7 Strategies to Boost Your App’s Ratings and Reviews

Jenna Rodrigues
December 14, 2021

You launched your app! Congrats! Now what?

No, you’re not going to pop that bottle of champagne just yet (sorry!).

Google Play has 3.1 million apps, and Apple’s App Store has 2.1 million. If you just list your app there and hope for the best, not much will happen.

So what to do? You need some app store optimization (ASO) magic, which involves everything from using the right keywords to adding compelling screenshots.

One key piece of the ASO puzzle is ratings and reviews.

Ratings and reviews can affect your app store ranking. They also play a major role in users’ decisions to download your app. Good ratings and reviews can help you rank higher on search results, drive traffic, build trust with your audience, boost your brand images, and increase conversion rates.

For example, 80% of consumers read at least one review before downloading a paid app, and 77% do so for a free app. Meanwhile, 50% of users won’t consider an app that has a 3-star rating or lower.

Both the quality and quantity of app store ratings and reviews matter. Here’s how to give yours a boost.

1. Ask at the Right Time

If you don’t ask for a review, you probably won’t get it. But when and how you ask matters. Imagine you’re in a restaurant, and a server brings you a dish while you’re in the middle of a conversation. Before you even get to take your first bite, the server interrupts, “Hey, how’s your food?” Well, that won’t fly.

Consider the user experience (UX) when you ask for a review. If the request interrupts a critical task, you risk the user quitting the app altogether and never returning. Instead, initiate the prompt after a positive experience as part of the user flow (e.g., achieving an objective) when the user is most likely to leave a great review.

2. Make It Easy To Rate Your App

Don’t make users jump through hoops to review your app… they won’t! Integrate the request as part of the app experience by having a dialog box pop up at the appropriate time to ask users to tap the number of stars.

You can add this feature to your iOS app with the SKStoreReviewController API, which enables users to submit a rating without leaving the app. You can also give users the option to post a detailed review. Keep in mind that this API only allows you to prompt up to three times within 365 days.

3. Think Outside the App

Ask your fans to leave a review through other channels, such as your website, social media, and email. Be sure to include a link and call-to-action to make the process as seamless as possible. You can also ask social media influencers to review your app in their content to drive more traffic.

If your app is new and you want to gain traction fast, you can run a contest to incentivize people to leave reviews. Users can include their Apple IDs or Google Play usernames in the comments, and you can pick a winner at random to win a prize.

4. Respond To Reviews

Promptly responding to comments will help you improve app store ratings and build relationships with your audience. It also makes potential customers feel more confident about your brand. Personalize the responses and keep them concise, respectful, and informative. Use a friendly tone consistent with your brand image.

For positive feedback, even a simple “thank you” can go a long way. If responding to every review isn’t possible, prioritize those with low star ratings, negative feedback, or technical issues. Acknowledge that you will address the problems and provide an update after you have resolved the issues (e.g., when a new app version is released.)

5. Triage Negative Feedback

Catch low star ratings and negative feedback before they’re posted on the app store by providing users with a channel to communicate their issues to your team. You should include a clear message to tell users how to get in touch and make it easy to provide constructive feedback.

If you see negative feedback on the app store listing, respond to the user via the App Store Connect page to address the concern or offer a solution. The user will get a notification about your message and have the option to change their comment if they’re satisfied with the remediation action.

6. Report Offensive or Spam Reviews

Reviews that are spammy, offensive, or inappropriate not only violate Apple’s terms and conditions but also impact the user experience of those considering your app and tarnish your reputation.

Instead of replying to these reviews, which can give the trolls even more opportunities to post offensive materials, you can use the “Report a Concern” option under the review section in App Store Connect to get the comments removed from your listing.

7. Keep Your App Up to Date

Android and iOS are constantly updated, so you must keep your app current to remain compatible. Meanwhile, improve the app’s features and UX based on user feedback to make it more relevant and useful for your target audience.

Constant improvements are the best way to ensure that your app delivers the optimal experience and operates efficiently to avoid frustration. If you make updates based on specific user feedback, add a reply to the comment to show that you value users’ input, which can help you build trust with your audience.

The Foundation of Positive Ratings and Reviews

You can’t get your audience to rave about your app if it isn’t relevant and useful to them. Great ratings and reviews are built on an excellent product that solves a problem and delivers a great experience.

To successfully launch an app, you must start with a well-designed product strategy to help you build the right product, the right way, at the right time. You should also test the idea with prototypes along the way to make sure it’s addressing users’ expectations.

Growing your audience and generating revenue shouldn’t be an afterthought in app development. You must have an audience and revenue model to support your long-term success by drilling down to the bottom line and identifying metrics that matter to your big-picture objectives.

Our app development services ensure that you check all the boxes, so getting rave reviews will become a breeze. Get in touch to see how we can help you create a blockbuster app.

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