google’s algorithm is designed to take reviews into account. The easiest way to attract Google reviews is to ask for them.

After an event it’s likely that you will speak to the customer to get his or her feedback and to wrap up little details like invoicing, etc. This is the perfect time to ask for a catering Google review.

A simple, “We really value our customers and it would mean a lot if you could leave a review on Google” statement followed by, “Do you mind if I email you the link to our profile to make it easy for your to leave a review?” is all it takes.

This is the perfect time to ask because the event has just concluded and they are in the right mindset to leave a great review. You are also making it very easy by emailing them a link to your Google My Business profile.

This little extra effort can have a major impact on your catering SEO results. The more organic traffic you can drive to your website, the more potential leads you can generate for your catering business.

Catering PPC: Paid Traffic Strategy

While organic traffic is great, you cannot ignore Google Ads. SEO can take time before you see a significant amount of organic traffic, but Catering PPC allows you to drive highly targeted traffic and leads almost instantly.

Your phone can be ringing and your website generating caterer leads the very same day you kick-off a caterer PPC campaign. There are two Google Ad formats that are ideal for a local catering business. Let’s explain each one in detail so you fully understand how they work.

Google Search Ads (PPC)

Google Search Ads are standard catering PPC ads. They are the results that are displayed on the very top of the Google search results, even above the Google Maps results. If you want to occupy the top real estate in Google’s search results these are the ads you need to run.

A successful caterer PPC campaign must focus on the following:

Optimization of Quality Score (QS)

Google assigns a Quality Score to every ad set within your Google Ads campaign. A higher score results in more impressions and a lower cost-per-click (CPC) so it’s advantageous to spend time optimizing your QS.

What contributes to a high Quality Score? It’s a combination of relevance — keyword(s), ad copy and the destination landing page copy. The more relevant Google sees it, the higher the Quality Score. Optimizing your Google Ads Quality Score will help you generate more caterer leads at a lower acquisition cost per.

Caterer PPC Keyword Research

When performing catering advertising keyword research don’t pay attention to the search volume of a particular keyword. Instead, focus on the intent behind a keyword or search phrase.

High volume keywords with little to no buyer-intent will deplete your catering advertising budget quickly and drive low quality traffic to your website. For example, someone searching “wedding caterer in Los Angeles” is highly likely to be ready to make a hiring decision. That’s an example of a keyword with buyer-intent.

Ongoing Catering PPC Optimization

There is a wealth of information available within your Google Ads account that can both help you improve your catering PPC campaign, and also help improve your caterer SEO campaign. How?

Well, you are able to see what keywords not only attract the best click-through rates, but what ones lead to the most conversions. This can help you determine what keywords your SEO effort should focus on.

You can also look at your caterer PPC data, such as successful ad headlines and ad copy, and use the best performing for page tiles and meta descriptions. Your Google Ads data can help improve the on-page optimization of your website.

Google Local Service Ads

Google local service ads give you the potential to convert caterer leads at a very high rate, even outperforming standard Google search ads. This is due to the way they are designed from a customer-action standpoint.

With a traditional catering PPC ad, a potential customer will see your ad after performing a search on Google and if they click-through they will be re-directed to your website — the landing page URL you specified in the ad.

With a local service ad, your website is removed from the picture. Your ad is still shown in the search results like any other caterer PPC ad, but there is no option to click-through to land on your website. Instead, the potential customer is given two options.

They can click-to-call your catering company, instantly delivering you a red-hot lead, or they can request more information, which submits an instant request.

Follow-up on these are important; the sooner you get in touch with them the greater the chance of converting them into a catering customer.

This catering advertising option delivers the highest conversion rates because you eliminate one of the steps. If someone clicks-through a regular ad, they hit your website and either have to pick up the phone and call your business or submit a form.

Simply driving traffic to your website doesn’t guarantee you will generate catering leads, and you still have to pay for each click. With local service ads your chances of converting each click is much higher.

Google has a dedicated app for local service ads, allowing you to field incoming calls and respond to inquiries immediately. It keeps everything organized and simple to manage, while also giving you complete mobility.

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