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PPC for Caterers: Win New Clients Affordably (+ Free Calculator)

PPC for Caterers: Win New Clients Affordably (+ Free Calculator)

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During a conversation with the main partner of a 50-employee catering company, we discussed three main problems stopping their business from growing:

  1. Bringing in consistent work due to the seasonal nature of the industry.. 
  2. Relying heavily on referrals or word of mouth for new leads.
  3. Difficult to showcase unique selling points (USPs) and stand out from the competition.

To solve these problems, the caterers needed to invest in marketing to attract valuable clients. Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the best ways to do this because it helps:

  1. Find potential clients who are in-market to instruct a caterer today.
  2. Generates a predictable flow of new clients all year round.
  3. Ensures affordability if you use the right strategies (read below). 

Using our PPC strategies with 200+ businesses, we’ve generated 1000s of new customers for our clients. Read this article to learn how to find new and valuable clients through PPC, and book a call if you’d like an honest digital marketing agency to run your PPC campaign for you.

How much profit can PPC make your catering business?

It’s very likely one of your competitors is growing rapidly as a result of a well-executed PPC strategy. 

But every caterer is different. Your catering company will have different positioning, brand awareness, service offering, and costs compared to a local competitor. That is why you need to have a strategy that is suitable for your catering speciality. 

Therefore, before you read our winning strategy, it is essential that, with our interactive calculator, you should first work out if PPC will be a profitable method to acquire new clients. 

But first, read these three definitions to understand how the calculator works!

How PPC Works

When you run a PPC campaign, you will pay to appear on a search engine every time a potential client searches a specific keyword (which we will define later). Every time a potential client clicks on your ad, you will pay money to the ad platform. This is called the Cost Per Click (CPC). For the catering industry, CPCs typically range from $1.50 and $5.

Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost per click is the amount of money you pay to an advertising platform, like Google, to have a user click on your ad.

Of the people who click on your ad, some will convert into becoming a client. This is your Conversion Rate (CVR). For the catering industry, CVR typically range from 1.50% and 4%.

Conversion Rate (CVR)
Conversion rate is the percentage of users that convert into becoming a customer after clicking your ad.

We can use this to determine the cost of acquiring a single client. Typically, this is called the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). For the catering industry, CACs typically range from $0.38 and $3.33.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This is the cost of acquiring a single customer or client. 
Customer Acquisition Cost = Cost Per Click / Conversion Rate
CAC = CPC / CVR

Interactive PPC Profit Calculator 

Use this interactive calculator to work out how much profit you will receive from each client acquired through PPC.

We’ve built this calculator using typical CPC and CVR across the catering industry. All you need to do is enter the amount of revenue a single client generates for you. The calculator then subtracts the marketing costs from the revenue to give you a profit per customer. Hence, by using this calculator, you can develop an understanding of the potential profits PPC could generate for your business. 

It is important to note that PPC is not 100% predictable, so we have created three unique cases which represent how well your PPC campaign could perform. 

Step 1

Enter how much a single client
generates you in revenue

best average worst
CPC
CVR
CAC
Profit
Step 2

Visualise how much profit you could make with PPC

Overview of our PPC strategy

There are three steps to running a profitable PPC strategy.

  1. Set up PPC campaigns correctly to target the right audience and keywords.
  2. Design high-converting landing pages. These are the pages that your potential clients will visit. 
  3. Optimise your ads and landing pages to get the maximum profit. 

Paid Search + Paid Social

We create and manage ad campaigns on all search and social platforms

Landing Page Design

We design and implement landing pages that are made to convert

Conversion Optimization

We perform ongoing analysis and experimentation to optimize performance.

Without experience, a lot can go wrong. Doing even one of the steps incorrectly can result in losing money for every single client you acquire. 

That’s because choosing the wrong keywords can result in you paying a massive $200 per click, not a mere $20. It can result in your page converting at a lowly 2%, not an optimised 20%. It’s the difference between you paying $100 for every new client or an unprofitable $10,000. 

To not lose money and grow your business profitably, it is important to get each step right. The rest of the article will shed light on how to achieve a profitable PPC campaign.

Should you run ads on paid search or paid social?

There are two ways to advertise your catering services online:

  1. Paid Search (Google Ads, Bing Ads)
  2. Paid Social (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat)

What’s the difference? Paid Search is when your ad appears on a search engine, like Google, after you’ve searched a term. This is a very powerful advertising method because you can choose what keywords your catering business appears for. 

We know which keywords potential clients use when they’re looking for a caterer. So, we can specifically choose to show your business at the top of Google for those keywords. Although, because of this amazing feature, your competitors will try a similar strategy and make it expensive. You’ll need to optimise all parts of your PPC strategy to ensure costs don’t spiral upwards!

On the other hand, if you use Paid Social, you appear ‘in-feed’. When someone is scrolling on a platform like Facebook or Instagram, ads appear. These ads interrupt the scrolling process. The person scrolling has not said they’re interested in catering services, but you’re hoping your ad will attract a client. The disadvantage of this technique is your ad is also shown to people who don’t need your services. On the other hand, this advertising method is cheaper. 

