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5 tips on keeping your app’s rating above 4.5 stars


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For all the blood, sweat and tears you pour into your app, its rate of success will ultimately boil down to several things. One of them is the app’s star rating (app rating). Those five little golden shapes have the ability to make or break your creation – and you’ll need to ensure that this rating is above 4.5 to guarantee success. Yes, that’s how high the standard is. If your app has a measly, lonely single star alongside it, users will simply go whizzing past without a second thought. Here are several ways to keep your star rating healthy…

  1. Exchange love for ratings


yes, ANYONE you know and want to stay in touch with you,  should review your app – up to you how aggressive you are here, but you’d be surprised what a blitz like that can do to your app store rating. We all have quite significant networks, it’s time to start using them. Also, if you have a beta testing community (you should!), leverage on these users who love your app and feel they are part of it, to support you with reviews.

  1. App Review Plugin

Having a review plugin in your app is a great little way to bring in more user reviews, but you’ll need to use it sparingly and sensibly in order to avoid defeating the purpose and attracting poor feedback from the off, just because you went too far with it. After all, there’s nothing more irritating than an app that bombards users with opinion requests.

Most of the plugins are smart ones, giving you the ability to drive only desirable ratings to the store. Ask users to rate you by choosing the star rating inside the app, 4 and above chosen? Take them to the store to post their review. Less than 4? Open a short survey / feedback form and use this opportunity to learn how you can do better.

There are several such plugins out there, like Apple’s Appirater and Apptentive to name a few.

  1. Rewards for ratings


Rating an app may not seem like much of an effort to you and me – but to users it can feel like the world’s biggest chore. The success of apps is so dependent on high-quality store reviews that smartphone users are repeatedly asked for their feedback on a regular basis – and it doesn’t take long before this becomes annoying. So why not reward users for helping you out? Unlock a feature, a theme, free gift, voucher, promo code, anything goes.

TouchArcade has a forum that’s all about contests and promo codes. This is where developers can run a contest that enters forum users into a draw for a prize. All the users need to do is rate the developer’s app, and they can be in with a chance of winning something sweet. Everyone likes something for free, and running on a contest on the likes of TouchArcade ought to bring a healthy amount of positive feedback for your app. Of course, social channels and groups can also be great places to run such contests. Just a tip from my personal experience: Make sure you talk to someone in legal before running a contest as different countries have different rules around lotteries, drawings and contests. Just sayin’

  1. Look at the big picture

Track reviews using professional tools (such as appbot or similar) – monitor the amount of positive and negative reviews every week, by language. This will let you track a specific problem, understand if it’s a local problem or something that happens across the board and will let you fix issues real fast before your rank drops.

  1. Listen, react and ask again

Every app has teething problems, and you might not pull in five-star ratings on a regular basis right away. That’s ok, but what you need to do is react to negative feedback and not just let it lie there. In Google Play the reply to reviews option is available through the developer console. Provide short answers (try not to have a detailed discussion on the store page, because it will stay there forever). Then, offer to move the discussion to 1-on-1 email communication.

Listen to your users, and ask them to comment on your improvements. If they like what you’ve done to make the app easier to use, if you solved an issue they reported – they’ll give you a cracking app rating.

One great app that I’ve had the pleasure of working with really excelled in this. They made sure to invest in great support, and asked every happy user, at the moment they resolved their issue to thank them by posting a review and rate the app. The result is a staggering 4.8 rating based on over 15,00 reviews and counting…

The rating of an app and how many reviews it has play a major role in today’s digital window shopping, where we all constantly evaluate apps,  trying to decide which ones to download. Remember that people tend to post reviews when they loath an app, find it intrusive or malfunctioning, but they don’t do it as often when they love the app. That’s why keeping your store rating above 4.5 and generating a continuous flow of reviews should be a conscious, continuous effort on your end, as part of your app store optimization work.

Tsipi Joseph
Tsipi is one of Co-Founders, a mobile expert and a mentor. Over 10 years of experience in the mobile and marketing industry: Director of Marketing at Telmap, Comverse and marketing professional development director at the American Association of National Advertisers.
Tsipi Joseph
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