Reviews & Ratings: a customer feedback goldmine and how it can benefit your ASO
Reviews and Ratings are an important element of App Store Optimization, that’s an acknowledged fact. But it’s also a section on which you have very little control, as opposed to other fields such as title and subtitle. So how do you include Reviews & Ratings into your ASO routine? Well, first and foremost, they’re a great source of information you don’t want to miss out on. We’ve just been working on a whole new interface in AppTweak, which will drastically simplify your Reviews & Ratings analysis and help find the most valuable user feedback to ultimately boost your ASO.
How Reviews & Ratings impact your rankings
We are often asked if Reviews and Ratings directly impact an app’s keyword and category rankings. Although it has been proven that a good number of reviews and a high average rating have a positive influence on your category rankings, it is difficult to prove that the same is applied to keyword rankings.
What can definitely be affirmed, is that Reviews and Ratings have a direct impact on your app’s conversion and the higher your conversion on a keyword, the higher you can hope to rank on it. We ran an analysis through more than 100,000 data points to see how more likely people are to download an app depending on the average rating of the app. Here’s a glimpse of the results we found.
The higher your app’s average rating, the more likely users will install it.
You can actually do the exercise yourself on AppTweak by comparing your app’s average rating and total number of reviews over time with your app’s average conversion rate. This will help you understand the impact your Reviews and Ratings have on your app’s performance. On AppTweak, you can now very easily see this history for your app or any other, like your competitors for example.
NBA 2K19, a basketball game launched on iOS US on September 26th went from an average rating of 4.00 to 2.95 in less than 30 days. This probably seriously impacted the app’s conversion, causing a loss in keyword rankings._
By looking at AppTweak’s Spread per Score graph, we can see that this loss is due to a sharp increase in 1-star ratings (from 12% of overall ratings to 33%).
So a high average rating is essential to boost conversion and drive installs, but how do you get to a 4.5 star average? Well, no secret there, you just have to build a great app your users love! That’s more easily said than done, but we can give you a few tips to get on the right track. First, you should ask yourself, what do your users really like about your app, and what needs to desperately be improved?
Well guess what, most of those answers are actually right under your eyes: in your app’s reviews! So let’s dig in!
Building a great app from Reviews & Ratings feedback
Reviews and Ratings are an amazing source of feedback from your users, and the good news is that it’s a free process that’s already integrated into your app! Frequently going through your app’s Reviews will help you get a better understanding of what customers think about your app. What features do they value the most? What is really frustrating? What improvements would they like to see in your app?
These Bitmoji users have great suggestions to add more fun to the app.
The learnings you’ll get from your users can help you define your product roadmap and prioritize your next improvements or new big feature. In AppTweak, you can filter the reviews left by your user (by date, score, keyword etc.) to easily find relevant feedback.
AppTweak now makes it very easy to filter reviews by keyword, date and score.
Reviews and Ratings can also help to very quickly identify what isn’t working in your app and which bugs need urgent fixing. Who knows better than your users? You can filter reviews by negative scores or using specific keywords like “bug” to identify lousy user experiences.
When filtering Netflix (iOS US) reviews by negative score, we can immediately see what needs to be improved in their app.
By using the “filter by keyword” feature, you can evaluate what users think about a specific feature of your app. All you have to do is type in that feature name in our features and check the average ratings of the reviews mentioning. Is this something users love? Or is it just leading to frustrations?
We filtered Facebook’s reviews of the last month with the word ‘Ads’ and found that 81% of them were very negative. No surprise here!
If you’ve just launched a new update of your app, you can filter the reviews customers have left after the update went live, to understand their appreciation of the update. You might find out that the new release created a bug elsewhere, or that your users are using a new feature in a very unexpected way.
On September 21st, Pandora released a new version of its app announcing “We’re thrilled to support all the great new features of iOS 12 including Siri Shortcuts!” - however, if we filter the reviews given to the app around that date, most of them were negative. Indeed, after going through the Reviews, we found that this new update caused the app to be down for certain users.
If your app is global or in different stores, Reviews & Ratings are great to better understand why your app is performing really well in one country/store and not so much in another. Maybe there’s a killer feature a local competitor has and that is missing in your app. Maybe the Android version of your app isn’t working so well on some devices.
Using Reviews & Ratings to prepare your app for launch
What if your app doesn’t have any reviews yet? Or if you’re about to launch it? Reviews & Ratings are a huge opportunity to discover what your future users value and what’s missing in competitor apps. You can scan through the most relevant reviews of competitor apps to get an idea of what their users are saying about them.
Make sure to take into consideration both positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback will give you an idea of what made the competitor app successful. Negative feedback will help figure out what your app’s competitive advantage could be and better position it in the market.
In AppTweak, you can filter the Reviews of any app on the Store by “most helpful”, “most critical” and “most positive”.
What do people love about Deliveroo? - the restaurant selection!
What they don’t like about the app? - When it doesn’t deliver to their address.
Don’t leave Reviews unanswered!
Of course, gathering feedback from customers is great, but you can’t make it a one-sided conversation. Both Apple and Google allow you to answer users directly. This is a huge opportunity to show them you care. Replying to negative feedback can help users better understand an issue and what’s being done to solve it. This not only comforts the person who left the bad review; it also reassures any other user that is checking your app’s reviews. Replying to enthusiastic reviews encourages users to keep sharing their positive vibes!
AppTweak allows you to reply to reviews directly from the AppTweak tool. Connect your Apple and Google Console and start answering those reviews!
AppTweak allows you to reply to review directly from the AppTweak tool. Don’t forget to answer your users!
Some love to share
Finally, to finish on a happy note, Reviews & Ratings are also a great way to get recognition from your users. This is where you can find the future ambassadors of your app or understand what is it that they absolutely adore about it. That’s how you learn what are your key features and what makes your app unique, it helps you keep your focus on the elements that will drive growth to your app. You can also discover some really cool user stories!
A Deliveroo user shares his story of how she got her meal on a very stormy night in London.
A Tinder fan explains how she met her husband.
Your reviews are waiting…
So there it is, AppTweak makes it much easier for you to directly filter through your app’s reviews and get to the information you’re looking for. Now, all is left to do is to go read those reviews!