Buyers in 2020 like to make informed decisions. And people’s recommendations can impact the buying decisions of your target audience to a great extent. App ratings to your app is similar to product ratings on an eCommerce site like Amazon or restaurant ratings on an on-demand food delivery app.
As of the first quarter of 2020, there are over 4 million apps on just the App Store & Google Play Store.
Even though you don’t really have to compete with 4 million apps for your business but the marketspace for apps from every industry is highly competitive. Here are a few factors that users notice before downloading your app:
- Average user ratings
- App ranking for relevant search queries
- Number of downloads
In this article, I’ll talk about how to improve mobile app ratings. But before we begin with 5 strategies to improve app reviews, let’s review why improving app ratings is important.
Why Improving Your Mobile App Ratings Is Important?
So, let’s get ahead of ourselves and say that your app gets 4.5 stars by 1000 users on the App Store or Google Play Store. How will this impact your mobile app and your mobile app revenue?
High Ratings Helps Your Mobile App to Get Featured
Both the Play Store and App Store have sections, such as Featured apps, Top charts, Editor’s choice, etc. where they acknowledge the best apps for a particular category.
Getting your app listed in these categories means that it will get huge impressions, better CTRs, and increased installs. While there are many other features that the algorithm considers many features when listing a mobile app under the aforementioned categories, app ratings & reviews play a significant role.
It also makes sense. Suggesting a decently rated mobile application simply means that it is trusted by its users.
Increase App Downloads by Improving App Ratings
Research shows that 50% of users don’t even consider downloading an app with an average user rating of 3 stars. This number of users jumps to 85% for a 2 star rated app!
These numbers show that app ratings are synonymous with trust and user experience of your mobile application. It directly impacts your mobile app downloads. So, improving your mobile app ratings means higher app downloads.
Improve Ratings For Higher App Ranking
Let’s say that your app ranks at #7 for the most relevant keyword. Just like search engines, the chances of a user downloading your app or even visiting the app page reduce as we move down the search results.
Besides App Store Optimization, improving app ratings play an important role in improving the ranking of your app.
So now that you know why ratings are important, here are the top 5 strategies to increase your app ratings and improve your app reviews.
4 Proven Strategies to Improve App Ratings
No matter what you offer and what is your app’s revenue model is, you will need a well-curated strategy to increase your mobile app ratings. I’ve listed 4 proven strategies to improve mobile app ratings and increase mobile app reviews along with real case studies.
Simply Ask For It
Now, this may sound very basic but believe me, this works. Just asking your users to rate your app can help you improve app ratings and improve app reviews.
If you are a frequent online shopper, you must have noticed app pop-ups requesting you to leave a rating and review for it.
There is a theory among marketers which, if you ask me, is applicable in many other cases. For instance, if you want your readers to share your blog, simply ask for it. If you want your social media audience to share your post, mention it in the caption.
The key motive behind asking your users to rate your app is to insinuate the idea of rating it. And it may take a few tries but it definitely works. Google & Apple – leaders of app distribution, even offer in-app review API that allows your users to rate your app without leaving it.
Tip: Apple has set a limit which allows you to prompt for ratings just 3 times in 1 year using its default SKStoreReviewController API. So, make sure that you are perfectly timing your prompts to improve app ratings.
Here are a few tips on how to increase app ratings and to make sure that the maximum number of users engage with your rating prompts.
- Use different kinds of pop-ups. The more engaging and well-designed an in-app rating prompt is, the better are its results.
Liron Leshem (VP of Product at CallApp) writes in a blog how changing their in-app pop-ups, from basic to advanced (the rightmost one), increased the app rating prompt. Liron says that using a basic pop-up increased CallApp’s user ratings by 40%. The user interaction further increased by 30% after implementing a more engaging and visually appealing pop-up.
Takeaway: Monitor the performance of your in-app rating prompt and keep modifying it to increase your mobile app rating.
- Perfectly time your in-app user rating prompt that asks your users to review/rate your app. You can also show customized in-app rating prompts to your most loyal users to improve your mobile app ratings.
