User ratings are important. So important, in fact, that they often play a crucial role in people's purchasing decisions - whether it's a restaurant, a movie or an app.
But getting ratings and reviews is no easy task - unless, of course, you have an unhappy user on your hands.
While 76% of apps are rated 4 stars and above in the App Store and Google Play store, most of these ratings don't happen simply because users are willing to share their opinions. More likely, there is some behind-the-scenes work going on to collect this positive feedback. If you want to improve your App Store Optimization (ASO), you need to learn it.
In this article, you'll learn how to help your mobile app get positive reviews and more positive reviews.
How the app reviews affect your app's performance on app markets?
Before we discuss the best way to ask for ratings and reviews, let's try to understand what's at stake when it comes to getting good app ratings. As an app user, you must have come across app rating requests, and while some of them are meaningful and sincere, others are nosy and nagging.
It's important to understand here that app ratings are not a matter of vanity, they are actually a great way to inspire confidence in potential customers and increase your visibility in the app store.
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Low reviews, low download rate
The first major problem with new apps is that many users don't want to download them if they don't have many reviews. It can be difficult to get reviews if no one wants to download the app and test it out.
This is a terrible cycle for new apps in the app store. No one will download an app without reviews, but if no one downloads it, you won't get the necessary reviews for the app.
Users are more likely to leave negative reviews
The second major problem is that new users are more likely to review a product if they are not happy with it. For example, if users have a poor experience with a new application, from the application design to the functionality, they may want to comment on it. If the user has a good experience and everything works, then they may continue to use the application without rating it.
Difficulty in creating new features
Improving the application can be challenging if users do not provide feedback. In addition, if unhappy users are the only group that gives you a rating, it will be difficult to get others to download it with a poor rating.
Your potential customers will check your app ratings. If you have a poor rating, your prospects will choose your competitors over you. Positive app ratings increase your visibility in the store by helping your app appear higher in the search results. App rankings help your ASO efforts. Search rankings and leaderboard rankings take app ratings into account. Getting lots of positive ratings and reviews can help you get to the top of the charts!
To learn more about app store ranking, you can check "App Store Ranking Factors that You Need to Know: Is App Store Ranking Based on The Number of Downloads?
" of our previous articles.
Fix it with app reviews and rating
The best way to solve these problems is to encourage users to leave feedback. Whether it's the community, social media, or a small survey within the app, every piece of feedback counts. But the fastest way to get app reviews is to use in-app rating requests. It's a great way to find out what users think of your app without making it difficult and time-consuming for them.
How to ask for app reviews and ratings in both app stores?
Asking for reviews in Apple App Store
Apple loves it when you use Apple products. You can use other plug-ins, but if you want your app to get into the top charts or be featured, it's best to implement the tools Apple provides.
Apple provides its developers with the SKStoreReviewController API. According to Apple, you can use this prompt up to three times in 365 days, which helps you get meaningful reviews. It also forces you not to interrupt your users too much to give ratings or leave reviews. Users don't like being annoyed by pop-ups that interrupt their app activity and make the experience less seamless.
Another benefit of using this API is that Apple has built it so users can leave a rating or review without leaving your app. You never want to incentivize behaviors that make your users leave your app. When they exit your app, the likelihood that they'll come back to use it is greatly reduced. You also run the risk of users losing progress in your app if they leave. Then they become angry and irritated. Positive reviews become bad reviews.
iOS users are used to Apple's UX/UI because Apple is very strict about it. Pop-ups that go beyond the standard Apple product design look like spam or fake, reducing your app's authority.
Make sure your support contact information is clearly displayed or easy to find. That way, users can contact you directly about a negative experience, and you can address it before they leave a negative public comment.
Asking for reviews in Google Play store
Android also has an in-app rating system, but unlike iOS, Android does not have a native in-app request tool, but they do have the option to create custom requests.
Custom requests are generated in the app and can be prompted when the development team decides. The request appears as a notification and asks the user to provide a rating for the app using happy and sad emojis. There is an advantage here. Since Google doesn't require you to use specific popups, you can make your popups more brandable than the ones in your iOS app. But this also means you should do more testing. For Android apps, not only does the timing of the popup matter, but so does the design and wording. Users may respond better to specific colors or specific copy. Run A/B tests to determine which variants work best for your app and your users.
If the user gives the app a positive emoji rating, then they will rate it using 4 to 5 stars. If the user provides a negative emoji response, the prompt will suggest that the user provide feedback.
By requesting feedback from a user who has had a negative experience, you are asking them to help you fix the problem so they don't have to have an ongoing negative experience with your app.
Tips and notes you need to care about when asking for app reviews and ratings
1. How often should you prompt users to leave their reviews?
Users interact with your app because they like the experience. Don't ruin that by always bothering them to leave an app store rating or review. You can even push them to the edge where they will give you a 1-star rating purely because they have a lot of pop-ups asking them to provide a rating.
Be conservative about the number of triggers for pop-ups. Also, ask questions in a friendly and on-brand voice. This means the popup should sound like it does.
Triggers based on a single action will trigger popups too often. Instead, aim for time and events. For example, people who have more than 25 sessions in your app have spent enough time using it to leave thoughtful and useful comments.
It's bad form to ask users to rate your app or leave a review too early in their user journey. They haven't had enough time to determine if they like your app. They may not have discovered all the features your app has to offer. Give your users time to familiarize themselves with your app before asking them to rate or review it.
Also, if users answer "no", they are less likely to leave a rating or review more than 3 times if they don't want to do so. You can adjust this response by not completely closing the Ask for Ratings and Comments pop-up instead of triggering it.
2. Keep negative experiences out of the app store
Every development team will receive a bad review at some point. This should not be seen as an irreversible situation, but one that provides an opportunity for a specific user to feel good about themselves before submitting a rating.
When you set up an in-app rating request, you are asking someone to give you a 1 to 5 star rating. This is a relatively simple rating system, so it's hard to say exactly why a user would give you a star, for example. If someone has rated your app with a lower star rating, it may be helpful to ask for their opinion before submitting the star rating to the app store.
The more app reviews you get, the better your chances of improving your product. Most app owners think they should avoid one- or two-star reviews. But the truth is that users can even give you a five-star review and then file a complaint. Their attitude and loyalty to your product depends on your ability to support them.
Moreover, the higher the rating, the better your chances of increasing downloads through app store optimization.
To learn more about bad reviews, you can check "How to Fight with Bad Reviews on App Store and Google Play
" of our previous articles.
3. Try other channels
There is no doubt that in-app is the most effective way to collect ratings and reviews, but this does not negate other options. Try including requests through the following channels.
Contest. While this requires you to manually oversee the entire process, contests are a great way to incentivize people to rate your app. Reviewers can leave their Apple ID or Google Play username as a response in your thread, where you can randomly select the winner.
Website. Encourage people to download and review your app on your website. This is especially effective for new apps that need a little love.
Social media. You may have considered using social media influencers to raise awareness of your app, especially during the initial launch. Again, influencers are a great way to help you run contests or use social media platforms to encourage people to try and review your app.
Transaction emails. These post-transaction confirmation emails are another great place to prompt users to rate your app (and incentivize recommendations). Soliciting feedback can be as simple as requesting a review by directing users to an app in the app store. Or, you may want to send these email requests after your customers have received their orders.