One of the world's largest travel marketplaces, Booking.com helps properties all over the world reach a global audience and grow their businesses. As a technology-driven company, Booking.com helps millions of travelers find memorable experiences, a range of transport options, and incredible accommodations - from luxury hotels to apartments and homes. Platform users can search for properties in 43 languages and find more than 28 million total rental listings, including over 6.2 million listings for private homes, apartments, and other unique lodgings.
Vacation rental businesses depend on successful marketing to maximize conversions. Property managers often use Booking.com as part of a multi-channel strategy. Based on Semrush Traffic Analytics tool data, they reveal the most visited websites and their rankings.
Under the category, “Most Visited Websites by Traffic in the world for Accommodation and Hotels”, recorded in March 2022 - Booking.com ranks at #1. Checking this information on a regular basis allows users to identify and observe trends, as well as the number of visitors to the world's top websites.
Booking.com is one of the most visited Accommodation and Hotels websites in the world recorded for March 2022, attracting nearly 320.4M monthly visits out of which 84.3M visitors/month are organic traffic. The company implements structural SEO and keyword combinations, which they rank highly for many keywords at the category and business profile level. Hence, once you opt to list on their platform, you stand to gain exposure on their website, coupled with Booking.com’s 20+ years of industry experience and data-driven insights that can help you grow your business via their services, products and support. To make your property a roaring success, they will provide you with the relevant technical tools, visibility, and round-the-clock support.
On Booking.com, guests who search for accommodations see the results sorted by ranking. Each listing's ranking is determined by its relevance to the preferences of the users. Besides past searches, Booking.com's algorithms consider the current needs of the market, as well as the performances of properties on their platform. Consequently, each visitor sees listings ranked according to their interests.
The key stages of a user's journey on Booking.com should be understood before exploring how to improve your ranking on the platform. So let's take a look at how this works.
Something to also keep in mind is that each time a visitor logs into their Booking.com account, the algorithm adapts to their evolving requirements based on the search journey they take. When you break it down the following stages can be identified:
This is where each guest begins their initial searches for a short-term rental. Here, they filter by factors such as destination, property type, facilities, prices and dates.
The guest begins comparing accommodation options and assessing which option best fits their needs.
The guest then reserves the property for the dates of their choice after choosing the best rental for themselves.
Their book-to-leave time spans from the moment they book their reservation to the moment they check out.
Guests rate their overall experience of their stay up until check-out time. Guests' reviews reflect the overall quality of a property, including its facilities, amenities, cleanliness, and service, helping other travellers decide whether to book the hotel.
Booking.com provides key insights in the Booker Insights tool to help you better understand your guests. A few of these insights include which countries guests book from, what devices they use, and their purpose for travel.
As a travel industry leader, Booking.com is a force to be reckoned with. Among the top short-term rental channels in the world, it has a dominant position in the global short-term rental market, so if you're wondering how to make your listing stand out on this dynamic platform, we've compiled our top tips for you.
A key objective of Booking.com is to help guests find the travel services they need to enjoy their trip. Booking.com explains that its ranking algorithm takes into account multiple factors in order to satisfy that purpose:
In order to get your listing noticed, and ranking, you need to have a few things in place.
Create a dynamic description for your vacation rental listings. Include every little detail about the property's facilities and amenities.
Define your target audience. Is there a particular niche you want to attract? Ensure your listing description details the needs of that particular guest category. Be transparent about the services and facilities you offer, and you will continue to receive bookings from the same type of guests, and your property will rank higher on the platform when audiences searching for similar accommodation do so.
For example, deciding the type of guests you would like to host, such as business travellers, families, couples, or pet-friendly accommodations, or if you wish to attract long-term guests, you can target Digital Nomads and so on.
Take standout photos of your property. The quality of your images is an essential component of the first impression you want guests to have of your listing. Go all out - and make sure you have all the best shots included in your listing, covering every aspect of your property for good measure.
Include your house rules if you have any. In this way, you can ensure that your guests are well informed before they arrive at the property and they are not taken aback by the information that you provide.
Don't be afraid to go the extra mile and provide some info on your locality's coffee shops, bars and hangout spots, and parks, provide clear directions or pin the location to help people locate your property easier, or provide service provider info, restaurants, or delivery options. It will gain you notice and appreciation, even before guests arrive.
The main focus of Booking.com and similar platforms is to ensure satisfied travellers, so customer satisfaction is integral to ensuring this is achieved. Be super efficient in your response rate to customers. The quicker the response time, the less likely a guest is to cancel their reservation.
