Connect with us


What Diners Write About Most: A Study of Restaurant Review Place Topics



What Diners Write About Most: A Study of Restaurant Review Place Topics

The author’s views are entirely their own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Marketing a restaurant? You already know what a huge role online reviews play in your reputation, rankings, and revenue, with 98% of US adults reading this content and 86% writing it. You may have read that there’s a demonstrable Google local ranking boost when a brand-new restaurant gets its first ten reviews. You may also have seen that many experts consider your overall Google review rating to be the sixth most important of all local search ranking factors.

But have you advanced yet to full use of Google reviews as a source of business intelligence for the brands you’re marketing? Formal surveys can be costly to run, so don’t overlook the free, ongoing sentiment analysis shorthand offered right on your listings in the form of Google Place Topics, telling you at-a-glance what real-world attributes inspire reviewers to get typing. These most compelling offline components, aggregated by Google online, can give insights into the areas a business should focus on most.

Back in 2020, I examined Place Topic trends for US grocery stores. Today, I’ll do the same for restaurants, and I want to emphasize that this is a case study you can do for any industry to get a sense of what drives customers to take the time to leave reviews. Given the impact of reviews on business viability, this type of study is a very smart thing to engage in!


I wanted to find out which factors inspire the most mentions in restaurant reviews. This small survey looks at 250 data points. I found the top-ranked business for the phrase restaurant+city (like “restaurant sacramento”) in all 50 US state capitals. I then recorded the top 5 place topics for each restaurant, put them in a spreadsheet, and after reviewing the data, realized I could bucket the findings into three main categories: food & drink, amenities, and other.

But first, what is a Google Place Topic?

Screenshot of the review overlay of a Google Business profile showing a set of Place Topics drawn from reviews, including words like crepes, savory, vegan, and gluten free.

If you navigate from a Google Business Profile to the full review overlay, you’ll see a section right below the star rating labeled “People often mention.” Place Topics consist of this row of clickable tabs displaying the words that come up most in the review set, including the number of times each phrase was mentioned.

Restaurant review results

Pie chart showing that 64% of place topics refer to food, 24% to amenities, and 12% to other information in the reviews of the top ranked restaurants in the fifty US capitol cities.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • 64% of reviews for the top-ranked restaurants in state capitols across the US mention food & drink most prominently.

  • 24% mention amenities prominently.

  • 12% mention something else prominently.

Under the ‘food & drink’ category, I included any reference to specific foods (tacos, risotto, coffee, etc.), any mention of meals (brunch, dinner, etc.), as well as food qualifiers like “vegan” or “gluten-free.” Fun fact: people seem very excited about paella at the moment in the United States.

Under the ‘amenity’ category, I included any reference to physical amenities (patio, lake, antiques, etc.), any reference to intangible amenities (atmosphere, happy hour, entertainment, fine dining, etc.), and any reference to staff and services (bartender, valet parking, waitress).

The ‘other’ category proved interesting. One thing that stood out to me was the number of references to personal celebrations, most prominently “birthday” and “anniversary.” So much is riding on a restaurant when it’s chosen to mark an occasion. There were also several compliments like “gem” and some concerning trends like “cold.” I also filed a few things in this category that weren’t immediately intelligible to me, like “6:00,” “night,” and “silver.” Fun fact: I had to figure out why reviewers kept mentioning “wall,” only to discover they were describing an eatery as a “hole-in-the-wall.”

Interpreting the results

Different diners offer contrasting opinions of the same dish in their reviews

Place Topics simply indicate which subjects are being mentioned most by your reviewers. For example, lots of reviews might mention your alfredo. That’s good to know as a first step. But the essential second step is to understand what people are actually saying about your alfredo. Place Topics don’t automatically tell you whether the sentiment is positive or negative. As seen above, these two reviews characterize alfredo quite differently, as being worthy of love and as being just okay, but both count as Place Topic mentions.

The simplest way to drill down is to choose one of the Place Topics Google is surfacing on your listing and then combine it with a ‘Sort By’ filter. Here, you can see that I’ve combined “alfredo” with “most recent”:

Combining a Place Topic with one of the sort by filters in the Google review interface enables you to segment data for more insight.

This filtered view will allow you to see if the most recent customers talking about your alfredo are satisfied or not. By scrolling through the reviews surfaced by this filter combo and noting down what you see, you can get a sense of present performance for a most-talked-about topic. You can then go through the same process with both the ‘Highest’ and ‘Lowest’ filters to note the best and worst sentiment you’ve ever received on the topic. You could create a spreadsheet to compare how you’re currently doing with a particular topic to your overall highs and lows. The ability to use Place Topics in combination with sorting makes the information a bit more intelligible!

