ASO Reviews and Ratings: Use Them to Your Advantage

ASO reviews and ratings shape the impression of your product. Learn the main ways of managing app store ratings and reviews to use them to your benefit.
ASO is an effective tool for promoting your product in digital stores and attracting customers. It is versatile and has many components. You can directly influence some of its elements, such as the app description or the correct screenshots selection. However, there are those that depend little on you and which you can control only indirectly. The latter is called off-metadata and, in particular, includes ASO reviews and ratings.
Although these elements are not under your complete control, you can still work with them. Thoughtful and correct interaction with consumers who left their testimonials can increase the attractiveness of your product to other consumers and raise the install conversion rate. For such actions to bring positive results, you need to know the specifics of the platforms on which you host your games and apps. In this article, we will tell you about the nuances of managing app store ratings and reviews, as well as describe in detail the effective methods of working with them.

How Ratings and Reviews Affect Optimization

Rating is one of those things that a user sees right in the digital store search results, along with an icon and the name of a product. Based on this information, they can compose the first impression of your application or game, and therefore you should consider these things very carefully. Otherwise, a user will not even tap on your title if it is unattractive to them.

Consumers tend to trust reviews and ratings because they are believed to be written by real people based on their own experiences. If they are negative, it’s highly probable that users will not install your product on their devices.
That is, Apple and Google store reviews have a significant impact on clients' final decisions. Platforms also take them into account when ranking.
Asolytics Team
True, each of them has its own working characteristics.

Google Play Ratings and Reviews

The rating is represented as a numerical value on this platform, which stands next to one uniformly colored star. The store sometimes revises the principles by which the search results are formed. For example, in 2021, it was compiled based on users' regions, and from 2022 it will also be influenced by a specific type of device. When you open an app page, after a short description, you see a section with ratings and reviews, in which the most highly rated positive and negative testimonials take a particular place.

A distinctive feature of this platform is special algorithms that evaluate reviews by various parameters, including identifying keywords and indexing them. That's why you need to be a master at how to respond to Google Play reviews using keywords and optimize your answers. Also, keep in mind that algorithms of Google Play rate review content depending on the version of the product it was posted to. Improve your app to get higher ratings.

App Store Ratings and Reviews

App Store presents product ratings a little differently. In the search results, you see five stars fully or partially filled and the total number of ratings left next to them. A section with reviews, like in Google Play, is presented below an app description, and featured reviews include the most popular ones. To get acquainted with all, you need to open the corresponding page.

All reviews on this platform are segmented by country. So, if a user goes to read the reaction of other people, they will see only those left by people from their region (depending on an ID). Besides, developers have the option to "reset" the rating every time they update their product. Reviews are not indexed in this store, nor is there a similar Play Store sort by rating feature that allows consumers to determine the order in which titles are presented. So while you need to know how to respond to App Store reviews correctly, you don't need to optimize your responses.
Despite the differences in the display of testimonials and their assessment by internal algorithms, reviews and ratings are essential for the visibility of your product and influence the final decision of users to download it. According to statistics, many customers look at ratings and featured reviews before downloading a game or app.

ASO Review and Rating Management

As mentioned above, in terms of ASO, review and rating are something you cannot directly control since users themselves decide how to rate an app, but which significantly impacts your KPIs. Statistically, a three-star product loses almost half of its audience. If a rating is lower, the number of downloads is close to zero. A high rating and many positive comments contribute to the fact that your product appears higher in the search results; that is, it becomes more visible to users.

If you cannot control these factors, how can you generally work with them? Below we have described the most effective management methods that will help you gradually increase the rating of your application, raise the number of installs, and retain customers.

Motivate users

As is often the case, people prefer to leave reviews if they don't like something. If a product is okay, they just keep using it. You risk getting a low app store rating ASO by not motivating customers to leave positive comments because there will simply be more negative reactions. Insert a pop-up window or use special widgets (currently only available in App Store), which will make it easier for clients to leave reviews about your item.

The main thing is to choose the right time when such a request appears. Do not ask for feedback in the first moments of using the product, as customers simply do not have time to form their opinion about it. It is better to do it after completing an action or spending several sessions in your app. However, remember to comply with the specific platform requirements. Digital stores can get you banned for asking for feedback too often.

Analyze reviews

Reading your customers' testimonials is key to understanding their needs, wishes, and grievances. It is especially useful after updates. It will help you know what is wrong exactly and in which particular region, and you can quickly fix it. After all, to cope with negative reviews, you need to understand their causes and deal with them first. For the same reason, you should regularly read consumer comments about competitor products. It can give you the opportunity to understand your target audience's needs further and make your application better.

Plus, customer comments are a great source of keywords. By analyzing texts, you can understand which terms and phrases are most often used by your users and utilize them in your subsequent work.

Respond to reviews

You need to respond to every comment to let users know that you care about them and value their time. It's always tempting to only answer negative reviews, but you should also thank your customers for their positive responses. This way, you can increase other people's loyalty to you and your product. In your answers, try to keep a soft and friendly tone, showing openness to dialogue and a willingness to solve issues that arise.

You shouldn't just fix the described error and leave it without comment. Thank a client for their message and write about the solution to the problem. Consumers have an opportunity to correct their statements, and it is quite possible they will do it after you listen to their opinion. Besides, quickly making the required changes can help you avoid deleting your product from a disgruntled user's device.

Experts also recommend that you accompany your messages with supporting information. For example, you can provide other channels to communicate with developers to solve more complex issues. Personalize each comment to make it clear that you actually read a review and did not use auto-replies.

Improve the product

As corny as it sounds, the most powerful way to make your reviews more positive is to work on improving your product. Thoroughly test each new version to avoid bugs and, therefore, negative comments. In general, statistics show that regularly updated applications have a higher rating than those that do not receive any innovations. Once you've released a new version, notify your customers to keep them informed and engaged. Even the developers of the best iPhone apps need to keep the public interested.

An excellent way to increase user loyalty is to localize the product. It will help you become more visible in other countries and get more positive comments from clients in different regions. Keep in mind that localizing information in app stores is not just about translating texts but also setting up currencies, maps, captions on screenshots, and much more. In general, experts advise you to write descriptions and add such graphic information to form the correct first impression of your product. It will increase the retention rate.

Report spam

Negative reviews are an integral part of any job, but too many of them should lead you to think about a spam attack. You can report it to Google Play and App Store support to delete all such fake comments. If the reviews contain foul language or are not related to the functionality of your application, you can also report them. Typically, both platforms moderate testimonials and remove invalid ones, but you should also be vigilant.

Make Your Reviews and Ratings Work Effective

It is impossible to control reviews and ratings in digital stores fully, but you can influence them. Monitor them regularly and respond on time to both positive and negative comments (even if they are short). Pay special attention to featured reviews as they show the needs of many people. If your product has become popular and there are more comments every day, you can use specialized tools to help you manage a large flow of information.

While user comments can sometimes be fake, they reflect your app or game quality in most cases. Positive reviews and high ratings guarantee a high conversion rate as clients are more likely to trust you. Correctly structured work with testimonials affects customer loyalty and helps retain them for a long time. It is why your ASO strategy should include effective steps to deal with them.
Editorial Team Lead
Daryna Khyzhko