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How should ASO specialists work with reviews: Top 6 skills + PDF guide

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
Published: 28.04.2022
Updated: 01.06.2022
10 min read

Due to low ratings, ASO can go slower. The number of installs does not increase, and the conversion rate drops. You can solve these problems with effective work on reviews. In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important for an ASO specialist to work with reviews, what skills will help improve an app’s rating, and influence the app promotion in the App Store and Google Play. 


6 reasons why it is important for ASO specialists to work with ratings and reviews
5 important skills for ASO specialists when working with reviews
Things an ASO specialist should remember when working with reviews

6 reasons why it is important for ASO specialists to work with ratings and reviews

1. Working with reviews affects install numbers and increases the conversion rate per install

One of the main goals of ASO is to increase the number of installs from the search as well as conversion to install. App rating is the factor that influences conversion the most.

From Apptica research we can see that because of increasing app rating, CVR also increase
How app rating changes influence CVR. Source: Apptica

According to Apptica, changing ratings from 3 to 4 can increase conversion in the App Store up to 89%, and from 3 to 5 — up to 97%.

That is why ASO specialists should pay attention to app rating if they want to increase install numbers. App ratings are based on app reviews, so it is important to work with reviews as well. 

Thomas Petit, a world-renowned mobile marketing thought leader and independent app growth consultant

Ratings & reviews are an essential part of ASO because they influence both the algorithm (mostly through volume) and user conversion (mostly through quality). Ratings are very visible to users in particular. An important goal is to balance quantity and quality. Reviews are also a great source of insights into users’ expectations and satisfaction.

Learn tips that can help you to increase your app rating in our PDF guide

2. Number of reviews’ influence on app positions in the search

The position of the app for keywords is the main factor on which ASO specialists should work. Number of reviews can influence app positions — especially for new apps. According to the CEO of Asodesk Sergey Sharov, if a new app with few installs gets at least 10 reviews, it can climb from 300 positions in the Search to 100–150. 

App rating also influences the number of installs, and the number of installs is one of the main factors that influence app positions in the search. That is why ASO specialists should work on app rating and reviews to improve app ranking.

We conducted a study on what rating apps from the top positions in search have. The average rating of the apps at the top of  the App Store is high — 4.4–4.5 stars, while in Google Play it is lower — 3.6–3.7 stars.

Apps from the top of search in App Store have high rating, while in Google Play thay have medium rating
Ratings of top games on the App Store and Google Play

3. Reviews and replies to them are indexed by the Google Play algorithm

If you add keywords to your replies to reviews, you can:

  • strengthen your app positions in Google Play search for keywords that you already used in your title or description;
  • start ranking for keywords that you couldn’t add to your metadata;
  • claim positions for branded keywords.
App developer put branded keywords in his reply ro review
Rely to review with branded keyword

Remember that keywords in replies to reviews have a low impact on indexing in Google Play. But otherwise, you can claim some positions by using them. Read about all the factors that have a significant influence on app positions in the Search. 

4. In small companies, working with reviews is one of the tasks for ASO specialists

Sometimes apps get several reviews from the App Store and Google Play in a day or a week, which is why there is no need to hire specialists who will work with reviews only. In such cases, ASO specialists can work with reviews in the App Store and Google Play. 

In companies that get a high number of reviews, Customer Support managers usually work with reviews but sometimes they collaborate with ASO specialists and even use the same platform for their work. For example, Asodesk has tools for ASO and working with reviews, as well as Marketing & Product Management Tools.

Anna, Head of ASO, DevGame

An ASO manager is responsible for working with reviews in our company. On average, one or two days a week are allocated, it all depends on the flow of reviews. It often happens that with the release there is a need to increase this time. The whole process is simple, we use templates for replies. Therefore, the task takes no more than two hours. In addition to the ASO manager, the ASO lead takes part in the work and monitors the featured reviews.

5. Through review analysis, ASO specialists can find new ideas for changes to text metadata

Sometimes you can learn about the best features of your app not from the product team, but from users. For example, in positive reviews, many users can compliment several features in the app. We can test the idea of putting these features on the screenshots of the app, perhaps then conversion to install will increase.

6. It is important for ASO specialists to analyze reviews in order to recognize a competitor’s spam attack fast

If you don’t notice spam attacks from competitors fast, your rating can fall down over several days. Then your app position for keywords in the search can become lower, as rating influences it. That is why it is important for ASO specialists to overcome the attack in time and prevent a rating drop. 

5 important skills for ASO specialists when working with reviews

1. Understand the reasons for negative and positive reviews

To avoid missing the moment when the rating drops, you need to regularly monitor the number of negative and positive reviews and understand what causes them. For example, if the app started receiving several times more negative reviews, but nothing has changed in how it works, this may indicate a spam attack from your competitors. It is important to notice spam attacks in time and take measures before your app rating drops. 

Often, the rating drops after an update. In the Reviews Analysis tool in Asodesk, you can not only track negative reviews but also view them for any version of the app for the desired period.

For example, the app received 56 negative reviews on the day of the update on April 11. The number of negative reviews was more than usual: the average rating for that day was 3.17, while the average rating for a month was 3.65. We can conclude that some users experienced errors in the app after the update, which is why the number of negative reviews increased. 

Reviews Analysis in Asodesk helps to evaluate how the reviews on app are changing
Reviews Analysis in Asodesk

Thomas Petit, a well-known app growth consultant, also advises analyzing the reasons for rating changes. 