This workflow is reasonably manageable for the 10 Place Topics shown by Google for a single-location business. It becomes less so for each additional location of a multi-location business. And, of course, Place Topics only relate to your Google reviews – not to your customers’ sentiments across multiple review platforms. While this feature is useful, it’s limited and feels very manual. If you’re starting to realize this, you may be at a point of learning that an investment in more sophisticated sentiment analysis would make sense if it could highlight multiple most-discussed review elements across all your listings and across various platforms. In that case, you might want to sign up for software like Moz Local, with its more sophisticated sentiment analysis data and clues to whether your locations are trending upward or downward in terms of customer satisfaction:

Screenshot of the sentiment analysis section of the Moz Local software dashboard

But back to the more limited Place Topics, what should you actually be doing with this information?

What to do with Place Topic information

Screenshot of article discussing how chicken alfredo is Olive Garden's most popular entree

I was interested to see that only one truly large restaurant chain appeared to be given a top spot for my search through the 50 state capitals: an Olive Garden in Topeka, Kansas. All the rest were small businesses. I spent a little time looking at a variety of Olive Garden listings. According to Popsugar, chicken alfredo is this well-known brand’s most popular dish, and this is borne out by it showing up as a Place Topic for the Kansas City location in my screenshots above, as well as for many other locations.

The most practical use of Place Topics for restaurants (or any other businesses) is to understand that they represent the factors you must get right, because they are the things your customers will talk about most in your reviews.

86% of consumers say local business reviews are either the most important or a somewhat important factor in whether they can trust a nearby company. We can readily imagine prospective diners looking at all the sentiment about whether they can get a good alfredo at Olive Garden. If the sentiment is positive, this would be a yes. If negative, maybe not. Whatever the majority of your customers are writing about in your reviews, you need to examine those areas of your operations with a magnifying glass to ensure that you are giving customers every reason to speak well of your most prominent features.

Additionally, if worrisome Place Topics are trending on your Google Business Profile, it’s an actionable piece of business intelligence. For example, if enough people are writing about food temperature to make “cold” a top Place Topic on your listing, a structural fix will be needed so that guests are no longer experiencing this problem, and other things they’re mentioning can replace this word as a Place Topic. Even during the brief period of my study, I saw Place Topics change for specific locations, so take courage from that.

If the restaurant you’re marketing is experiencing a downtrend, you might also want to check out your top competitors’ Place Topics for amazing, fast insight into what their customers think they are getting right (and wrong). How does your establishment stack up, and what changes might you make to catch up?

Big takeaways for today’s restaurants

Overall, what we’ve learned about restaurants from this examination of Place Topics is that for top-ranked dining establishments:

  • Your food matters most. It is the subject that the overwhelming majority of your guests will mention most in their reviews.

  • Your amenities come second but still get lots of mentions in your reviews.

This may come as no surprise, but I grew up in a funny era where the emphasis on food in restaurants threatened to disappear. As food writer M.F.K. Fisher described the 1980s,

“Many of those young chefs pay more attention to the way food is arranged than the way it tastes.”

And as food historian Sylvia Lovegren explains the habits of eighties two-income fueled, credit card-wielding diners in that era,

“When they went out to dinner, it wasn’t to a quiet corner bistro where they could relax over a favorite and familiar dish. It was to an expensive, flashy, trendy place, where the fame of the chef or the hipness of the food might help guarantee their place in the demanding, unending struggle for status.”

If Google Business Profiles had existed back then, amenities might well have topped the Place Topics, but the 2020s are a very different period, with Americans feeling poor for good reason and restaurateurs really struggling to source affordable ingredients to keep menu pricing reasonable for patrons. Given these factors, it makes sense that the actual food on the table is what drives customers to write about their experiences rather than the atmosphere or social cachet of the spot.

When I look around my own town, I see how many pretty restaurants have closed over the past few years, while every night, a very ugly parking lot near me is filled to bursting with people seeking the affordable and fabulous Mexican entrees of a humble food truck:

Place Topics for 4.5 star food truck

In fact, they’ve been so successful in their tiny mobile kitchen that they’ve got a second truck now, and its location, which is totally lacking in prestige or ambiance, is full now, too. Reviews tell the story of success while also helping to build it.

This is a great week to form a new habit of analyzing Place Topics on a regular basis to see what matters to your best salespeople over time, perfecting your fulfillment of those components which could help your reputation most and give a meaningful boost to new customer acquisition.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips



How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips

Collecting high-quality data is crucial to making strategic observations about your customers. Researchers have to consider the best ways to design their surveys and then how to increase survey completion, because it makes the data more reliable.

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

I’m going to explain how survey completion plays into the reliability of data. Then, we’ll get into how to calculate your survey completion rate versus the number of questions you ask. Finally, I’ll offer some tips to help you increase survey completion rates.

My goal is to make your data-driven decisions more accurate and effective. And just for fun, I’ll use cats in the examples because mine won’t stop walking across my keyboard.

