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14 Proven Strategies to Boost App Ratings and Reviews

In the highly competitive world of mobile apps, ratings and reviews serve as powerful indicators of an app’s quality and user satisfaction. They directly impact an app’s visibility, conversion rates, and ultimately, its success in the app stores. However, many app owners find themselves struggling to generate enough reviews and secure high ratings, especially when faced with the challenge of doing so at scale.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into 15 proven strategies that will help you improve your app’s ratings and garner positive reviews on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. By implementing these strategies, you’ll not only enhance your app’s visibility but also drive more downloads and increase user engagement. So, let’s get started!

Understanding App Ratings and Reviews:

Before we delve into the strategies, it’s crucial to understand the difference between app ratings and reviews. While both serve as indicators of an app’s quality and user satisfaction, they provide distinct insights.

App ratings are numerical assessments, typically on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, that reflect users’ overall perception of an app. They offer a quick snapshot of an app’s performance and suitability for users’ needs. On the other hand, app reviews are written evaluations that provide more detailed feedback and insights into an app’s strengths, weaknesses, and user experiences. Reviews allow users to express their opinions, highlight specific features they appreciate, and suggest areas for improvement.

Ratings often depict users’ first impressions and heavily influence their decision to download an app. The higher the rating, the more likely users are to perceive your app as reliable and worthy of their time and attention. Conversely, low ratings can deter potential users and negatively impact your app’s visibility and conversion rates.

What Constitutes a Good App Rating?

Apptentive’s research reveals that 50% of users won’t even consider downloading an app with a 3-star rating. Moving from a 3-star to a 4-star rating can lead to an impressive 89% increase in conversion rates. The study also highlights that the average app rating across all categories is 4.3 out of 5, with games typically scoring higher (4.5) and productivity apps slightly lower (4.1).

To rank among the top 1% of revenue-generating apps globally, maintaining an average rating of at least 4.7 is crucial. However, the number of ratings also plays a significant role in building trust and credibility. Users are more likely to trust apps with hundreds or thousands of ratings, as it indicates a larger user base and more reliable feedback.

The Consequences of Low App Ratings:

Low app ratings can have severe consequences for your app’s success. When your app has poor ratings, it’s less likely to appear in the app store’s search results, as the algorithms prioritize apps with higher ratings and better user reviews. This leads to a vicious cycle where your app experiences lower visibility, fewer downloads, and reduced potential to generate positive reviews, perpetuating the low ratings.

Moreover, low ratings decrease your app’s revenue potential, as users are less likely to invest their money in an app that doesn’t inspire confidence or meet their expectations. It’s a downward spiral that can be challenging to recover from without targeted efforts to improve ratings and reviews.

14 Proven Strategies to Boost App Ratings and Reviews:

Now that we understand the importance of app ratings and reviews let’s explore the 15 proven strategies that can help you improve them and set your app up for success.

1. Prioritize a User-Focused Approach:

At the core of improving app ratings and reviews lies a genuine commitment to delivering value to your users. By adopting a user-focused approach, you ensure that your app solves their problems and provides a seamless, enjoyable experience. When users feel valued and their needs are met, they are more likely to leave positive reviews and high ratings.

2. Simply Ask:

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple request. While negative experiences often prompt users to leave reviews, positive ones may require a gentle nudge. Don’t underestimate the power of asking your users to share their thoughts and rate your app. You might be surprised by the influx of positive feedback you receive.

3. Time Your Triggers Strategically:

Timing is everything when it comes to requesting ratings and reviews. Instead of prompting users at random intervals, strategically catch them at moments when they’re likely to provide positive feedback. For example, in a food delivery app, prompt users for a rating or review when their order arrives ahead of schedule, capitalizing on their satisfaction and delight.

4. Incentivize User Participation:

Offering incentives can be a win-win strategy for improving app ratings. Depending on your app’s nature, consider rewarding users with discounts, exclusive content, or premium features in exchange for leaving a review. This approach encourages satisfied users who were already inclined to leave a review to take action.

5. Streamline the Rating Process:

Make it effortless for users to leave ratings and reviews by minimizing friction and barriers. Integrate review prompts seamlessly into your app’s design, send well-timed push notifications, and provide clear instructions on how to leave feedback. The easier it is for users to participate, the more likely they are to do so.

6. Respond to All Reviews:

Engage with your users by promptly replying to all reviews, both positive and negative. Acknowledging concerns, providing genuine feedback, and addressing issues demonstrates your commitment to user satisfaction. When users feel heard and valued, they are more likely to update their initial ratings and leave positive reviews in the future.

7. Act on User Feedback:

Collecting feedback is only half the battle; acting on it is where the real impact lies. Analyze user feedback carefully and prioritize updates and improvements based on their insights. Regularly iterate your app to address user concerns, introduce requested features, and enhance the overall user experience. Show your users that their opinions matter and drive meaningful change.

8. Avoid Fake Reviews:

Resist the temptation to buy fake reviews, as users can easily spot them, and they severely damage your app’s credibility. Fake reviews violate app store policies and can lead to your app being delisted. Instead, focus on earning genuine, authentic reviews through exceptional user experiences and engagement.

9. Prioritize App Performance:

Poor app performance is a common trigger for negative reviews. Ensure your app runs smoothly, loads quickly, and is free of crashes and bugs. Regularly maintain and update your app to resolve performance issues and provide a seamless user experience. A well-functioning app is more likely to receive positive ratings and reviews.

10. Expand Your Feature Set:

Listen to user feedback and identify common feature requests. Continuously update your app with new features and functionalities that address user needs and keep them engaged. By delivering the features users crave, you demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction and encourage positive reviews.

