Becoming a successful app in either app store is a huge challenge. Android users are now able to choose between 2.46 million apps, while Apple users enjoy the second-largest catalog at almost 1.96 million available apps. Simply getting noticed is a critical problem, and app store optimization (ASO) aims to solve it.
Our research into trends in the top app store charts showed that apps with higher star ratings tend to rank higher. User satisfaction or dissatisfaction can make or break your app. It is essential for apps to have solid ratings and reviews for better ASO to get exposure and attract new users.
If you do get negative reviews though, it's not the end of the world. Recent new changes to how ratings are calculated on the Google Play Store and the App Store give more weight to newest reviews, which means if you make quality improvements to your app and get new feedback from happy users, you can push your overall star rating upward. This shows that nothing happens in a vacuum and operating in silos can be detrimental to your app's overall success. Marketing your app on the app stores is directly tied to adjacent efforts to improve app quality through testing in development and collecting user feedback in your support, product, and design processes.
How to improve ASO with testing
Users typically leave negative app store reviews because they faced a frustrating quality issue that interrupted their experience so badly that they were moved to make the effort to go to the app store and leave a review. The importance of testing your mobile app properly before release cannot be overstated. Bugs can and will get through to production, but it is essential to keep them to a very bare minimum by taking all measures necessary to thoroughly test your app.
QA tends to be one of the biggest development bottlenecks and this causes a lot of impatient developers and eager PMs to skip steps and cut corners in order to meet release deadlines.
The solution is to streamline testing with the best tools available and complement traditional testing processes with creative methods like dogfooding because not all apps have access to hundreds of testers. This will result in a more frequent and reliable release cadence. And in turn, better app performance and therefore improved ratings and reviews. All this ultimately improves your app’s ASO and leads to more conversions.
How to improve ASO with user feedback
The other main way to improve your reviews and app store rating is to collect and address user feedback. User feedback can come from many different channels and cover different aspects of the app, from technical feedback like bug and crash reports to quality of life suggestions such as feature requests.
Usually when pushing out new releases, even if they are thoroughly tested, there is no way to know how users will react. You could get bombarded with negative reviews because you moved access to a little-used featured, for example. This could have been avoided by being proactive with user feedback. Instead of just waiting for users to leave a review or send an email, you can engage with users before release to try and understand how they would react.
Instead of being reactive to negative feedback, you can prevent bad reviews before they happen by engaging with your users at all stages of your app development life cycle and proactively solving problems early. Users are very appreciative of being given care and attention, especially with regards to an issue they faced. Instead of getting a bad review downstream, you have the opportunity to catch issues early, make your users happy, and win a positive review instead. This will result in more satisfied users and a better app experience, thus improving reviews and ultimately your app’s ASO.
How to improve ASO with Instabug
Instabug is a comprehensive solution for collecting real-time insights about your app, from bug and crash reports to contextual surveys, so that you can take action to enhance your app quality and drive five-star reviews.
Whether in testing or in production, you can use Instabug's suite of products to catch issues early and improve your app for your users.
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Instabug empowers mobile teams to maintain industry-leading apps with mobile-focused, user-centric stability and performance monitoring.