Why Measure Survey Completion

Let’s set the scene: We’re inside a laboratory with a group of cat researchers. They’re wearing little white coats and goggles — and they desperately want to know what other cats think of various fish.

They’ve written up a 10-question survey and invited 100 cats from all socioeconomic rungs — rough and hungry alley cats all the way up to the ones that thrice daily enjoy their Fancy Feast from a crystal dish.

Now, survey completion rates are measured with two metrics: response rate and completion rate. Combining those metrics determines what percentage, out of all 100 cats, finished the entire survey. If all 100 give their full report on how delicious fish is, you’d achieve 100% survey completion and know that your information is as accurate as possible.

But the truth is, nobody achieves 100% survey completion, not even golden retrievers.

With this in mind, here’s how it plays out:

  • Let’s say 10 cats never show up for the survey because they were sleeping.
  • Of the 90 cats that started the survey, only 25 got through a few questions. Then, they wandered off to knock over drinks.
  • Thus, 90 cats gave some level of response, and 65 completed the survey (90 – 25 = 65).
  • Unfortunately, those 25 cats who only partially completed the survey had important opinions — they like salmon way more than any other fish.

The cat researchers achieved 72% survey completion (65 divided by 90), but their survey will not reflect the 25% of cats — a full quarter! — that vastly prefer salmon. (The other 65 cats had no statistically significant preference, by the way. They just wanted to eat whatever fish they saw.)

Now, the Kitty Committee reviews the research and decides, well, if they like any old fish they see, then offer the least expensive ones so they get the highest profit margin.

CatCorp, their competitors, ran the same survey; however, they offered all 100 participants their own glass of water to knock over — with a fish inside, even!

Only 10 of their 100 cats started, but did not finish the survey. And the same 10 lazy cats from the other survey didn’t show up to this one, either.

So, there were 90 respondents and 80 completed surveys. CatCorp achieved an 88% completion rate (80 divided by 90), which recorded that most cats don’t care, but some really want salmon. CatCorp made salmon available and enjoyed higher profits than the Kitty Committee.

So you see, the higher your survey completion rates, the more reliable your data is. From there, you can make solid, data-driven decisions that are more accurate and effective. That’s the goal.

We measure the completion rates to be able to say, “Here’s how sure we can feel that this information is accurate.”

And if there’s a Maine Coon tycoon looking to invest, will they be more likely to do business with a cat food company whose decision-making metrics are 72% accurate or 88%? I suppose it could depend on who’s serving salmon.

While math was not my strongest subject in school, I had the great opportunity to take several college-level research and statistics classes, and the software we used did the math for us. That’s why I used 100 cats — to keep the math easy so we could focus on the importance of building reliable data.

Now, we’re going to talk equations and use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

So, we need to take the number of completed surveys and divide that by the number of people who responded to at least one of your survey questions. Even just one question answered qualifies them as a respondent (versus nonrespondent, i.e., the 10 lazy cats who never show up).

Now, you’re running an email survey for, let’s say, Patton Avenue Pet Company. We’ll guess that the email list has 5,000 unique addresses to contact. You send out your survey to all of them.

Your analytics data reports that 3,000 people responded to one or more of your survey questions. Then, 1,200 of those respondents actually completed the entire survey.

3,000/5000 = 0.6 = 60% — that’s your pool of survey respondents who answered at least one question. That sounds pretty good! But some of them didn’t finish the survey. You need to know the percentage of people who completed the entire survey. So here we go:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

Completion rate = (1,200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Voila, 40% of your respondents did the entire survey.

Response Rate vs. Completion Rate

Okay, so we know why the completion rate matters and how we find the right number. But did you also hear the term response rate? They are completely different figures based on separate equations, and I’ll show them side by side to highlight the differences.

  • Completion Rate = # of Completed Surveys divided by # of Respondents
  • Response Rate = # of Respondents divided by Total # of surveys sent out

Here are examples using the same numbers from above:

Completion Rate = (1200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Response Rate = (3,000/5000) = 0.60 = 60%

So, they are different figures that describe different things:

  • Completion rate: The percentage of your respondents that completed the entire survey. As a result, it indicates how sure we are that the information we have is accurate.
  • Response rate: The percentage of people who responded in any way to our survey questions.

The follow-up question is: How can we make this number as high as possible in order to be closer to a truer and more complete data set from the population we surveyed?

There’s more to learn about response rates and how to bump them up as high as you can, but we’re going to keep trucking with completion rates!

What’s a good survey completion rate?

That is a heavily loaded question. People in our industry have to say, “It depends,” far more than anybody wants to hear it, but it depends. Sorry about that.

There are lots of factors at play, such as what kind of survey you’re doing, what industry you’re doing it in, if it’s an internal or external survey, the population or sample size, the confidence level you’d like to hit, the margin of error you’re willing to accept, etc.

