Ratings & reviews play a vital role in ASO.
🐧 Apart from these, average rating score and number of ratings act as Social Proof. People are more inclined to download an app if it has 4.5+ rating and higher number of ratings as it builds a trust that your app has something to offer otherwise all these people would not have rated the app.
App rating system is quite skewed. Here's how people review it.
5⭐ – Great app. I love it.
4⭐ – Good app but it doesn't have this particular feature that only I want.
3⭐ – There's something wrong with the app or serious scope of improvements.
2⭐ – People who hate everything, also your competitors.
1⭐ – How dare you ask for money to use this app?! Crap.
A movie with IMDb score of 6/10 is considered watchable. But an app with less than 4.4/5 average rating is considered to be a terrible app. Google Play's new algorithm to calculate the average (displayed) ratings is very sensitive to new ratings. If you get a few 1⭐ ratings in a week, your score takes a dive for couple of weeks.
Getting same number of 5⭐ ratings does not bring the score back to the normal. You need 2-3 times more 5⭐ ratings.
TL;DR: Reply to user reviews and blatantly ask them to give you 5 stars!
In this post, I am focusing on how to improve your ratings with existing reviews.
🤗 From my experience of working with Taskito and previous apps, I have realized that replying to user reviews is quite helpful and a lot of people would change their review when they get a genuine & quick reply.
🔧 When there's an issue, I ask them to send me an email and try to fix their problems. When the problem is fixed, I urge them to update their review. And it works most of the times.
🤝 When I implement a new feature in Taskito, I search my reviews for those keywords and make sure to update my reply to let them know that their feature request is realized and it's in the app. «« This does not mean that you implement every feature request that you get in the reviews.
🕊️ Sometimes I just blatantly ask them to give 5 ⭐ rating. In most of the cases, it works! Taskito does not have real time sync & web app yet. A lot of people give 3⭐ or 4⭐ because of this. I am currently working on building real time sync feature and web app in 2021 roadmap. There's nothing I can do right now to help it. So I ask them to leave a 5 ⭐ review to support the app.
I have actual proof that this technique works. Google Play Console has a section named Review Analysis and it shows how many people updated their ratings when I replied to them. With this data, they are also encouraging us to reply to user reviews and try to improve our scores.
Here's the data for last 30 days & Lifetime of Taskito. You can clearly see that replying to reviews & blatantly asking them to give 5 ⭐ ratings works and you should do it too!
This chart shows data when a user updated their review and rating after I replied to them. It turns out that by replying to reviews, I changed Taskito's average lifetime rating from 4.57 to 4.62 which may not seem a lot but it certainly helps!
If you consider only the reviews (because that's what we can reply to), I changed average lifetime review rating from 4.48 to 4.64 which is ~3.5%.
💪 As number of ratings keeps increasing, this difference will go down, but in the initial stages, this is a great strategy to increase your ratings!