Ask and you shall receive great app store ratings

7 strategies to get the ratings your mobile app needs.

A recent study by Apurify found that 75% of the top 1,000 ranked apps in iTunes have at least a 4-star rating. Additionally, Apple itself seems to be tweaking its app-ranking algorithms to make user ratings count towards rank.

The obvious take-away: How much users like an app is crucial to its success (in our opinion, regardless of platform). This is good news for developers committed to creating great user experiences. The challenge is in eliciting high ratings, and more of them. A few things you can do:

1. Start at home

When you’re just starting out with a new app, it’s hard to get noticed, let alone motivate people to rate your app. A logical place to start is with people you know. Ask them to use your app and give it a good rating if they like it.

2. Man the complaint hotline

You know how it goes: If someone has a bad experience, they tell everyone. If they have a good experience, they may tell someone or they may not. Make it easy for people to complain directly to you so they don’t use low rating to provide feedback.

  • Include a “contact the developer” button in your app and on your website so users can email, call or text.
  • When talking to users, be professional.
  • Fix any problems quickly. When you address issues found by users, they’re often willing to provide a positive review or revise a lower rating.

3. Ask the right users

In-app analytics tools can help you identify who uses your app most often, indicating they’re happy with your app’s functionality. Prompt them to rate your app.

 4. Know when to ask

Think about when users will be open to giving you a good rating. For example, automatically prompt them after a certain amount of activity or when they open it for the second time. Be careful not to interrupt the user experience or ask for a rating immediately following a technical issue (e.g., after a crash).

 5. Don’t be annoying

Think about your app’s intended use and which type of prompt will offer minimal disruption: In-app pop-up prompt or alert in the alert view. Always offer a “remind me later” choice for users willing to rate your app, but not right then.

6. Leverage your website

Your site is the perfect place to ask for ratings and less intrusive then in-app prompts.

7. Make it easy to share

Include social share buttons in your app and on your website. If people like your app, giving them an easy way to tell other people will help generate awareness, hopefully leading to more positive ratings.

Getting a lot of downloads relatively quickly is still important to your app’s rank. But now that ratings are coming more into play, it’s smart to use any edge you can to get ahead. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

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Waqas Makhdum

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