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January 23, 2020

How To Improve Your Airbnb Search Ranking

Preface

Airbnb as a platform has significantly changed since its inception. During its early years (pre-2015), it was very easy (compared to now) for the average host to attract guests to their listing. The average host wasn’t even considering listing optimization during these times. 

Fast forward to 2019, and things have changed. There are significantly more hosts using the platform, ranging from casual hosts to million dollar hosts who’ve built Short Term Rental (STR) empires through Airbnb.

As the amount of hosts on the platform continue to grow, we need to consider the following things:

  1. With each new host being added to the platform for a particular area, it will become increasingly difficult to achieve a high search ranking for a listing.
  2. Listing visibility, especially for smaller units, on average, will take a dive. 
  3. Increasing competition will force people to develop new marketing strategies for their listings if they want to be profitable.

In short, it’s going to be harder to attract bookings if nobody sees your listing.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at different methods we can use to boost your search ranking on the Airbnb platform.

1. Good Pictures Matter

While taking photos of your listing on your phone is convenient, (as of now) nothing beats having professional photos of your listing being taken by a photographer.

Let’s get to the point:

  • High quality photos stand out better when compared to standard photos. The first thing people see when they search for your listing are the photos.
  • Often times, our phones cannot capture a room in the same fashion that a wide angle lens can. 
  • Airbnb’s app can detect if photos are bright enough or if they are low-quality. This has an effect on the search ranking of your listing.

With that said, I’ve got good news! You can schedule appointments with professional photographers through Airbnb. Their payment is deducted from your next payout. In other words, your next booking pays for their photography fees.

2. Get People to ‘Wish List’ your listing

Getting people to add your listing to their wish list is a great way to boost the ranking of your listing. This is fairly straight forward, every time someone adds your listing to their wish list, you’ll receive a slight boost in ranking.

“How do we get people to wish list our listing?”

This can be done by joining various groups on Facebook specifically for wish listing. Once you’ve joined those groups, advertise your listing to the group members via a public post. They’ll wish list your listing, and in return, you’ll do the same!

3. Get as Many People as Possible to View your Listing

This feeds off of #2 because people need to view your listing in order to wish list it. The more people that view your listing, the higher chance that someone will book your listing. 

When a guest books your listing, they’ll also see how many times your listing has been viewed in a week. From a psychological perspective, this gives the impression that your listing is in high demand.

“What tools can we use to help increase our listing views?”

  • Facebook Marketplace: Create Facebook marketplace listings of your Airbnb and direct all people to your listing. This can also be used to increase your direct bookings.
  • Facebook Ads: Create Ads which link people to your listing. Identify what brings most people to your city, and create Facebook Ads which are targeted at your audience. Use this to promote your listing.
  • Craigslist: Create posts which link people to your direct booking site (Craigslist does not allow Airbnb postings at this time). If you do not have direct booking on your site, create a button which links people to your Airbnb profile page. This will generate traffic to your site and allow people to book with you. Alternatively, you could have your site redirect to your Airbnb listing page. 
  • Other classifieds websites
  • Youtube: Create videos advertising your listings and promote them through various channels. Alternatively, you could tell your story about Airbnb, build an audience, community, and organic traffic will go to your Airbnb listings. Several large Youtubers do this. However, this strategy is typically used by the experienced and takes TIME.

4. Enable Instant Book!

Instant book is a feature which allows guests to quickly book your listing if it meets all the requirements that you specify in the settings. This is great for guests because it provides them a huge convenience with regards to looking for places to stay. On top of this, guests can filter for listings which can be instantly booked. Based off of our experience, we’ve seen listings which have zero bookings immediately get filled up for the month once instant book was enabled.

5. Update your Calendar Every Day

Keeping your calendar up-to-date can be a difficult thing to do, but from our experience, we’ve seen that Airbnb’s algorithm will give hosts a boost when they update their calendar. Even if you have no changes to make, you can do little things like updating your price for one day. Or, you can block and unblock one day of your calendar. Either way, your responsiveness will be rewarded with an search ranking boost on Airbnb’s platform.

6. Expose your Listing to as Many People as Possible

Exposing your listing to as many people as possible by offering different listing features helps your listing perform better in search because you’re essentially exposing your listing to every possible filter. 

For example, a 2 bedroom listing which has Instant book, a hot tub, and allows up to 8 people performs better than a 2 bedroom listing which doesn’t have Instant book, a hot tub, and allows up to 4 people.

7. Get as Many Good Reviews as Possible

Airbnb’s algorithm gives a boost to listings which have many great reviews. The more reviews you have, the better effect Airbnb’s search rank algorithm has on your listing. Reviews also let other guests know several things about you and your listing:

  • Do people view you as a good host?
  • What can other guests expect based off of one guests experience?
  • Are there things offered that aren’t mentioned in your listing?
  • Is the host helpful?

8. New Listings Are Automatically Boosted

Finally, new listings are automatically boosted by Airbnb’s search ranking algorithm when they’re created. Airbnb’s algorithm prioritizes brand new listings in their search algorithm. This, combined with the previously mentioned strategies will ensure that your listing is constantly filled up.

Category: Hospitality
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