Podcast Ratings and Reviews: Do They Matter, Where to Get Them, and How to Use Them

Podcast Ratings and Reviews: Do They Matter, Where to Get Them, and How to Use Them

I’m super stoked to talk about podcast ratings and reviews today because there are thing I get questions about from time to time. And I think there are things where we end up on either end of a spectrum. And the answer is really kind of in the middle, which is that I don’t care about reviews at all, and I’m never going to ask for them. And I’m obsessed with ratings and reviews and I need new ones daily to feel like I’m a success as a podcaster.

Neither of those is the answer, just spoiler alert. It really is somewhere more in the middle. 

First and foremost, podcast ratings and reviews are not a universal thing. 

There is no one central place where a listener can leave a review for your show or rate your show. It’s just not the way it is. In fact, many, many, many of the ways that your listeners will consume your show have absolutely no way to leave a rating or review. And so first and foremost this cannot be the only way you are judging success or failure of your show. Just in the same way, downloads alone are not enough to be an indicator of success or failure in your show. We need more data, right?

And so think about what are the goals for your show. If they are to drive traffic to an opt-in or to a program or to conversations, then those are the goals were looking at not just ratings and reviews. But that said, they can be really helpful tools for things like social proof. In some cases, they can be a really good way to get an indication of somebody really, really on board. I try and do my best to ask for ratings and reviews regularly because I want to offer another touchpoint, another place where there can be some reciprocity, where there can be some sort of energetic return because I am aware and you should be too.

But not every person who listens to this podcast is going to become a client. They’re just not. Not every single person who ever listens to this show or even every single person who gets value from something, they listen to the show or even every single person who implements something and sees real fundamental change for themselves will at some point, pay me. It’s just not going to happen, not every single person. And so I want there to be another way that people can return the energy. Thank me. Pay me in a way that can serve my show and can allow me to connect with them and see their sort of like, thank you. Right?

And so, ratings and reviews are a great way for that. And so I asked for them. I make sure that I’m saying, “Hey, here is this other opportunity to let me know this is helpful. Let me know, this is valuable”. And so ultimately, do they matter? Sure. Are they make or break for your show? Should they be the most important thing? No. Above all, they’re really just evidence that someone is listening and this is why it was helpful. So go try it, but generally speaking, a rating or review is not going to save your show from somebody who doesn’t like your show. If somebody listens and it’s just not for them, your ratings and reviews are not going to change it. However, they might get somebody who is thinking about listening to actually give it a chance. So, yes, they matter but maybe not as much as some people like to tell you they matter.

Now, since they do matter, how do we get podcast ratings and reviews?

I still ask for them. However, I don’t think about them every day. So, yes, at the end of every episode, there is a quick ask to leave a rating or review for the show. From time to time, you’ll hear me ask about them, but I don’t check them very often. I don’t get emails every time I get one, about once a month, when I do my audit for the show and how things are going. I go in. And I look to see if there are any new ones and once or twice a year, I make a real concerted effort to try and get some fresh ones because I do like to get a couple every year just so that they’re not all you know, 2, 4, 5, 8 years old because the show is eight years old. And so every once in a while, I make a concerted effort to really drive traffic to getting some reviews.

By the way, if you’ve not left review for the show, now is a great time to do it. And let me show you a really, really, really easy way to get people to a review. Because a lot of times when you say, “Hey, could you leave a rating or review?” They’re like, “Cool, but how do I do that?” Because again, like I mentioned earlier, not every single platform has this functionality even available. And so do you mean go into your podcast app in your Apple device and go find the show and leave the information or do you mean on cast box or Stitcher or where do you mean right? Well, if you have a single tool that you can send people to, then a, you can give them a place to go. Instead of just saying leave a rating or review and then him being left knowing what that means. You can say, go to this place. Wouldn’t that be amazing? It is.

You’ve also heard me mention it, if you’ve ever listened to the whole show. If you go to ratethispodcast.com/more, you will find an option to leave ratings and reviews on lots of different devices. Lots of different platforms. Now, the platforms you see do vary by device, I believe you can only see Spotify on mobile devices. So Androids, iPhones, things like that. You will not see Spotify if you go to that URL on your desktop. Whenever you’ll see Apple podcasts and you will see cast box and you’ll see a few other options. And with that tool you actually have the option of selecting or unselecting whatever platform you’re actually on. Now, I put the show literally in anywhere it can go because that’s– we’re casting a wide net. We want to make sure we’re available wherever you might be listening. And so I’ve got all of the options available because my show appears on all of those options.

I love, love, love, love this tool. Not only because it gives me a really easy place to send people, but when I do a call to action, I’m able to wrap it up in the same format I would sales one. And so there’s no experiential difference in my calls to action. They’re always consistently. Here’s what I’m asking you to do. Here’s why it’s valuable. Here’s where you go to do it. That’s always the format of those calls to action and that doesn’t change because I have this specific place to send people to, ratethispodcast.com/more. Here’s what’s great, you can have one of these two, just go to ratethispodcast.com, leave off the more and you can set your own app. The pricing is super affordable for most people who listen to the show. You’ll want to go with the solo option. So it’s $9 a month. It’ll give you access for one podcast, but it’s unlimited reviews. If maybe like me, you manage a couple of shows, you can use the growth plan which is $29 a month. Gives you up to 10 podcasts. And of course, you can switch to annual pricing. The solo is $89 a year and growth is $289 a year.

