App owners have a general understanding of the importance of App Store Ratings, but are often not aware of all the factors relating to why app ratings really do matter. So, we thought we would dig into the numbers a bit more and provide a fuller explanation as to their importance.

Numbers Tell The Story

Perhaps the best proof that app store ratings matter, is illustrated by a look at the numbers:

  • 99% of the top grossing Apps have 4 or more stars.
  • 97% of the top 100 free Apps have 4 or more stars.
  • 95% of the top 100 paid Apps have 4 or more stars.

This shows the clear and obvious connection between being at the top and having good ratings. One generally assumes that the Apps at the top are good, well designed Apps and therefore have lots of good ratings.

However, there are lots of Apps that are quite good, yet they have virtually no ratings. One clear illustration of this is what happens to any App, even on at the top, when it puts out an App update. The number of ratings obtained by the new version remains quite low or even non-existent for several days or even weeks depending on how aggressively the App prompts for ratings. Therefore, good does not necessarily get ratings. So what does?

Our studies of App rating data in our system, and surveys we did of our customers and App users, highlights a number of interesting points.

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1. Apps That Ask For Ratings Get 100s of Times More

There are a variety of reasons why App owners don’t ask for ratings, but the top three from our surveys were:

  • We didn’t get around to it yet.
  • We were afraid to annoy users.
  • We discovered that doing it right was more difficult than anticipated.

Regardless of the reasons, the before and after effect of asking vs. not asking is dramatic. In all our studies we’ve found a marked increase when Apps that formerly did not ask for ratings, start prompting.

The numbers vary for different Apps based on the size of their install base, but the median turns out to be a 310% increase in the number of App store ratings within 45 days of the start of prompting… with a steady increase thereafter.

Why Prompting For Ratings Get 100s of Times More

To understand why prompting for App Store ratings is important you need to understand the reasons why people do not rate Apps. We used the AskingPoint Survey tool to ask actual App users why they don’t rate Apps. The top 3 reasons given, in this order were:

  • Busy with life. Over 85% of survey respondents said that even though they liked the App, they just never get around to it.
  • Difficulty of rating Apps on iOS App Store. Over 75% of respondents said that when they had tried to rate an App on the iOS App store, it asked for a password which they couldn’t remember.
  • Confusion about where or how to rate Apps on iOS App Store. Over 20% of respondents said that they had tried in the past but couldn’t figure out where or how to rate the App.

This data makes it pretty clear that the only way to overcome these factors is to dramatically increase the odds that you’ll get ratings (and preferably reviews) by asking for them:

  1. Prompting for ratings helps overcome the busy life factor. Many happy App users will give a rating if you simply ask (prompt)  them for one. But remember, prompt them at the right time in App workflow.
  2. You can help overcome the confusion about how and where to rate Apps by using a rating widget that takes users straight to the Ratings and Reviews place on your App’s Store page.

And our data shows it does really work. Apps that prompt will get 100s if not 1000s of times more ratings.

2. App Ratings Improve Visibility And Discovery

Another important aspect of App Ratings is the way in which they affect an App’s visibility in App store search results. App stores want customers to have a good experience and consequently their search algorithms do factor in App ratings.

The fact that App stores use ratings and reviews in their search algorithms makes perfect sense. There are millions of Apps in App stores and people search using a small number of terms. Literally hundreds or thousands of Apps will match the search and therfore other factors have to be used to rank search results. Ratings and review quantity and average score are used as well as frequency of download or purchase and it is therefore imperative to get rated and reviewed so as to improve your visibility in search results.

3. App Ratings Get Downloads

Last, but not least, App ratings get more downloads because customers do look at them. In all our surveys, when App users are asked how they decide amongst several similar Apps, the top two answers were:

  • The quality of reviews.
  • The number of reviews.

Conclusions

You simply must get rated and reviewed to get downloads and to get rated and reviewed you must prompt for them.

We hope this helps people gain a better understanding of the importance of App rating and reviews, and AskingPoint is always ready to help with our Rating Booster Rating widget.

Take advantage of our years of experience and our understanding of the science behind getting Apps rated to help increase and improve your App ratings and thereby get more downloads.

Clifford Ribaudo
Founder & CEO
Keep On Coding

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