But you can’t really get a high completion rate unless you increase response rates first.

So instead of focusing on what’s a good completion rate, I think it’s more important to understand what makes a good response rate. Aim high enough, and survey completions should follow.

I checked in with the Qualtrics community and found this discussion about survey response rates:

“Just wondering what are the average response rates we see for online B2B CX surveys? […]

Current response rates: 6%–8%… We are looking at boosting the response rates but would first like to understand what is the average.”

The best answer came from a government service provider that works with businesses. The poster notes that their service is free to use, so they get very high response rates.

“I would say around 30–40% response rates to transactional surveys,” they write. “Our annual pulse survey usually sits closer to 12%. I think the type of survey and how long it has been since you rendered services is a huge factor.”

Since this conversation, “Delighted” (the Qualtrics blog) reported some fresher data:

survey completion rate vs number of questions new data, qualtrics data

Image Source

The takeaway here is that response rates vary widely depending on the channel you use to reach respondents. On the upper end, the Qualtrics blog reports that customers had 85% response rates for employee email NPS surveys and 33% for email NPS surveys.

A good response rate, the blog writes, “ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.”

This echoes reports from Customer Thermometer, which marks a response rate of 50% or higher as excellent. Response rates between 5%-30% are much more typical, the report notes. High response rates are driven by a strong motivation to complete the survey or a personal relationship between the brand and the customer.

If your business does little person-to-person contact, you’re out of luck. Customer Thermometer says you should expect responses on the lower end of the scale. The same goes for surveys distributed from unknown senders, which typically yield the lowest level of responses.

According to SurveyMonkey, surveys where the sender has no prior relationship have response rates of 20% to 30% on the high end.

Whatever numbers you do get, keep making those efforts to bring response rates up. That way, you have a better chance of increasing your survey completion rate. How, you ask?

Tips to Increase Survey Completion

If you want to boost survey completions among your customers, try the following tips.

1. Keep your survey brief.

We shouldn’t cram lots of questions into one survey, even if it’s tempting. Sure, it’d be nice to have more data points, but random people will probably not hunker down for 100 questions when we catch them during their half-hour lunch break.

Keep it short. Pare it down in any way you can.

Survey completion rate versus number of questions is a correlative relationship — the more questions you ask, the fewer people will answer them all. If you have the budget to pay the respondents, it’s a different story — to a degree.

“If you’re paying for survey responses, you’re more likely to get completions of a decently-sized survey. You’ll just want to avoid survey lengths that might tire, confuse, or frustrate the user. You’ll want to aim for quality over quantity,” says Pamela Bump, Head of Content Growth at HubSpot.

2. Give your customers an incentive.

For instance, if they’re cats, you could give them a glass of water with a fish inside.

Offer incentives that make sense for your target audience. If they feel like they are being rewarded for giving their time, they will have more motivation to complete the survey.

This can even accomplish two things at once — if you offer promo codes, discounts on products, or free shipping, it encourages them to shop with you again.

3. Keep it smooth and easy.

Keep your survey easy to read. Simplifying your questions has at least two benefits: People will understand the question better and give you the information you need, and people won’t get confused or frustrated and just leave the survey.

4. Know your customers and how to meet them where they are.

Here’s an anecdote about understanding your customers and learning how best to meet them where they are.

Early on in her role, Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Head of Content Growth, conducted a survey of HubSpot Blog readers to learn more about their expertise levels, interests, challenges, and opportunities. Once published, she shared the survey with the blog’s email subscribers and a top reader list she had developed, aiming to receive 150+ responses.

“When the 20-question survey was getting a low response rate, I realized that blog readers were on the blog to read — not to give feedback. I removed questions that wouldn’t serve actionable insights. When I reshared a shorter, 10-question survey, it passed 200 responses in one week,” Bump shares.

Tip 5. Gamify your survey.

Make it fun! Brands have started turning surveys into eye candy with entertaining interfaces so they’re enjoyable to interact with.

Your respondents could unlock micro incentives as they answer more questions. You can word your questions in a fun and exciting way so it feels more like a BuzzFeed quiz. Someone saw the opportunity to make surveys into entertainment, and your imagination — well, and your budget — is the limit!

Your Turn to Boost Survey Completion Rates

Now, it’s time to start surveying. Remember to keep your user at the heart of the experience. Value your respondents’ time, and they’re more likely to give you compelling information. Creating short, fun-to-take surveys can also boost your completion rates.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Click me

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
Ecommerce CertificationEcommerce Certification

Become A Certified E-Commerce Marketing Master

The Industry’s Most Comprehensive E-Commerce Marketing Certification For The Modern Marketer. Turn Products Into Profit, Browsers Into Buyers, & Past Purchasers Into Life-Long Customers

Click here

Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading