In New York City, there’s only one issue that divides neighbors, drinking buddies and childhood friends alike. It’s not about the Mets and their playoffs blunders; nor is it about the Yankees and their ageing captain, Derek Jeter.
It runs much deeper, and strikes the very core of New York City life. It’s about pizza.
Your customers are talking about you online - do you know what they're saying? In the following post we search for the best pizza shop in New York City and examine the top sites food retailers should monitor to manage their own online reputations. How did we find our top sites? First, a more difficult question....
Who has the best pizza shop in New York?
If you ask a New Yorker this question, you’re likely to get back a variety of answers. Some love a thin crust, so they say Vezzo’s or Spounto has the best. Others enjoy a very meaty slice and will claim that Giorgios or Lombardi’s is tops. Others still love exotic toppings and herbs, and so they cast their vote for Otto Enoteca or Di Fara Pizzeria.
To help settle this debate, we let each shop’s online fans do the talking. We took the point of view of a person in search of the best ‘overall‘ pizza shop in NYC, and searched through a dozen user-based review websites to monitor what customers are saying about each shop.
Then we ranked the websites based on the number of reviews for each site's "top shops". When the numbers were close enough, we choose the shops that appear higher in Google rankings for "Shop Name +Pizza" - as these reviews are more likely to be seen by new visitors. The end results were surprising.
The Top Pizza Shop Monitoring Sites
1. Google Maps Listings
When you search for “New York + Pizza” in Google, the first result (no surprise) is a Google Maps listing. In Google Maps 54,598 pizza related shops are listed and the top 10 sites have an average of 670 comments.
Google Maps Listings Top 10: Adrienne’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant, John’s Pizzeria, Lombardi’s Pizza, Joe’s Pizza, Tribeca Pizzeria and Italian Eatery, Pasita, Patsy’s Pizzeria, Pala, Pizza Bola.
Yelp reviews 7,113 pizza shops and the top 10 pizza sites have an average of 75 reviews per shop. Yelp also shows up second in the SERP results, on average. This is why we ranked it so high in importance.
Yelp top 10: Rosario’s Deli, Pizza Moto, Carlos Pizza, Paulie Gee’s, Lucalis, Luigis Pizzeria, Rose and Joe’s Italian Bakery, Amore Pizzeria, Salvatore of Soho,
In New York City, unlike London, Citysearch is a very popular platform. Citysearch has reviewed over 900 pizza shops in NYC. Citysearch shows up a little lower in the SERPS than Yelp, but has a higher average of comments, with 103.
Citysearch top 10: Lombardi's, John's of Bleecker Street, Grimaldi's, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, L & B Spumoni Gardens, Joe's Pizza, Apizz Restaurant, Peasant, John's Pizzeria, La Lanterna Caffe.
4. Urban Spoon
Urban Spoon reviews an impressive 2171 pizza related brick-and-mortar stores, and has an average number of 308 comments per top 10. The reviews, however, appear very low in the search engine results pages (SERPS), and thus are a less likely to be seen.
Urban Spoon’s top 10: Lombardi's Pizza, Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Otto Enoteca & Pizzeria, L & B Spumoni Gardens, John's Pizzeria, Denino's Pizzeria Tavern, Adrienne's Pizza Bar, Nick's Pizza, Lucali, John's Pizzeria.
Many are searching for pizza shops in NYC through TripAdvisor, with over 700 pizza shops reviewed and an average 65 comments per highly rated sites. Because NYC is known for its pizza, many tourists or city newbies are looking for the best shops.
TripAdvisor Top 10: Caprizi, Patzeria Perfect Pizza, Keste, John’s Pizzeria Bleeker St, John’s Pizzeria Times Square, Big Nick’s Burger and Pizza Joint, II Brigante, Artichoke Pizza, Joe’s Pizza Carmine St, Angelo’s Pizzeria.
6. Menu Pages
This is a popular and food specific user-based review site. Menu Pages reviews 1846 shops and includes price information, but we can’t tell what the top 10 pizza places are on the site.
It does on average appear high in the SERPS for terms like “best pizza in NYC” or “ cheapest pizza in NYC”.
7. Insider Pages
Insider Pages reviews 1,958 pizza shops and comes with an average of 50 reviews/comments for its top 10 shops. On average, however, it appears low in the SERPS and includes way too many non-pizza related entries in their top 10.
Insider Pages Top 10: Besu Salon and Day Spa, Lombardi’s, Imperil Custom Tailor, Running Paws, Monster Pizzas, Pizza Suprema, John’s Pizzeria, Bodrum Turkish Mediterranean , Angelo and Maxie, Monster’s Pizzas.
8. Bing Listing
Bing reviews only 235 pizza shops, but appears relatively high in the SERPS on average. The top sites have an average of 45 reviews. Interestingly enough, Lombardi’s has two different ratings: one with 43 reviews and top billing and the other with 1,053 reviews and a horrible average.
Bing Top 10: Lombardi’s, John’s of Bleeker Street, Adrienne's Pizza Bar, Patsy's Pizzeria, Pizza Superma, Big Nicks Burger and Pizza Joint, Sal Carmines Pizza, Three of Cups, Trattoria Dopo Teatro.
9. Yahoo! Travel Listings
Yahoo! Travel reviews 2,894 shops, but has an average of seven reviews per top rated shops.
Yahoo! Travel top 10: Ray’s Pizza, Boom Restaurant, Portofino Restaurant, Grandpa’s Brick Oven Pizza, Hi Life, Nina Agentinian Pizza, Mafia Pizza, Gryo II , Rino Trattori.
Foursquare is not as great of a source at finding user reviews on pizza shops as many might have initially thought. The average reviews (called tips on Foursquare) for the top 10 are the lowest of all the sites reviewed.
But this site does list the number of check-ins (which stands at 1,400 an average for the top ten), and seems to be more widely used then a number of websites above it. Furthermore, given the low amount of comments and nature of the website, Foursquare does not have a valid top 10 list.
What Happened Bing, Yahoo, and Foursquare?
Last year we did a post about the big six sites that all brick-and-mortar business should be monitoring. Contrary to what we may have thought then, these sites seem to have low conversation volume - at least as far as conversations about pizza go. Food retailers should consider spending more time monitoring other sites.
Other interesting results
Some of the sites have widely different top 10 listings. For instance, Yelp, which has the second highest amount of user-based reviews has none of the overall top 3 (i.e. Adrienne’s Pizza Bar, Lombardi’s, and John’s Pizzeria) in their top 10.
Furthermore, Lombardi’s seem to have been the victim of ‘competitive rating’ as on one site they were reviewed 1,035 times (which is way above the average), and the comments for each review were short and terse.
What this all means for marketers
It’s important to understand which websites are the best source of user-based information for your industry. The most “popular” sites may not be where your customers are gathering to talk about your business. Second, location makes a huge difference. If you performed this search in the UK, for instance, Citysearch would not appear in the SERP's at all. Make a point to find out where customer conversations are taking place, and then join them. And for those of you who are short staffed or are looking for tools to monitor your online reputation more effectively, our Online Reputation and Buzz Monitoring Buyer's Guide should be of great use.
Oh, and as for "who has the best Pizza shop in New York City?", if you couldn't tell by the picture, I like Patsy’s...