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5 Tips to Improve Your App Store Rating & Reviews

March 14, 2016

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When you launch your app, you have a singular goal in mind: ‘make those downloads happen’. But how do you convince users to download your app when they have many other options to choose from? Given that they have only so much time and money to spare, how do you show them that your app is worth their time and investment?

You provide them with ‘social proof’. Because that is what influences your users the most and helps them decide whether to download or pass.

Just before downloading your app, your users instinctively look for information about how your app shows up on the App Store, what people have to say about it, which influencers mention it, and whether your app meets users’ expectations or not. That’s why you need to actively work on improving your App store ratings and reviews.

How Reviews and Ratings Positively Affect ASO?

While it is true that ratings and reviews help you earn trust and improve your credibility, they also have an impact on rankings and search results. Following are some of the benefits:

  • Improves App Discovery – The more the number of ratings, higher are the chances of your app being discovered and downloaded.
  • Higher App Rank – Reviews and ratings help in calculating an app’s position in Top Charts. High rated apps rank higher on App Stores.
  • More conversions – Positive reviews build trust and lead to more conversions.

How to improve App Ratings and Reviews?

Ratings and reviews are testament to how we humans used to (and continue) to live. Social proof defines the very socio-economic fabric of our society. The more people like, trust, use, or even swear by something, people want even more of it.

Here are some ways to get more of those positive ratings and reviews:

1. Design a Good Looking ‘Rate my App’ Plugin

If you want users to rate your app, you should give them a simple way to do it. What better than a ‘Rate Us’ plugin that can be integrated within the app itself? Although integrating default plugins provided by iOS and Android is good enough to get you started, you should consider customizing the plugin. A well-designed, attractive looking plugin with a clear ‘call to action’ will make a better impact on your users.

2. Proactively Ask for reviews

So, you have a great app that works and you have an excellent design to boot. It’s time to ask for user reviews but not everyone is proactive when it comes to leaving a review on an app, unless they have a negative experience to report.

As for most things in life, you have a passive approach to collecting reviews and an active one. More app developers and app owners just put the app up on an App Store and let the reviews flow. That’s fine, except that it’s the passive approach.

Instead, set out on a war-like footing and actively collect reviews. Send out emails, social updates, publish content, use push notifications, or even do SMS marketing to solicit feedback, reviews, and testimonials actively.

3. Trigger the Prompt when the Time it Right

A big mistake many app developers are guilty of is asking the user to leave a review before he has had time to engage with the app. By releasing a ‘Rate My App’ prompt immediately after the launch of your app, you not only frustrate your user but also risk attracting a negative review. You can avoid such situations if you time the prompt well.

Never interrupt the user experience of your app – wait till your user has achieved some major milestone within the app, has been able to complete a purchase or levelled up in a game. These ‘moments’ are when the user is most engaged or excited and is most likely to rate your app. So, identify these key moments and have the ‘Rate my App’ prompt pop up at such times.

4. Respond Promptly and Fix Issues

Nobody likes negative feedback but if your user faces an issue with your app, he will bring it to your notice. Instead of cringing and hoping that no one else reads it, be glad you have a chance to improve. He could have just uninstalled your app leaving you to figure out where you went wrong.

Listen carefully to everything your users have to say. Respond promptly to their concerns, address their complaints and fix their issues. Keep them informed if the issue will take time to resolve. Let me know that you are working on it. Once you have resolved the issue, you should remind your user to revise their rating. Many app developers have seen higher ratings after they take the effort to improve their product.

5. Build and Nurture a Community

There are many blogs and articles that ask you to incentivize users who leave reviews. However, we believe that every app should strive to earn honest feedback. The idea is not to mislead people into downloading your app but to show them how it can add value to their lives.

Your app has the power to define, create, and sustain a community around it. Almost everything does, and your app is an even better position. As Seth Godin advocates the importance of starting, building, and nurturing a bevy of followers in his book The Tribe, your app can be the center of attraction.

When you build a community, there’s almost a sense of reverence and respect. Reviews and app store ratings are then a mere fallout of this community.

Earn the Love

Before you even ask for reviews, make sure you test, validate, and get the product (your app) right. Once you get that out of the way, focus on getting design right. The UX/UI, loading speeds, and the way the app feels in the hands of the user will go a long way to determine what the world thinks of it.

Be ethical. Give your users the experience they deserve and you shall be duly rewarded.

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