App Store Optimisation: Why are ratings & reviews important?
Apple updated its algorithm in 2013 to place a greater level of importance on ratings and reviews. Whilst Apple and Google have not explicitly stated that ratings & reviews are used as ranking signals, its generally accepted that the quality & quantity of reviews matter and should be part of any good app store optimisation strategy. Here is an example of three apps being tracked and the impact ratings have on rankings.
This tells us that ratings and reviews can impact your app store rankings. A study done by Apptentive back in 2015 identified the impact ratings and reviews also have on app store conversion rate, the results were staggering!
According to this study, by improving a star rating from 3 to 4 one could expect to see a significant improvement in conversion rate. Armed with this data it’s pretty clear to see why ratings and reviews should be included with any good app store optimisation strategy.
Get positive ratings & reviews with intelligent in-app notifications
It’s important to remember to always engage in a conversation with a user when asking them to rate your app. Studies have shown by simply asking people to review your app will lead to more negative reviews than positive ones. Cognitive bias suggest that people are more likely to point out issues with an app then provide positive feedback about an app.
By engaging in a conversation with a user, this will provide the opportunity too:
- Qualify users who are satisfied with the app (most likely provide a positive review).
- Identify users who are dissatisfied with the app (most likely provide a negative review).
To do this, you will need to build an intelligent pathway to engage in this type of conversation and capture favorable ratings and reviews for your app. Here’s an example of such a pathway:
When an app user receives a notification requesting their feedback, they are given two options:
- Option 1: An app user receives a notification that asks them if they love the app, they tap “No”. The user is then taken to the next screen thanking them for their feedback and asking for their opinion on how the app can be improved. This provides a fantastic opportunity to address a user’s concerns and hopefully turn that frown upside down!
- Option 2: An app user receives a notification that asks them if they love the app, they tap “Yes”. The user is then taken to the next screen thanking them for their feedback and asked to please rate the app in the app store. Chances are these users a more likely to leave a favorable review then a negative one.
When should this notification be triggered?
A good place to start would be to trigger the in-app notification after a customer has made a booking, or during a time that does not interrupt or negatively impact a users experience.
Who should you target?
The purpose of this campaign is to drive positive reviews to the app store, so ideally you want to target your most loyal customers who are frequent users of the app. An example of a loyal user may be:
- A user has fired up your app 5 times in the last three months (active user)
- Purchase frequently through your app (loyal customer)
It’s also important to consider the below characteristics as these will also impact the responses you receive:
- Device OS: Does your app work the same across iOS and Android?
- Device type: Is your app optimized for the latest devices in market (iPhone 100)? Does your app still support older devices in market?
- Locale: Is your app available across different regions? Did you know user behavior can differ by region – you might find that users in Australia are more susceptible to notifications vs. users in Canada.
In summary, intelligent pathways are a must for any good app store optimisation strategy. However, this does not mean you should ignore those users who are dissatisfied with your app. Over time these users will eventually make their way to your app store page and let the world know what they think!