There is no magic HTML fix you can apply to see your organic traffic surge. Marketing pub meals is a long tail strategy – less than 10% of search volume for phrases like ‘pub lunch’ and ‘pub restaurant’ is exact match. As digital consumers, we have learned to add a ‘local area qualifier’ to our searches when we are eating out… to seek out positive referrals from other sites… to do more research online to consider our options… and to use longer, more precise search phrases to find exactly the right kind of ambience.
We quickly learned in our PPC campaigns that running ‘national’ ads was a flawed strategy, and that the more ‘localised’ we could make our ad copy and targeting, the more effectively we could draw in new guests to our pubs. More than 85% of pub restaurant guests come from within a 5 mile radius, so not only did a tightly defined catchment area mean that we cut wasted spend, but also that every ad we ran was ‘talking to the locals’.
We developed ‘pseudo-UK’ campaigns for display advertising and events like Valentine’s Day, and used geo-targeting strategically, with wider catchments for ‘destination’ pub restaurants and tighter areas for ‘town locals’. Paid Search proved particularly valuable for special events, and we were able to regularly ‘sell out’ every pub’s capacity for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Boxing Day, closing off campaigns on a pub by pub basis as they became fully booked. We also created World Cup campaigns for the sports-focused pubs, including a very successful Rugby World Cup campaign for Metropolitan Pub Company, even targeting fans on a match by match basis.