App RankingApp ReviewsApp Store OptimizationMobile GrowthUser Experience

How to Increase User Reviews and Improve App Ratings

By May 23, 2019 No Comments

Reviews play an important role in today’s digital user journey. Whether it is reviewing a restaurant, an Uber driver, or an application, a good rating and a large number of reviews will increase growth for your business. Thousands of apps are released every day, making it hard for an app to stand out.

Reviews are a great way to boost your exposure in the app store. The larger number of responses for an application correlates with the larger number of downloads. But once you start having reviews come in, what should you do? Reply to the reviews directly. Addressing user feedback is an excellent way of showing interest and engagement with users, but it can also help improve ratings when you quickly respond to negative reviews – resolving issues and increasing the likelihood that user will change their rating.

Every app is bound to get a few negative reviews. Let’s look at a few ways of dealing with app critiques to help your app gain popularity and how to handle both negative and positive replies from users. We’ll also cover what you can do once your app starts getting a more substantial influx of reviews.

Why Pay Attention to App Reviews

First, let’s look at why you should monitor app reviews. Most importantly, reviews are one of the top things that potential downloaders check when they look to install an app. A higher number of positive responses will encourage a potential user to install the app. Negative reviews (followed by a reply) also display good customer service in addition to helping you as an app developer understand problems and bugs so you can address them.

App Reviews and App Growth

The level of competition is high in the app stores. The first thing visitors look at when they are searching for an app is its overall rating. The second thing they look at is the number of reviews. Many potential users report looking at average of 10 reviews and reading both negative and positive feedback before deciding whether to trust a product.

There have been numerous surveys and studies into understanding the relationship between app growth and user replies. These two things are directly related — more reviews and a positive overall rating are both responsible for an app’s growth.

App Rating and User Reviews

The overall app rating is based on the number of reviews and the percentage of positive responses. If an app only has 10 consumer responses and three of them are negative, it brings the rating down to 70 percent. The overall rating is the number one piece of information potential downloaders look at when considering an app. Having more reviews means a better overall rating. This is because you can bury inadequate evaluations with larger numbers.

Visit the AppFollow blog to learn how to work with app conversion rates to make your app rating grow.

Getting Featured

Overall app rating is important for getting featured and into the top ranking. The app store algorithms are based on a number of different things, including ratings. Both Apple and Google recommend apps that have a higher rating and a more significant number of reviews. To get on the recommended list, your app needs to have at least a 4-star rating. The more reviews you have, the more likely you will catch the Apple editors’ attention.

Discover what your game or app needs to increase its chances of being featured.

App Rating and Downloads

As mentioned above, users check the overall rating first. Catchy slogans and targeted marketing can get users to check out your app page, but they hesitate to click the download button when they see a poor overall rating. This will have them scrolling through the reviews to figure out what is wrong with the app. Users today buy more from other users feedback. The internet has brought back word of mouth marketing in a more permanent and a more complex way.

How to Make Your App Stand Out

There are three key ways you can make your app stand out in the eyes of the user, and they all have to do with replying to user reviews. As the app developer, it is one of the biggest ways to help your overall rating and change potential users’ minds. Here are a few crucial things you should do.

Reply When a User Complains

Replying to user reviews shows you care about them. One of the biggest reasons for negative evaluations is a complaint about a bug in the app. A response of acknowledgment and a statement of action will help persuade the user not to uninstall your app or rate your app negatively.

A quick reply makes a user sure that you care about them. Even if you don’t get the immediate reaction from them, this reply may lead to a more loyal customer or a higher rating in the future. In the example: Discord app, source:

Replying to issues shows you are taking the necessary steps to fix the problem. It is also imperative that you update the reply when the issue has been fixed. This encourages future users and can help reverse bad reviews.

Speed Up Your Replies

Templates are a great way to save time and streamline replying to reviews. But, it is very important that you do not use the same template every time. If users see the same reply to all of the app reviews, they won’t trust you. Repeat replies convey that you didn’t take the time to draft a sincere response.

If you use the same template over and over again, your replies seem insincere to all users that come to your app page and scroll the list of reviews. In the example: Dubsmash app, source: Google Play

Another way to speed up your reply time may be using help desks and get your app reviews right there. This approach will help you monitor reviews in the service that your customer support team uses. For example, you can use Zendesk Marketplace or other help desk services to look for apps to reply to reviews.

Deal With Featured Reviews

Featured reviews appear at the top of an app’s reviews. So it’s vital that when you reply to a featured review, you give a detailed response. These are the comments that will influence your app conversion rate and potential users. A well-crafted response will show that you take their experience seriously.

This is your chance to communicate with a large number of users. The original reviewer may not always change their review, but a reply from the developer can influence a positive response from the reader. Once you have dealt with the issue in the negative features reviews be sure to update your reply that the bugs have been fixed and all is working again.

Featured reviews are especially important when it comes to paid apps or in-app purchases. The detailed response ideally includes the ways a user can deal with an issue as it will help all potential users looking for help.In the example: Buy me a pie app, source:

How to Influence User Opinions

Influencing user opinions can be tricky business. Once an app has a large number of poor feedback, it can be a downhill slide for the app. To keep this from happening you should monitor your review section carefully and respond appropriately. Replying with an assurance that the problem is being handled and updating replies when bugs have been fixed is the way to a user’s heart. Always stay positive when responding to user feedback and thank them for their response.

Here are a few ways you can manage the comments and stay on top of replying to user feedback.

1. Sort The Reviews

Keep a close eye on incoming reviews. This should include both new and updated feedback. Often users update their previous reviews after a new app update. It’s easy to miss them if you don’t receive all review changes. Separate user feedback to be able to quickly address issues: bugs from the latest app update, questions about in-app purchases, etc. — then sort by priority. This helps you create control out of the chaos in your app’s review section.

2. Create Reply Templates

A variety of different templates is crucial for making replying to reviews easy and effortless. Crafting a well thought out response and repurposing it will ensure you streamline the process of responding. As mentioned above, your templates should be numerous and varied, so the potential users feel they are honest replies.

Be sure to thank the user for bringing the problem to your attention and make a statement of solution. Depending on your brand, emojis can be a great tool to lighten up responses and connect with the user and potential downloader.

3. Consider International Markets

When your app has an international user base, you should be aware of how the different experience of each country you work with varies. Different cultures respond differently to features and issues. Analyzing the reviews of each country can help you establish cultural themes, then create templates for each country to help you address their unique experiences.


One of the best ways to keep users engaged is communicating with them via their reviews. By following the guidelines in this breakdown, you can take control of your review section, increase your app store ratings, and ultimately drive mobile growth success.

About AppFollow:
AppFollow is a mobile product management service that delivers critical data changes around app rating, ranking, keywords and user reviews to Slack, email, Zendesk or one of 30 other integrations. It helps app owners improve app visibility in app stores, increase user loyalty and monitor app performance in real time worldwide.

Branch is a mobile linking platform providing unified mobile experiences and measurement for more than 50,000 mobile apps, including Airbnb, Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Tinder, Foursquare, Yelp, and Sephora. Branch’s linking platform can help you grow your mobile app through features like deep linking, sharing, referrals, mobile banners and interstitials, custom app onboarding, and unified attribution across platforms and channels. Learn more about Branch or contact sales today.
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