Use Mobile App Reviews to Boost Your App Performance

April 24, 2022

Do you look at certain apps with hundreds of positive reviews and wonder how you could achieve the same? Mobile app reviews are a key aspect of an app’s performance, and certainly not something to overlook.

App users can be more effective than an influencer or paid ads campaign when it comes to marketing your mobile app. But whether they help or hurt the credibility of your app depends entirely on what you give them to work with. So why not do everything in your power to build a user base that will encourage others to join your community by downloading your app?

Understanding the Importance of Mobile App Reviews

App reviews might not be top of mind for you as an app developer. After all, there are so many other very specific mobile app KPIs to keep track of in order to measure your success. But if you’ve ever searched for a new place to go for dinner or decided which hotel to stay at for a big vacation, then you know that reviews can be a major factor in the performance of a product or service. Let’s take a look at two reasons that mobile app reviews are vital for your new mobile app.

  1. Mobile App Reviews are Good for Social Proof

 According to Wikipedia, social proof is, “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.” This means that your users are invested in what others have to say about your mobile app. After all, haven’t you ever decided to Google reviews of a new item or a resort in order to know the real experience that they provide?

More positive reviews often help build trust in your app and your company. After all, an app with multiple 4-star and 5-star reviews seems like a more reliable decision than an app with no user-provided information. The positive reviews that users leave about your app may even convince those who are on the fence to take the plunge and download it because of specific features or experiences they read about that are fleshed out beyond your app description or screenshots.

At the end of the day, you can compare mobile app reviews to UCG (user generated content). There’s nothing more powerful than genuinely positive messaging from peers. This shows potential users that your app not only functions, but functions so well that people thought it worth their time to stop and write a product review about how great it is.

  1. Mobile App Reviews are Good for ASO

If you’ve made it far enough to be thinking about reviews, you’ve likely already listed your app in one of the app stores with attention to ASO. ASO, or app store optimization, is the process of tailoring your app store components to help your mobile app rank higher in the store listings. 

Most people focus on their ASO strategy pre-launch, concentrating on how to make their title, subtitle, app store imagery, and more work for them. But it’s important to realize that more positive reviews help ranking as well. An app that has a description full of keywords but only one 4-star review is going to be beat out by another app with less keywords in the description, but more 4 and 5-star reviews. The higher your app ranks, the more likely it is to be found and downloaded, and the more likely it is to continue to receive additional reviews and ratings.

How Do You Get Mobile App Reviews

Now it’s clear that mobile app reviews are an incredible help to your app’s potential success. But how exactly should you go about actually obtaining those reviews for your app?

  1. Have a Good Product!

It seems simple, but the most effective way to acquire positive mobile app reviews is to create a mobile app that people love. This means doing your research before creating the app in order to truly come up with a product that solves problems and provides your users with value. When you focus on understanding your users and their needs, you can provide them with features that encourage downloads and retention.

And once you’ve successfully launched your app, pay attention to post-launch app optimization. You don’t want to go through all the effort of creating and marketing your app, only to lose users because of problems that you can easily solve by staying tuned into their journey. Continuously updating your app to make it even better will inspire positive reviews, especially if your updates solve issues that users have been vocal about in the past.

  1. Encourage Users to Leave  Mobile App Reviews

While you will garner mobile app reviews through having a great product, there will also be users who love your app but just aren’t inclined to leave reviews on their own. This is where customer review campaigns will come in. You may need to remind or entice your users to leave a mobile app review through strategies such as in-app messages, offering rewards, and/or email marketing.

Sometimes users just need to be reminded that you value their feedback. This is where in-app notifications can come in handy. After a user has logged into the app a few times, send them a message asking them how they’re enjoying their experience. Once users have provided feedback, invite them to click to leave this review on the app store they downloaded the app from. It’s simple and straightforward – something this funnel of users will appreciate.

There are also those users who will need more than a gentle nudge in order to leave a review. For this subsection, you may want to launch a rewards-based campaign. Entice users to leave a review in exchange for a promo such as an extension of their free trial, or an item that would normally require an in-app purchase. You can even offer the possibility of a reward through a lottery depending on your app. For example, you might offer users a chance at no-fee booking through your travel app or free shipping through your eCommerce app.

What to Do About Bad Reviews

Everyone wants to have that one perfect app that inspires nothing but 4-star and 5-star reviews, but the reality is that sometimes you will have to contend with bad customer reviews. The key is to handle these situations well so that they don’t tarnish your app’s reputation and discourage potential users from trying it out themselves.

The most important thing to do when you receive negative mobile app reviews is to respond. Do so quickly and effectively. You may want to appoint a community manager who keeps reviews under control by becoming the voice of your company and addressing complaints. They will be in charge of making sure that users feel heard as well as relaying changeable problems to the people who need to hear them.

Your community manager should also be positive and understanding when interacting with users. It’s great to acknowledge those who are extremely satisfied with the app and thank them for their review. On the other hand, it’s also important to acknowledge those that are less positive about the app in order to show your audience that you don’t shy away from negative press. At the end of the day, people will be impressed with a company that can keep its cool in the face of adversity, and that is committed to continuous improvement. Take advantage of this in order to create a brand image that attracts new users each time you post.

Mobile app reviews are a great way to increase your app visibility and credibility. This added layer to your marketing strategy will help your app shoot up the ranks by utilizing one of the most powerful tools available – authentic word of mouth.

—by Bree Ogaldez
SEM Nexus is an award-winning startup app agency focused on building and marketing mobile apps for startups. We live, breathe and dream startups. They are our life, our passion. Let us help you make your dream into a reality.

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