Thomas Petit, a world-renowned mobile marketing thought leader and independent app growth consultant

I look at both ratings & reviews slightly differently. I also try to consider both quantity and quality/average. For reviews, it’s about getting reputation management and building customer relationships, while ratings are more of a quantitatively oriented task, the two are related. 

Even when things are going well, I highly recommend keeping a close eye on volume & average for recent users, especially after each release.

2. Find ideas for textual and visual optimization in user reviews 

For an ASO specialist, it will be useful to analyze positive reviews and find out what users especially like about the app. User ideas can be used in textual and visual optimization. For example, put the users’ favorite feature on a screenshot and perform an A/B test to see if this change affects the install conversion. 

In their reviews, Headspace users often note that the app helps them to feel relaxed and sleep better. We can see this by using the word search in the Reviews & Relies Board in Asodesk. 

In Replies & Reviews Board you can find reviews with particular words
In Replies & Reviews Board you can find reviews with particular words
Word search in Reviews & Replies Board

In the screenshots, developers also added information about how the app helps users to relax and fall asleep to stories and music.

Headspace app screenshot

Learn how to analyze reviews more effectively and never miss a thing in our PDF guide “33 hacks for working with reviews”.

3. Correctly use templates in responses to reviews

ASO specialists have a large number of tasks in addition to working with reviews, and using response templates will help save time. But if the template is written badly, replies might seem robotic and unnatural. In the example below, the manager didn’t even read the reviews, but simply sent a template response that doesn’t solve user problems. 

The templates for these reviews were written badly, replies might seem robotic and unnatural
Example of template responses that do not match the reviews

Therefore, it is important to make the users feel as though they are talking to a real person. To do this, you can use more informal and diverse phrases, and add emojis, a username, and and regards from the manager. 

These replies solve user problem and don't look unnatural
Examples of responses that solve user problems and don’t look like templates

Nikolai Peremyshlev, Customer Service Manager created a table that allows you to form different responses to the user thanks to different combinations of words and emojis. You can create similar combinations for your projects. 

These table help to make different variants of responses to reviews thanks to different phrases combination
Table for creating response templates

In the Templates tool, you can add your own response templates or use standard ones. 

4. Automate your work with reviews to save time

Automation will help reduce time spent working with typical reviews and allocate more time to solving complex user problems. This is especially important for an ASO specialist since working with reviews is often considered an additional and not a priority task. 

You can create automatic responses to reviews that will depend on the length, rating, and content of the review. Read our guide on how to reduce work with reviews using automatic responses. 

5. Seek App Store and Google Play support to delete unfair reviews

Each negative review affects your app’s rating. However, sometimes the app gets negative reviews unfairly. For example, competitors may arrange spam attacks to lower your app’s rating. Or users can write short, uninformative, and obscene reviews. 

App Store and Google Play require reviews to be objective. But an angry review that is several characters long cannot accurately reflect the real experience of using the app. It is important to remove these reviews from app stores and there are several ways to do this:

1. Report them via the developer console or Report a Concern in Asodesk. In the Reviews & Replies Board in Asodesk, you can report a large number of negative reviews at once thanks to the Bulk Action feature. 

Report a Concern in Asodesk help to concern to complain to all nedded review faster with Bulk actions
Report a Concern in Asodesk

However, moderation often doesn’t respond to publishers’ complaints, so you have to resort to other means.

2. Write to the support chat with a request to delete reviews. Using this method, our expert Artiom Tkachuk fought a competitor spam attack. As a result of the attack, the app started receiving 30–80 negative and short reviews daily, and most of them were almost the same and contained the words “bad service”, “bad app”, etc. 

Initially, Artiom contacted support via the Google Play console three times but did not receive a response within 10 days. 

After that, he wrote to the Google Play support chat and received a response after 2–3 attempts. In his messages, Artiom pointed out the following arguments on why reviews should be deleted:

  • their similarity;
  • abnormal quantity;
  • a screenshot from Android Vitals as a confirmation that the app is working okay.

The agent accepted the request and asked to submit all unfair reviews, and after a few days, they disappeared. 

3. Translate reviews into English. Google Play support asked Anna Antsiferova (Head of ASO in DevGame) to translate the reviews into English to make sure that they were incorrect. Anna created a table with reviews in their original language, their translation, the date of writing, and their author, after which the support removed all unfair reviews. 

You can translate reviews into English, this will help support managersto understand them faster

4. Dislike negative reviews and write complaints on behalf of users. It is important to use this method for ASO specialists in the App Store since moderation is more likely to respond to user feedback than to developers’ comments. 

When submitting complaints on behalf of users, you should install the app on the device; then Google Play is less likely to consider the complaint a fake and more likely to delete the review. 

If you want to improve the process of analysis and responses to reviews qualitatively, opt for our PDF guide. There you will find 33 expert hacks for working with reviews. 

Things an ASO specialist should remember when working with reviews

1. Track negative reviews. This way you can prevent a rating drop before it starts affecting the conversion rate and the number of app installs. 

2. Look for ideas for textual and visual optimization in reviews. Often, users suggest which functions you should add to the app metadata. 

3. Use response templates and implement optimization rules. This will help save time when working with reviews and respond to all users in time. 

4. Try different ways to remove unfair reviews: send complaints as a developer, write to the support chat, translate reviews from foreign languages into English, and complain about reviews on behalf of the users. 

Tips from this article will help increase the app’s rating, which will boost the install conversion, too. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive new articles on reviews, ASO, and mobile marketing.

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Julia Suliagina
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Julia Suliagina
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
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