Ratings and reviews are crucial for the success of every app on the App Store and Google Play. For 50% of male and 70% of female users, they are the most critical factor when deciding whether to download an app or not.
Especially the star rating is essential. Apptentive found out that 46% of all users ignore apps with an average rating lower than 4.0 stars. To avoid cutting your potential audience, you must invest time and work into getting more positive reviews.
HOW TO GET MORE APP REVIEWS?
Here are 7 Tips for getting more positive reviews:
- Create a great app.
- Update and improve your app regularly.
- Ask users to review your app.
- Ask via the right channel.
- Ask at the right time.
- Ask the right users.
- Keep negative reviews out of the store.
And here are 3 mistakes you should avoid:
- Do not ask your co-workers for reviews (CRUCIAL!)
- Do not reward users for reviews.
- Do not be too obtrusive.
If you want to learn more details about these tips (and make sure that you understand what you should not do to get more reviews), read on.
TIP 1: CREATE A GREAT APP
It sounds obvious, but as it an essential factor, let me emphasize it nevertheless: The easiest way to get more positive reviews is by building a great app. Make it easy to use, eliminate bugs, and optimize its performance in terms of speed and data usage. The better, faster, and more comfortable your app solves users’ problems, the more likely will they be to give you a positive review in exchange.
TIP 2: UPDATE AND IMPROVE YOUR APP REGULARLY
Give users the impression that you are dedicated to making their lives better by constantly improving your app. Fix bugs as soon as possible, and add new features and new content to keep your users engaged. Learn about their wishes by reading reviews and analyzing support requests. If multiple users make the same demand, push this task to the top of your to-do list.
TIP 3: ASK USERS TO REVIEW YOUR APP
Most people might not think about reviewing your app until you ask them. And it is no shame to ask. As it is not a big deal to review an app, many users will be happy to do so, especially if they like it. So ask your users for reviews. But do it the right way (keep on reading to learn how).
TIP 4: ASK VIA THE RIGHT CHANNEL
You have several ways to ask users to review your app. Here are the most popular:
- in newsletters sent to all of your users
- via individual emails after having an interaction with your support team
- in the update notes on your app’s product page in the app stores
- while they are using your app
Newsletters, emails, and update notes are reliable options, but they all have the same problem: Users will only get aware of your question if they initiate the interaction in the first place (by subscribing to the newsletter, contacting your support team, or opening your product page on the app store). Usually, these channels allow you to reach only a small fraction of your user base.
If you want to direct your question to a significant portion of your users, you have to ask them while they are using your app.
You can do so by implementing Apple’s or Google’s native review prompt or using a third-party tool.
TIP 5: ASK AT THE RIGHT TIME
If you ask users at the wrong time, they will ignore your question, or -even worse- give you a negative review. So the timing is crucial.
Nobody can give an honest opinion about any product that he just has put out of the packing. So do not ask users too soon after the install. Make sure they have enough time to learn how your app works and enjoy its benefits.
Even more important: Never interrupt the user experience. Imagine, you are playing a racing game, and in the middle of overtaking an opponent, the game stops and asks you for a review. Would you give one? I am sure you would not. At least not a positive one.
Always wait until users take a break. Or even better: Wait until they enjoy a moment of success. Because shortly after making a good experience, people are much more likely to share a positive review.
Here are some examples of good experiences:
- mastering a level in a game
- having a match with another user in a dating app
- arriving at a destination after using a public transportation or navigation app
- after ordering a product on a shopping app or a meal from a food app
TIP 6: ASK THE RIGHT USERS
To increase the chance of receiving a positive review, you can direct your questions only to those users who demonstrated a specific level of engagement. For instance, people who used your apps on three consecutive days in a row. Or you can determine another criterion, for example:
- players who finished at least level 3 of your game
- users who chatted for at least 15 minutes with another person
- people who booked a taxi at least twice
- users who bought at least one product from your shopping app
The right criterion depends on your app and your abilities to track user behavior.
TIP 7: KEEP NEGATIVE REVIEWS OUT OF THE STORE
Some of the third party tools that let you ask users for reviews provide a very convenient feature: They allow you to filter feedback. Let us have a closer look at this process:
First, the tool asks users whether they enjoy the app or not. Users who answer yes will be redirected to the app store so that they can write their reviews. But if someone replies no, this user will be encouraged to send feedback to the customer support instead of the store.
This mechanism keeps negative reviews out of the store. And it has a second advantage: You learn about users’ pain points and get a chance to improve your app.
Image Credits: Apptentive
TIP 8: DO NOT ASK YOUR CO-WORKERS FOR REVIEWS
Asking your staff or co-workers to rate your app sounds like a great idea in the first place, especially if your app has only a few reviews yet.
Do not do it! Both Apple and Google might consider this approach a manipulation of their algorithm. And this violation could result in a ban of your app.
Besides, it could also break competition regulations in your country. The telecommunications company Bell Canada had to pay a fine of 1.25 million Canadian Dollars in 2015 after encouraging their employees to review their apps. To avoid getting involved in similar lawsuits, do not copy their strategy.
TIP 9: DO NOT REWARD USERS FOR REVIEWS
Just like the strategy outlined in tip 8, rewarding users for giving reviews (for example, by giving them in-app currency) might be a violation of the app stores’ guidelines. This behavior is not clearly prohibited, but it is obviously a manipulation of the algorithms, especially if you offer rewards for positive reviews. Thus, better do not take the risk and rely on users’ unbiased opinions instead.
TIP 10: DO NOT BE TOO OBTRUSIVE
Nobody likes to be harassed with the same question over and over again. So if users do not opt in to review your app, leave them alone. You will not convince them to give you a five-star rating if you repeat the question ten minutes later. You might even prompt them to do the opposite and give your app a negative review. Better accept the no and move on.
Good user feedback is the basement for your app’s success. And by following the tips in this article, you will increase the average rating for your app, and the number of positive reviews, too.
Nevertheless, be prepared to receive negative reviews, too. No app is perfect all the time. Thus, you will face criticism at some point in your career as an app owner. Handling this negative feedback the right way is another skill you should acquire.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ASO?
Then you should check out the App Store Optimization Book.
On more than 300 pages, you will learn everything you know about ASO, including keyword research and implementation, writing app descriptions, designing screenshots and app icons, composing app preview videos, and localizing your product page.
The ASO book offers easy to understand step-by-step guides and more than 140 helpful figures and example graphics.