Let’s say that one of your users is having a hard time accessing a feature of your mobile app. Right at this moment, if you ask them to rate/review your app, it is most likely to backfire. For your gaming app, you can show an in-app app rating prompt right after your user reached a higher level to increase your mobile app rating. Here’s how Disney Emoji Blitz does it!
Takeaway: Conduct a study to find the perfect timing of asking your users to review/rate your app. This will significantly improve the chances of them rating your app.
Engage With Your App Reviewers
An important part of increasing your mobile app rating is to address your user grievances and, more importantly, to improve your overall end-user experience.
Here are 2 results from a Bright Local survey that tell you why engaging with app reviewers is essential.
- On average, every consumer/buyer spends more than 13 seconds reading reviews before making a purchasing decision.
- Among consumers that actually read reviews, 97% read how & what a business has responded to these reviews.
Your mobile app’s page on an app store is like an online salesman for your business. If you don’t address the grievances of your users, it can negatively impact your app downloads in the future.
While we are at it, it has worked for many app providers to have a platform for users to directly talk to their team of app developers. It makes sense because, at the end of the day, your mobile app design & development team is in charge of defining its UX.
Instead of including a middle man to communicate a user complaint regarding your mobile app, directing a user grievance to your mobile app development team can work wonders for you. Here’s how Expensify handles negative user reviews on their app.
If you solve the grievance of a mobile app user, you can ask them to consider changing the review and rating. And it actually works.
A study says that users change their ratings 38.7% of the time following a developer’s response.
According to a survey by Apptentive, 68% of users feel that their opinion is valued when they see a change that reflects their feedback. Here are a few other ways you can make your reviews feel valued.
Takeaway: Monitor your mobile app reviews to address your user grievances and thus, improve your mobile app ratings. Reply to every negative review on your app’s page and provide them with a way to explain their problem.
Offer Incentive to Increase App Rating – The Smart Way
Offering incentives to users for rating your app is against the content policy of Google as well as Apple. Here’s what Google says about incentivizing user ratings.
So, how can you actually increase your mobile app ratings without violating the policies of Google, Apple, or any other app stores?
Let’s say that you directly offer an incentive to your users to rate your app, which is against any app store’s policy. But even by doing this, you are just increasing the chances of them giving you a good rating. You have no way of knowing if a user actually gave you a rating after clicking on the in-app prompt’s link.
Well, the policy is not to directly ask for a good rating in exchange for coins, discounts, or any other incentives. But there is a way around it.
Everyone loves free stuff, right? The idea is to give an app user something they can actually use, like a discount on their cart’s value. This will help you build a rapport with your users. This will definitely increase the chances of them giving your app a good rating!
So why take the risk of getting your app removed from app stores for the same end-result?
Besides, offering incentives means happy users and this means higher app ratings. It’s as simple as that. Here’s a case study.
Dor Alaluf of Playtika, in the official ASO 2019 conference, showed how Bingo Blitz increased their mobile app rating by offering incentives. They did it without violating any of the app stores’ content policies.
This prompt flow was immensely successful. The average 55 reviews per day for this app increased to 200 app reviews per day after implementing it. This is a growth of over 363%!
Takeaway: Offering incentives to improve your mobile app ratings can be tricky. But if you find a way to implement it without violating any content policies, you can definitely increase your app ratings!
Make Rating & Reviewing Your App As Easy As Possible
It sounds simple but can help you increase your mobile app ratings significantly.
Even play stores understand that users prefer a shorter way to rate an app. Earlier the app rating or reviewing was a 3 step process for a user:
- Go to their app store,
- Find your app, and
- Leave an app rating or review
As you can see, this is a long and tedious process. This is why both Google & Apple (as mentioned before) introduced in-app rating APIs to make the entire process a lot simpler.
You can further optimize it to make it simpler for a user to leave feedback or to rate your app. Here’s how Find A Way does it.
Takeaway: Make it as simple as you can for your users to rate & review your app. It will help you to increase your mobile app ratings!
Improving your mobile app rating and increasing its review numbers might be a slow process but they definitely pay off. Last but not the least, I have a golden tip for you to improve your mobile app ratings: Create an awesome product & keep bettering it!
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