We’ve mostly seen caterers generate more profit on Paid Search, but there are some cases when Paid Social can work very well.

Hence, it’s not completely black and white which way of advertising will work best for your business. It depends on the following:

  1. What exact catering service are you selling?
  2. Who are your target clients?
  3. Where do your clients spend their time online?
  4. How much money do you make per client?

We’re going to discuss Paid Search in this article as it is the most profitable PPC strategy when starting off. Also, sometimes a hybrid strategy using Paid Social can improve effectiveness — if this is something you’d like to discuss, you can book a call.

Running PPC paid search ads  

The most common paid search ads are keyword based. When a keyword is searched, ads appear at the top of Google. 

For example, here’s a generic keyword ‘Caterer London’. Notice how the PPC ads appear first, and then the organic results (from SEO) appear second.

By paying for this ad, you can appear above SEO results (which takes longer to achieve). But, there are some pros and cons to this.

Pros of PPC:

  1. You can get in front of your potential clients quickly.
  2. You can win valuable clients.
  3. You can test which keywords bring in qualified clients.

Cons of PPC: 

  1. It can be expensive if you don’t set it up right.
  2. Most people scroll straight past your ads. They prefer to look at SEO/organic results (however, we can help you counter this by running a hybrid strategy so you appear for both).

Up till now, you’ve learnt and understood: 

  • How PPC works
  • If PPC will generate profitable clients
  • What paid search is
  • The pros and cons of a PPC strategy

But we mentioned that PPC could sometimes be expensive if you go for the wrong keyword. How do you know which keywords will make you money? Let’s explore this further. 

Which PPC keywords should you target to get new clients?

Most inexperienced PPC managers will make the mistake of choosing the wrong keywords. That mistake alone can be the difference between swimming in 10 new clients or drowning in $1000s of debt. 

Here’s what wrong keywords look like:

Firstly, the wrong keywords are based exactly on the service you offer. Initially, it may seem perfect, but it can have an adverse impact.

Let’s take the example of the keyword ‘catering.’ There are many competitors bidding for the exact keyword. This means the CPC is higher than is profitable for you to pay for, and results in you losing money. Remember, PPC operates on an auction-based bidding model. That means the more competitors that want to appear for the keyword, the more you pay.

Secondly, the wrong keywords have low intent. 

For example, ‘what is catering?’ The person Googling that keyword is not ready to instruct a caterer to carry out a service. They’re in education mode. Typically, these keywords have a very low CPC because no one wants that traffic. 

But what do the right keywords look like? 

Firstly, the right keywords that have a high intent to purchase services and receive a quote. For example, these could be branded, product, or pain point keywords.

Secondly, the right keywords have reasonable CPCs, which make sense for the services you sell. You can look back at our interactive calculator to figure that out.

We’re going to show you all the types of keywords that can result in a lot of profit for your catering service.

Type of keywordExamples of keywordProsCons
BrandedFeast It Catering
ezCater Vendors
Olive Garden Catering
Cost-effective strategy to win new clients when your competitors may not be the best servicer.The competition usually bids on their own branded keyword to protect against it.
ServiceCorporate Caterers
Wedding Caterers
Vegan Catering Service for Events
High intent keywords for purchase or solving pain point and can be very profitable.Service-level keywords are usually competitive, and services need bespoke landing pages.
LocationAustin Caterer
Catering Near Me 
Wedding Catering in West London 
High intent and very cost-effective. 
The big competitors usually avoid these keywords.
You’ll be competing with local providers. 
You’ll need to be locally present or have easy ‘contact us’ information.
Pain pointHow to plan a corporate event?
How to choose the right catering service?
Affordable event catering service 
It is possible to capture this lead before they go to competitors. 
You’ll be able to close this client without competition.
Slightly lower buying intent as the user is in education mode. 
Will need a well-designed landing page.

Excellent PPC ad creative and copywriting examples 

Your ads appear next to your competitors, so you have to find a way to stand out. That is why we first analyse the competitive landscape before bidding on a keyword for a client.

Here are some examples of catering-related ads and what we think of them.

Ad 1: Feast It appearing for ‘Mobile Catering Van for Hire’

Keyword: ‘Mobile Catering Van for Hire’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Excellent headline. It includes a compelling call-to-action (CTA) and relevant keywords. The rest of the ad highlights great features such as ‘Flexible Payments’ and the option to compare caterers. 

Bad areas: It might benefit from mentioning where the vans are available and alternative cuisines.

Ad 2: ezCater appearing for ‘Vegan Catering in LA’

Keyword: ‘Vegan Catering in LA’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Great headline. The keyword is clear and relevant. The description pulls people in with the option to view ‘Menu Items’ and ‘Price Per Head’ before they commit. Good CTA’s to direct searchers to the right places. 

Bad areas: They could enhance the ad with social proof such as press mentions or reviews.