An excellent customer service experience is more likely to lead to a favourable review. With an algorithm that takes into account metrics like these that indicate guest satisfaction, a boost in successful bookings and higher ratings is all but guaranteed. Just make sure the customer service is exemplary!
A property will not appear in search results if it does not have availability on the dates guests are searching for. To improve your listings' visibility, make sure to provide availability at least a year into the future, and adjust your minimum stay restrictions. This offers higher chances for your property to be on the radar of available dates.
It is possible to market toward different needs when you offer a variety of rates, which will increase your chances of appealing to different guests. You can increase your conversions by offering special rate plans to guests, as well as entice them to stay longer and book in the off-season.
You can create promotional rates based on Booking.com Opportunities Playbook, which provides insight into the market and localized data. The data you receive will allow you to tailor promotions to the types of people booking your property and those nearby.
With the recent rise of flexible cancellation policies, it has now become the new norm. Guests expect flexible cancellation options and are even willing to pay an extra fee for them because of the current uncertainty surrounding travel. Booking.com's "Free Cancellation" filter is increasingly used by guests-so if you don't want to lose out on those bookings, adopt a lenient cancellation policy.
Providing a full refund may make cancellations more likely, but properties with flexible cancellation policies get more bookings than those that offer no refunds. Lastly, if Booking.com notices a lot of cancellations, your listing may not rank well, but if someone has booked your property and then cancelled last-minute, Booking might respond in such a way to promote your accommodation to "make up for the damage"
Booking.com's exclusive programmes can optimize your listings on the website.
The Genius Programme gives you extra visibility through special tagging, ranking boosts, and better visibility in search results on our platform. On average, partners who join Genius increase their bookings by 29% and their revenue by 24%, with the cost of the discount accounted for.
The Preferred Partner Program is the next level up, helping property managers receive a boost in visibility and ranking. Preferred partners also receive up to 65% more page views and 40% more bookings.
To become a partner for each of these programmes, you must meet a set of criteria, listed in the table below:
The Visibility Booster tool is available on Booking.com. This tool will boost your property's rankings for a small increase in commission. You can decide when to use this tool; it is completely flexible. When you don't receive as many bookings or if you've experienced multiple cancellations, you can push your property during slow periods. Alternatively, you can boost your visibility during periods of high demand, such as holidays.
By increasing conversions for yourself, you're also increasing conversions for Booking.com, so you're both investing in your success. Through the Extranet, the company's administrative hub, the company provides a number of tools to help you manage your properties.
The Opportunity Center, is one of those tools, which breaks each property's "journey" into eight steps, from potential searches to net revenue (which accounts for lost revenue due to cancellations). Booking.com compares your properties to similar listings and then offers suggestions for improving your performance throughout the process.
Among the other things, you'll find are the following
This tool provides real-time insights into current guests and their booking behavior, as well as sales statistics. Comparing your results to the competition is also possible.
By using this tool, you will be able to track how well your listings perform on the site, from visibility in search results to conversion rates.
Using this tool, you can identify pricing discrepancies across listing channels, such as promotions or additional fees on other sites that may not be accounted for in your Booking.com rate.
You can use these metrics to make sure your listings remain attractive to potential customers by understanding market dynamics. According to Booking.com, you should regularly review your price-quality score, the flexibility of your policies, guest reviews, promotions, property page score, and inventory to ensure that you are providing guests with the right deal at the right time.
It is true that they do promise to convert their global audience into your guests, but this also implies that you must put in the effort and time to make sure you fully utilize the options and tools provided by the Booking.com platform, to achieve success.
Hosts and property managers often struggle to manage multiple accounts across several platforms. Fortunately, there are automated tools and software solutions that can make your property management tasks much simpler. State-of-the-art vacation rental software such as what Hostaway provides can certainly automate your Booking.com listing, as well as get your properties listed on other OTAs.
Hostaway Property Management System comes with a built-in channel manager that automates various aspects of your business. You can optimize your management processes seamlessly by taking advantage of the following key features.
Though it might seem like an overwhelming additional cost, think of it as an investment in the future. Over time, automation will allow you to reduce your expenses and improve your efficiency. With channel management software, management operations can be streamlined. The benefit is that you can automate most of your manual tasks and concentrate on more critical aspects of your vacation rental business.
For actionable advice and to find out how Hostaway can maximize growth potential for your property management business, get in touch with one of our product experts today.
Schedule a demo call at your preferred time and get advice from our specialists. Choose the industry's premier vacation rental management software and watch your business transform. We guarantee it!