Similar to Google, Airbnb, a leading marketplace for short-term property rentals, also has its own ranking factors to determine the listing’s position in search results. The proprietary algorithm applies over 100 factors to listings when generating search results. The thing is that most of these factors are never disclosed by the system, making hosts play a notorious guesswork game when they try to craft an appealing listing on the platform.
However, the key criteria that affect the appearance in the search results are known.
- Guest Needs: The Airbnb search algorithm takes into account many aspects related to guests themselves, such as their current location, bookings history, listings added to bookmarks/Wish List, clicked titles, and many other aspects. Obviously, a host cannot control and manipulate with guest needs;
- Listing Details: It is what a host can influence, improve, and leverage on. Here, the search engine looks at the quantity of 5-star reviews, the property’s location and remoteness from the center, price per night, the possibility of instant bookings, response time, cancelation rate, and discounts for prolonged/low-season stays;
- Trip details: This is also not a thing the host can take under control. The platform evaluates how many guests are interested in this destination right now, the estimated duration of the trip, how far in advance the property is booked, minimum or maximum cost restrictions, etc.
While it all may sound abstruse to a beginner Airbnb landlord, established owners know vital secrets of an effective Airbnb SEO strategy. This is what professional hosts do to make their Airbnb business flourish.
What shall you do to push your Airbnb listing higher in search results?
The ultimate goal of any Airbnb host is ensuring that their lodgings are well-noticed and frequently booked. Time-conscious, ever-busy web users will hardly go far down the search results. Most people will decide to click on the very first results, without ever scrolling further. In fact, it is often unnecessary to look any further – the most relevant offerings to fit all demands generally appear on the first five-ten result pages.
So what should be within your course of action when improving your ranking?
Have a catchy listing
Stirring curiosity in prospects is your powerful weapon in a bid for better ranking with Airbnb. Guests love creative, non-trivial titles. Once their attention is grabbed, the guest will want to click through to figure out what hides under an attractive headline. And here, your primary task is to live up to expectations.
The description should contain exhaustive information about your property, leaving none of the guest’s possible questions unanswered. From an exact address and how to get there to information about the community and surroundings, your guest has a right to know where he/she is going to stay. Mention local attractions, entertainment possibilities, objects of infrastructure, public transportation, and more. Try to put yourself in your guest’s shoes and predict their main considerations. What would you personally look for should you be a traveler in need of accommodation in your place?
Not only your neighborhood should be described in every detail. A prospect would also like to know about the property type (room, apartment, summer house, bungalow, or whatever you have), the amenities you provide, the price and special discounts, as well as rules, limits, and prohibited activities. Point out, what makes your property outstanding and why the traveler should definitely book it.
Don’t keep inquiries waiting
An immediate response to inquiries is vital for ranking higher on Airbnb. Answering in mere seconds boosts your odds to close a deal, but a less-than-prompt response or even a failure to reply will result in both loss of business and poor visibility in search results. To ensure none of the inquiries skips the attention, experienced hosts integrate their accounts with sophisticated rental property management software that automates repetitive Airbnb operations, ultimately enhancing the administration efficiency and helping to conclude more deals (read more here).
Keep your calendar updated
Let your calendar promote your listing. You can adjust your Airbnb calendar so it prompts about upcoming remarkable events and festivals in your locality as surely as it allows you to block out dates so that the guests will not confusingly reserve your spaces when they are not available.
Snap the glory of your property
All your statements about the gorgeousness and comfort of your property shall be backed by plenty of quality photographs. By the way, the platform allows novice entrepreneurs to have a professional photo shoot session with payment in arrears (when you pay for top-notch images only after completing several deals on Airbnb).
Although well-done snaps will not directly bolster your ranking position, they do help to produce positive impressions on visitors, inspiring them to click on for more info and even add the listing to their Wish List. The more frequently your announcement is clicked and included in Wish Lists, the higher it is ranked. Please note that the Airbnb search engine only counts unique clicks from different IPs.
Offer competitive pricing
No matter the financial possibilities, every person is always looking for the best deal. Your lodging will be highly appealing to customers if its price is competitive. But how can you know which rates are competitive? Surely, through analyzing your direct rivals. Scrutinize similar offerings in your area to know the average cost of your services. To beat competitors, you may offer a bit lower rate, but don’t make it ridiculously low even if you are starting – too cheap offerings look suspicious and may deter potential clients.
Simplify the booking process
To hit the top on search results, it is also advisable to make your listings instantly bookable without waiting for confirmation from the host. The search algorithm prioritizes announcements that feature the option of immediate reservation.
Read also: What is Airbnb?
Try to never refuse or cancel reservations
Bookings rejected or canceled by a host without a good reason can ultimately transform into a worsened ranking. If you cannot be sure that you will never deny bookings, it is better for you to choose the Request to Book method which allows you to safely accept/refuse inquiring reservations. However, knowing that the Airbnb algorithm does consider the clicks-to-booking ratio, you need to accept all the requests you have, otherwise, your ranking will be affected.
Earn a good reputation
Those cherished little five stars on a page have a magical effect on visitors, boosting the owner’s credibility in their eyes. Still, earning positive reviews from Airbnb tenants is quite a challenge. It takes polite and professional communication with both prospects and clients, keeping the property in a nice condition, setting an adequate price for your services, and overall delivering an excellent customer experience.
Leverage social networks
Social networks are effective tools to make your business known. By sharing your Airbnb URLs with followers on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you not only drive more traffic to your listings but improve your ranking position too, as Airbnb favors active hosts who help to promote the platform through popular social networks.