Ratings & Reviews: Easiest way to increase your average score 👉

Ratings & reviews play a vital role in ASO.

  • App Store & Play Store would rank your app better if it has higher number of ratings & a good average score.
  • Google Play has search filters for ratings - 4.0+ & 4.5+.
  • Google scrapes user reviews and the keywords are accounted for in your 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!

  1. 1

    Hey Jay, thanks for the great write up! Question, how do you get people to write more reviews to begin with? We request a review in the app after some interactions, but so far haven't had many... not sure if that proves lack of customer love, or what. I know that for me, I might click 5, but have maybe only reviewed 1-2 apps in my lifetime. So getting people to write anything in general is hard. Any suggestions?

    1. 2

      It's always a challenge to get more reviews. I have realized that I could get more reviews from outside the app as well. From social media, emails and promotional campaigns.

      There's only so much we can do in the app to prompt the user to leave a rating. You should also try getting ratings outside of the app.

      I have written about my experience https://taskito.io/dev/growing-your-app-as-an-indie-developer#ratings

      1. 1

        Thanks so much! I'd love to learn if you found a better way to make use of those 100 promo codes we get each app release... could I pick your brain on some social media promos you've run?

    1. 1

      Thanks, @rene Have you see a similar impact on your apps?

      1. 3

        Most definitely, I explicitly ask people to update their review if I answered their question. I don't expect everyone to change their reviews, so the most important thing to keep in mind is that our responses are for all the other potential app installers too.

        That's why I find enjoyment reading reviews of other apps that clearly have terrible customer service because they practically yell at & blame their users instead of owning up to issues and make it hard for people to get a resolution through a review. They like to use ridiculously long unclickable links in responses like "File a ticket here and we can help you after: support.arandomcompany[.]com/adsfasdf/asdfadsf-1234".

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