Ad 3: British Event Catering appearing for ‘Catering for Corporate Event’

Keyword: ‘Catering for Corporate Event’

Verdict: ⅖ 

Good areas: Good use of keywords in the headline. The ad clearly targets corporate clients looking for a high-level service.

Bad areas: This ad doesn’t provide many features or benefits. It should specify which cuisines they offer, if the menu is flexible, and their profile of professional staff.

Ad 4: The Mobile Pizzeria appearing for ‘Wedding Catering’

Keyword: ‘Wedding Catering’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: The relevant keyword is a great addition to the headline. The extension link to the ‘Feasting Menu’ is a good option for people unsure if pizza is right for them. Moreover, the use of ‘Friendly Service’ and ‘Cooked Fresh’ makes this wedding caterer stand out. 

Bad areas: It should include a CTA to drive more clicks. 

Ad 5: Milk Street Cafe appearing for ‘Catering Companies in Boston’

Keyword: ‘Catering Companies in Boston’

Verdict: ⅗ 

Good areas: The ad uses the location in the headline, which is vital. It includes some good benefits such as being ‘budget-friendly’ and the addition of ‘bartending.’

Bad areas: There is no clear CTA, and the ad is geared towards graduates even though the search query doesn’t specify this audience. The ad might benefit from addressing a wider audience or experimenting with other keywords.

How to create a high-converting landing page for catering PPC?

A high-converting landing page is one of the biggest factors in PPC success. Without it, you’ll be paying for traffic that doesn’t convert into clients. That’s a huge waste of cash! 

We recommend you have a conversion rate expert build out your landing page. Our winning landing page framework is reserved for our clients, but we’ll reveal the most important sections you need.  

Hero Block

The first section of the landing page is called the ‘Hero Block’. You can see the whole section as soon as you open the web page. You need to have three things in this section:

  1. Great headline. For example, ‘Best Corporate Caterers in New York.’
  2. Social proof. For example, 5.8/5 stars, 4,000+ reviews.
  3. Call to action. For example, ‘Book a Free Tasting.’

Your hero block needs to simply call out exactly what you offer, who it is for, and why you are a low-risk solution. 

Service Block

High up the page, probably in the 2nd or 3rd block, you will need to explain your services and/or products. You should explain its features and benefits. For example, if you provide catering for corporate events you would have features and benefits as follows:

Features:

  • Customisable menu for any corporate event.
  • Professional and experienced staff for seamless execution. 
  • High-quality ingredients sourced from local vendors. 

Benefits:

  • Impress clients and colleagues with delicious and unique food choices.
  • Save time and stress by leaving catering to the professionals. 
  • Support local businesses and promote sustainability with locally sourced ingredients. 

Call to Action Block

Every PPC landing page needs a highly compelling call to action block. It is solely designed to get the user to fill in a form or book a call. 

We highly suggest including several call-to-action blocks throughout your landing page, such as at the top of your page, one in the middle of your page, and one at the end. You’ll be surprised how much it can increase your conversion rates and reduce your customer acquisition costs!

We include 6+ other high-converting blocks in our landing pages. Reach out to learn what they are and how to implement them. 

Engage an agency to run your PPC ads

There are lots of aspects to running a profitable PPC campaign for your catering company. You can attempt it yourself, or you can engage us, NUOPTIMA. We’ve worked with 200+ businesses and run thousands of PPC campaigns profitably. 

A bit about us

We’re an honest growth agency, and our goal is to drive profit for your business. 

We don’t work with everyone. In fact, we actively refuse 50% of all businesses that try to work with us. That’s purely based on if we think we can make your campaign a success. We only grow as an agency if we can get you results and you refer us to your friends and family. 

Before you choose a PPC agency, reach out to our team. We’ll objectively tell you what we think, and if it’s good, we’ll propose a fair price alongside a set of growth expectations and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Once you start to work with us, you’ll be in regular contact with our team. You’ll be provided with extensive data tracking and will communicate with us on regular calls.

Our PPC capabilities:

  • We can service budgets from $100+ ad spend per day.
  • Management costs start from $1,000 per month, depending on ad spend, platform, and requirements.
  • Work on all ad platforms: Google, Facebook, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Reddit.
  • We’ve worked with local service providers to public companies.
  • We’ve worked across B2C and B2B, having driven brands to 7 figures in sales, and exceeded B2B SQL quotas.

Next steps:

  • Firstly, you should visit our PPC services page here.
  • Then, you should read through some case studies here.
  • And when you’re ready, send us a message or book a call here.

Book Call

Start your growth journey today.

FAQ

How do I advertise my catering business?
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Catering services might benefit from paid advertising such as Paid Social or Paid Search. Paid Search PPC ads are the best option for reaching qualified clients who are looking for your services.

How effective is PPC advertising?
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Pay Per Click or PPC for caterers is a great advertising option if you want to reach potential clients quickly. It also allows you to test keywords and bring in qualified leads.

How to write a PPC ad example?
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A good PPC ad must include a compelling and relevant headline; a concise description that outlines the features and benefits of your service; and a clear call-to-action (CTA).

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