Steve Poole, search engine marketing manager
With more than a million eateries in existence in the United States, an aspiring restaurateur needs more than just a dream and mom’s family recipe. That’s why so many rely on WebstaurantStore to provide not only cooking equipment, tabletop supplies and bulk ingredients, but also over a decade of experience.
“We interact very closely with a lot of our customers,” Poole says with pride. “We have a full customer service staff that interacts with our customers anytime they have questions, problems or concerns or when they need more information. We take our customers very, very seriously. We have received tons of reviews and feedback, and we use those to make adjustments to our site and how we market.”
WebstaurantStore strives to give the same great service to restaurant owners that they provide to their diners. That mindset is evident in the company’s decision to handcraft each product description. “Everything on our website, we have written, developed, designed or put there for a specific purpose,” Poole explains. “And that purpose is to give the best information we can get for the customer.”
If you’re an aspiring restaurant owner looking to launch your business and minimize rookie mistakes, WebstaurantStore is invaluable as both a supplier and an information resource. In fact, an entire subsection of its site entitled Food Service Resources goes far beyond what you might expect. “We have an extensive resource section with buying guides and articles on all kinds of topics, from how to start a business to how to furnish that business with equipment and products to get started for your first day,” Poole says of the site. “We're looking for all kinds of customers, all kinds of people to come in and consume those resources so we can be the beginning and end of their buying journey.”
This approach extends to online marketing, where WebstaurantStore once again believes that it knows how best to speak to its core customers. “We do everything in-house; we have employees here that focus on every discipline of marketing,” explains Poole, who came to the company three years ago after a decade specializing in the SEO field. “We have paid search specialists, e-mail marketing specialists, social media specialists — anything that comes up, we handle in-house.”
A desired demographic
Data provided by WebstaurantStore
In his previous work, and now with WebstaurantStore, Poole has long recognized that Bing Ads is a key component of a well-planned search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. In the past year alone, conversion rates among visitors to the restaurant supplier have increased 142% — and all indications point toward a continued upward trajectory.
“We've seen our audience grow significantly on the Bing Network,” he explains. “We’re seeing a cheaper cost per click across the Bing Network than we do from our other advertising channels, and we continue to see new innovations and changes every day.”
In the past year alone, WebstaurantStore has experienced a 96% increase in site traffic and an 11% increase in click-through rates — each a significant edge over AdWords during the same period.
“We find that the Bing Network audience is more targeted to our business customers. We see larger average order sizes, lower bounce rates and better conversion rates coming from the Bing Network,” says Poole. “It appears that the majority of the customers that we want to cultivate and continue to service are on the Bing Network, and we're excited to see it getting bigger.”
WebstaurantStore considers itself very open-minded when it comes to testing the latest Bing Ads features. The company is often so pleased with the results that new features become a valuable part of its daily marketing strategy. Among the features they use: ad extensions, targeting, Bing Ads Editor and Bing Shopping Campaigns.
“Bing Ads Editor and Bing Shopping Campaigns are probably what we use the most, because they improve efficiency and drive the most conversions for us,” observes Poole. “The growth in Bing Shopping Campaigns has been great, and we've seen really good metrics out of text ads.”
Because the Bing Network delivers the traffic that a site like WebstaurantStore desires, it becomes even more important to make that audience stick. That’s why Poole is a proponent of remarketing, and the ease with which Bing Ads can turn a first look into a return trip.
“We're doing Remarketing in Paid Search, and that has been very successful,” he says. “To start out, we did some test campaigns and saw great metrics out of that. Now, we’re ramping that up by pinpointing the products that the customer is interested in — based on their browsing of the website — and then reaching them again with those specific products on an ongoing basis. We're confident in our products, their quality, the price and how quickly we're able to ship and service them. So, it’s just a matter of reinforcing the message.”
Poole is also thrilled with the way the Bing Ads team keeps up with innovation, ensuring that his company will always remain on the cutting edge.
“We have tremendous Bing Ads reps that we work with, and they are constantly getting us information on new releases and betas that we can get into. They're willing to help out and go above and beyond our expectations. That's not something typical of other technology companies” he explains. “I would consider us a technology-driven company. We are solely e-commerce, and our marketing is only as good as the technology that we're utilizing.”