11. Deliver a Seamless User Experience:

Design matters. In fact, 94% of an app’s first impressions are design-related. Invest in creating an intuitive, user-friendly interface that delivers a seamless experience. Avoid clunky navigation, confusing layouts, or overwhelming visuals. A well-designed app that prioritizes usability is more likely to receive high ratings and positive reviews.

12. Be Transparent and Honest:

Avoid making false claims or overpromising features that your app doesn’t deliver. Set realistic expectations and focus on highlighting the genuine value your app provides. When users feel misled or their expectations are unmet, they are more likely to leave negative reviews. Honesty and transparency build trust and credibility, leading to more positive feedback.

13. Provide Accessible Customer Support:

Make it easy for users to reach out and receive assistance when needed. Incorporate support links, FAQs, and contact information within your app’s interface. Consider integrating in-app support features like chatbots, feedback forms, or live messaging to provide timely and helpful support. Responsive customer support demonstrates your commitment to user satisfaction and can turn negative experiences into positive ones.

14. Foster a Vibrant Community:

Build a community around your app where users can interact, share tips, and support each other. Engage with your users through dedicated forums, social media channels, or in-app communities. Encourage user-generated content, run “Ask Me Anything” sessions, and actively participate in discussions. A thriving community fosters a sense of belonging, keeps users engaged, and encourages positive reviews and ratings.

The Role of Ratings and Reviews in App Store Optimization (ASO):

App ratings and reviews play a crucial role in App Store Optimization (ASO), the process of maximizing your app’s visibility and increasing downloads. Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store algorithms consider ratings and reviews as key ranking factors.

Holly Lawton, Sales and Marketing Head at Pearl Scan, highlights the importance of reviews in ASO compared to traditional search engine optimization (SEO). “Reviews are a crucial ranking factor in ASO, rather than one of many factors in a search engine-optimized page,” she explains. “For example, where you would have product schema on an ecommerce page for SEO purposes, you also need a sizable amount of reviews on any app listing for both social proof and trust signals for the visitor.”

By combining positive app ratings and reviews with effective ASO strategies, you can propel your app to the top of the app store rankings. Here’s how:

1. Increased App Visibility and Discoverability:

Higher app ratings directly impact your app’s visibility in the app stores. Both Google and Apple use algorithms that prioritize apps with higher ratings, making them more discoverable to potential users. By maintaining healthy ratings and garnering positive reviews, you increase the chances of your app being featured prominently in search results and app store categories.

2. Boosted App Downloads:

Positive reviews and high ratings act as powerful social proof, influencing users’ decision to download your app. In fact, 79% of customers refer to reviews and ratings before downloading a new app. When users see glowing reviews and high ratings, they are more likely to trust your app and give it a try, leading to a significant increase in downloads.

3. Enhanced Credibility and Trust:

Your app’s ratings and reviews are intrinsically linked to the user experience you provide and contribute to your overall brand image. When users discover your app for the first time, the ratings and reviews are often the first things they notice. High ratings and positive reviews enhance your app’s credibility, instilling confidence in potential users and encouraging them to download and engage with your app.

4. Increased In-App Revenue:

Improving app ratings and reviews not only benefits your ASO efforts but also directly impacts your app’s revenue potential. Higher ratings lead to more downloads, which in turn provide more opportunities for monetization through in-app purchases, subscriptions, or advertising. A report by Playtika revealed that an increase of 0.2 stars for their game Bingo Blitz resulted in a 30% increase in organic conversion, translating to 1,500 more installs and $135,000 in additional monthly revenue.

Navigating the Differences: Google Play Store vs. Apple App Store:

While both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store value ratings and reviews, they approach them differently. Understanding these differences can help you tailor your strategies accordingly.

App Ratings:

In the Apple App Store, your app’s overall rating is calculated by averaging all the ratings it receives. Every rating, whether positive or negative, contributes to the overall average. However, Apple allows you to reset your app’s rating when releasing a new update, giving you a fresh start if the current average doesn’t accurately reflect your app’s current quality.

On the other hand, the Google Play Store places more weight on ratings given to the latest version of your app. This approach ensures that recent improvements and updates are more prominently reflected in the overall rating, providing a more accurate representation of your app’s current state. If users are satisfied with the latest version, your app’s ratings can improve rapidly.

App Reviews:

The Apple App Store highlights the last six reviews, while the Google Play Store displays a mix of the most positive and negative reviews. On Google Play, negative reviews are more prominently displayed, encouraging you to actively address users’ concerns. In contrast, negative reviews are less visible on the App Store, which may discourage proactive responses.

Additionally, the Google Play Store allows users to leave feedback on individual aspects of your app, such as ease of use, design, and functionality. This granular feedback helps you identify specific areas for improvement. On the App Store, users can only leave an overall star rating and a written review, making it more challenging to pinpoint specific areas for enhancement.


Improving app ratings and reviews is a critical component of ensuring your app’s long-term success. By implementing the 15 proven strategies outlined in this guide, you can create a more engaging and satisfying user experience, ultimately leading to higher ratings, more positive reviews, and increased app downloads.

Remember, generating ratings and reviews at scale requires consistent effort and a user-centric approach. Prioritize delivering value to your users, actively seek and act upon their feedback, and continuously iterate and improve your app based on their insights.

Don’t let low ratings and sparse reviews hinder your app’s success. Take action today and start implementing these proven strategies to skyrocket your app’s ratings and reviews. Book a call with Apptile’s team of experts and embark on a path to creating an app that users love and eagerly recommend.