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Valeriya Haurylavets,

Senior ASO Specialist,

Admiral Media,

Jun 26, 2023

Why ratings and reviews are key for App Store Optimization (ASO) success

How User Ratings and Reviews Impact App Store Optimization

The world of apps is highly competitive. In such a crowded market, how do you make your app stand out? One of the key components of success is App Store Optimization (ASO). It refers to the process of improving an app’s visibility and conversion rates in an app store’s search results. Critical elements in this optimization process are user ratings and reviews.

The Role of Ratings and Reviews

Ratings and reviews serve as social proof, a powerful psychological and social phenomenon where people’s actions are influenced by the actions of others. This is an important element that users take into consideration when deciding whether to download an app. For example, if an app is new to the market and doesn’t yet have a strong brand presence, positive ratings and reviews can boost users’ confidence and encourage them to download the app. Ratings are a score given by users based on their experience with the app, measured on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. They are visible and easy to understand, making them highly influential. In fact, it’s suggested that an app should aim at keeping a rating between 4.3 and 4.9 stars, as most users tend to skip apps rated below 4 stars


App Store Optimization


Reviews, on the other hand, are written comments from users that express their thoughts on the app. They provide deeper insight into user experiences, and potential users often refer to them to finalize their decision to download an app. Importantly, for Android apps, reviews also contribute to the app’s search visibility and ranking, as the Google Play search algorithm detects keywords within these reviews.

How Ratings and Reviews Impact App Store Optimization 

Apps with higher ratings and more positive reviews tend to rank higher in an app store’s search results. They build trust among users, improve conversion rates, and provide valuable feedback for developers to enhance the overall user experience.

Let’s take an example. Suppose you’re developing a new fitness app. Without a strong brand presence, your app’s visibility relies heavily on its ratings and reviews. If users rate your app highly (e.g., 4.5 stars) and leave positive reviews like “Great app for home workouts!” or “Helpful customer service,” this will not only boost your app’s ranking in search results but also increase its credibility. As a result, potential users are more likely to download your app, enhancing its conversion rates. On the other hand, negative reviews and low ratings can have the opposite effect. For instance, if users complain about frequent app crashes or poor customer service, these issues, if left unaddressed, could deter potential users and lower your app’s ranking in the app store.

Ratings and reviews in app stores play a significant role in determining the success of your mobile app. These indicators directly influence the conversion rate, either increasing or decreasing an app’s ability to attract new users.

Strategies to Improve Ratings and Reviews

To ensure positive ratings and reviews, it’s essential to have a strategy in place. Here are some effective strategies:

Encourage User Engagement

One of the most effective ways to improve ratings and reviews is to actively engage with users. By fostering a sense of community and interaction, you can increase user satisfaction and encourage them to leave positive feedback. Consider the following techniques:

1. Prompt for Ratings and Reviews: Implement in-app prompts asking users to rate and review your app at strategic moments, such as after a successful task completion or upon reaching a milestone within the app.


App Store Optimization by Admiral Media


2. Respond to Reviews: Responding to user reviews, especially negative ones, demonstrates that you value user feedback and are dedicated to improving the app. Address concerns, provide solutions, and thank users for positive reviews. This engagement helps build a positive brand image.


App Store Optimization by Admiral Media


3. Utilize Push Notifications: Send targeted push notifications to encourage users to leave reviews and ratings. Consider offering incentives, such as exclusive content or in-app rewards, to motivate users to take action.


App Store Optimization by Admiral Media

4. Monitoring and analysis: It’s important that you continuously analyze your reviews to identify common issues and suggestions for improvement.

5. Pay attention to featured reviews: featured reviews are reviews that users of Google Play and App Store highlight as the most useful or important. These reviews receive priority placement and are displayed above all other reviews on the app’s page. Pay attention to which reviews become featured on your app’s pages to consider all factors that influence the conversion rate.

6. Setting up a rating dialog: a rating dialog is a tool that allows you to ask users for their feedback directly within the app. A properly configured rating dialog appears at a moment when the user is most likely to rate the app positively, for example, after completing an action or achieving a goal in the app. This could help you increase the number of positive reviews and improve your overall app rating.

How To Optimize The User Experience for Better App Reviews

Improving the user experience (UX) of your app is a fundamental aspect of generating positive ratings and reviews. When users have a seamless and enjoyable experience, they are more likely to leave favorable feedback. Below are some of the best practices, we share with our clients:

  1. Streamline Onboarding: Create a smooth and intuitive onboarding process that guides users through the app’s features. Clear instructions and interactive tutorials can help users understand the app’s value quickly.
  2. Performance Optimization: Ensure your app runs smoothly, minimizing crashes, bugs, and slow loading times. Regularly test and optimize your app’s performance to provide a seamless experience to users.
  3. Solicit Feedback within the App: Include an in-app feedback mechanism, such as a feedback form or a “Report a Bug” feature, making it easy for users to report issues. This shows your commitment to addressing user concerns and improving the app.

How You Can Leverage Social Proof 

Leveraging social proof can significantly influence potential users’ decisions when considering downloading an app. By showcasing positive ratings and reviews, you can build trust and credibility. Consider the following strategies:

  1. Feature Positive Reviews: Highlight positive reviews within your app’s description or on your website. Select quotes that capture the essence of user satisfaction and promote them prominently.
  2. Encourage User-Generated Content: Implement user-generated content features, such as allowing users to share their achievements, screenshots, or testimonials within the app. This not only increases engagement but also fosters a sense of community.
  3. Influencer and Celebrity Endorsements: Partner with relevant influencers or celebrities in your app’s niche to generate positive reviews and endorsements. Their followers are more likely to trust their opinions and consider downloading your app.

Summarizing: Harnessing User Ratings and Reviews for Optimal App Store Optimization

To conclude, we can definitely say that improving ratings and reviews for ASO is a continuous effort that requires both a marketing and product teams alignment for the implementation of strategies to achieve positive user interactions towards our app. By implementing the above-mentioned strategies, product owners, app developers, UX teams and marketers can enhance ASO campaigns and attract more users to the apps. Remember, positive ratings and reviews are invaluable assets that can significantly impact the success of your app in the competitive app marketplace. Looking to enhance your App Store Optimization tactics? Connect with our dedicated team of ASO experts and kickstart the growth of your app today!

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