New Data Provides “Magic Recipe” for Top App Ranking

top app ranking magic recipe

One of the most amazing things about the digital world we live in is that all the data we generate delivers exceptional insights. In the competitive world of mobile app marketing, every company has an eye on how to succeed at app ranking within the iOS and Android stores. While you likely have specific rank management strategies, that “magic recipe” is often still elusive. Now data has the answer.

A new study by sought to answer the question of how to rank in the app store. They studied 7,000 apps across 22 categories to determine what matters in app rank, including analysis of reviews, price, and ratings. The study did not specifically define top-ranking. Let’s unpack the details.

How Many Reviews Does an App Need?

Reviews of apps are very important for lots of reasons, including rank. They are social proof of your app’s quality, user-friendliness, and delivery on expectations. Getting more reviews for your app is likely part of your mobile app marketing plan, and if it’s not, it’s a good idea to put some urgency around it. That’s because the magic recipe for high rankings requires 12,000+ reviews. 

What’s the Ideal Price for Apps?

According to the research, the magic number is $2.33 or less for higher ranking on the paid charts. However, this doesn’t mean that consumers aren’t willing to pay more. They are, for some categories, and the app’s rating doesn’t necessarily impact this. 

Minimum Ratings and Cost Correlations

The research also found that for an app to perform, it must have a minimum rating of 3.3. Interestingly, the study did break down some of the average ratings by category and correlate those to costs. 

Productivity and Music apps have the best scores, averaging 4, but the average price people pay for these apps is less, at $4.33 and $4.84, respectively. 

Consumers are willing to pay more for Medical and Business apps, even with lower average ratings. On average, they will pay up to $8.78 for Medical apps and $5.12 for Business apps, even those falling under the 4-star rating. 

paid apps vs user satisfaction


Why might user satisfaction and willingness to spend not trend in the same manner? Practical reasoning would apply, that if the quality and user experience are better, the cost will be more. There are a few possibilities:

  • Although all these categories are very competitive, people may think of music as a commodity but think differently about Medical and Business apps. 
  • Music is also not a necessity, whereas many may depend on Business apps to do their jobs. 
  • A willingness to pay more for Medical apps may also reflect a critical need for the app based on a chronic condition like diabetes. 

More Revelations on the Magic Recipe for Top App Ranking and How They Connect to ASO

App ranking and App Store Optimization (ASO) are intimately linked. In most scenarios, your app profile should follow ASO best practices. Having the right title, descriptions, visuals, and keywords are essential to visibility, which can improve rank. 

What the study says about app profiles and ASO:

  • Top apps have at least three images: The quality of the images certainly matters. The content of the images can influence downloads, as well. So keep them clean, clear, and an illustrative of the benefits of the app. 
  • App titles with five words or less perform better: Those words should include the title but also a descriptor if possible that’s a relevant keyword. 
  • Descriptions of 267 words or less resonate more: Using concise and actionable language that also includes keywords with the most impact is vital to ASO and can persuade users to check out your app. 
  • Apps that support at least seven languages and are compatible with 37 iOS devices rank higher. Be sure to list all compatible languages. 
  • The maximum size of a top-ranking app is 116 MB or smaller. 

You should always be tweaking your profiles. Testing out small changes can offer you information on what matters to users looking for apps like yours. 

Ready to Add the Final Ingredient to Your App Rank Magic Recipe?

Recipes need chefs to come to fruition, and you need a mobile app marketing partner to do the same for your rank management pursuits. We have a broad portfolio of inventory to help you increase your ranking. Learn more about app store ranking best practices we recommend by downloading our infographic, 11 Easy Steps to Improve App Store Ranking. You’ll find actionable ASO best practices that you can execute on today!

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