It’s a super cool tool. The other reason I really like this is you don’t necessarily see all of the reviews you’re getting. If you are going into Apple podcasts and looking at your reviews, you’re only seeing the reviews from your country. This was actually super fun when I discovered it years and years and years ago because I was like, “Oh, I have this, you know, a couple of reviews, that’s great.” And then I found out that I had like just as many Canadian reviews that had US reviews. We have had Australian reviews. We’ve had South African reviews. We’ve had some really cool stretches that we’ve gone into with this little show. And so, it’s really fun because with the tool like rate this podcast, it will pull them internationally. So you can see all of the reviews you’re getting. And again, not just for Apple podcast, but from wherever they’re synced with including Spotify.

Spotify introduces podcast ratings

Now, Spotify is not reviews. Spotify has these only ratings, so you will not see text sort of feedback reviews. You will only see the rating on a scale of 5 stars. But again, you’re able to sort of dashboard, see the feedback you’re getting in one place, which is really, really, really helpful. You can also see some detailed analytics as far as like how many people are actually clicking over and going to that link where they were, where they came from. So that you can get some solid data on what’s happening with your reviews. How many people are showing up but not like leaving them. It’s really helpful to give you a different perspective. Alright? So again, ratethispodcast.com. It’s that tool. And if you haven’t left a review for this show, come on over to, that’s right, ratethispodcast.com/more. And I say you can leave a review for the show.

Now, we’ve got the reviews, we are using calls to action in our shows but there’s other ways to get these and quite frankly, my favorite way to get them is to use them to get them. And so when we start talking about how do we use these reviews, I think it’s so important that we’re having a conversation about asking for them outside of your show. One of the things that we do whenever we really put some energy behind, getting some ratings and reviews sort of freshening things up, you will see this at some point in 2022, honestly, probably February and I don’t know, August late summer because there are just times where it works really well for me to have this kind of push, you’ll see on social. We’ll be sharing reviews we’ve gotten before, we’ll turn them into graphics. We’ll use screenshots, whatever it may be, but we’ll leave a review pointing people to leaving a review. Because oftentimes when you’re listening to this show or when your listeners are listening to your show, they’re not in a place where they can really go head over to ratethispodcast.com/yourshow and leave a review. It’s just it’s not going to happen. I have had people doing all sorts of things while they listened to the show. Breastfeeding newborns at 2:00 in the morning, not a great time to try to type up a review on your smartphone. We’ve had people trained for races and we’ve had people moved cross-country. And we’ve had people– I’m trying to think of other weird instances for people listening to this show, but also like dog walks and at the gym and on your Peloton or whatever. I don’t think anyone’s actually listening to this show on their Peloton. Everybody is listening to a Peloton instructor, right? I don’t know about Peloton, I’m not cool, not cool, guys.

But wherever you might be, it might not be super easy to head to a URL and leave a review right there or go into their podcast player and leave a rating right then. But when they have their phone in their hand and they’re looking on Instagram and they follow me because they love this show or are in a position to do it then, and so use this as a way to get more of these.

How can podcast hosts use ratings and reviews?

Use them as a way to drive new listeners. So, again, finding these on social or including them in your email when you’re driving traffic to podcast episodes, maybe your segments at a portion of your list who doesn’t usually click on the links or who you’re not sure if they listen to the show. And so you send them a version of the email with a, “Hey, this is what so-and-so had to say about the impact our show had for them.” There are a lot of ways you can use these. So be using them, not just the social proof to get more. “Hey, here are other people who’ve left reviews, you should too.” But also as a way to get listeners, “Hey, other people listen to the show. And it was really helpful. You should listen too.” So you can do that with social graphics on something like Instagram. 

You could be shouting them out on something like a video in TikTok or Instagram reels. You could be just sharing screenshots of them on something like LinkedIn. You can be talking about them in your show. This has been a longtime loved tactic, is to share reviews as a way of getting people to leave reviews inside of your show.

I don’t love this. Honestly, I think it can be a cool way to shout people out early in the show, but I would rather see repurposing them on social going into places outside of the podcast to drive people to the podcast instead of being in the podcast, trying to drive someone quite frankly away from the podcast. Because no one who’s listening who isn’t the person you’re shouting out cares. They’re already here. All right? So that’s what I want you to be looking at.

The biggest takeaway I want you to leave with is setting up ratethispodcast.com. So you have a central link to go send people to and to go review these. So that you give this precisely the amount of attention it deserves, which is not an everyday, every episode, I’m obsessed with a kind of thing. But it goes into your quarterly, monthly, annual, biannual, however often you do an audit of your show. It goes in there. I’ll be honest, we review this show monthly because we look at stats and download numbers and things like that. I don’t look at my reviews every month. Maybe once a quarter, generally speaking twice a year when I’m doing bigger planning. And that’s because I want to know what feedback there is. And generally right after there is when I go how I should really ask for reviews more often. And so I go do it because I don’t want the central message of this show to be go leave me a review. I don’t want that to be your takeaway at the end of every episode. What I want it to be is, “Hey, is now the time to hand over your production and get some strategic support on your team in your life and support you in getting things done in a more effective, but also a lot more fun way.” Cool, then come join us at uncommonlymore.com/podcastproduction. That’s the URL I want to be sending people to. That’s the place I want to be getting them to take action.

So yes, reviews are fantastic and helpful and they certainly matter a little. But they’re not the most important goal for your show. You got to keep that in mind. I hope this was helpful. I would love to hear from you. So head over to Instagram and send me a DM with your takeaway and the link to your rate this podcast review page so I can leave you a review and a rating and I can find some new shows, that will be fun. So head over to instagram.com/uncommonlymore to drop a DM to us and I will see you next week.

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