VRBO Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important marketing strategy to increase listing views, bookings, and ultimately generate more money. By having your listing appear higher in the search results you will greatly increase the number of people who view your property.
Many VRBO Hosts have amazing properties but fail to properly SEO their listing and this results in low ranking positions and fewer bookings.
VRBO and Homeaway are both among the top Airbnb alternatives so it's important to optimzie for these channels.
What Are The Benefits of VRBO SEO?
- Higher Ranking: By implementing VRBO SEO tactics into your listing you will experience a boost in ranking position. This means that when someone searches for a property that matches the description of yours, your listing will show up higher.
- More Views: Now that your listing is showing higher on the search results page you will notice your page views greatly improve as more and more prospective guests are seeing your property.
- More Inquiries: As more and more people view your property this will result in vastly more inquiries and bookings. Now that you’re receiving more inquiries you can start to better vet the prospective guests. This helps filter you filter the good guests from the bad.
- Higher Occupancy: Since you’re now receiving more inquiries and bookings you will experience higher occupancy rates. All else being equal, if you can improve your occupancy rates from 60% to 80% you will have a much more profitable property.
- Higher Nightly Rate: With higher occupancy rates comes higher nightly rates. If you notice your property is receiving too many bookings simply increase the nightly rates.
VRBO SEO Tips
- Make Use of Instant Book:
The instant book feature is an extremely important VRBO ranking factor. It allows the reservation booking process to be seamless for both the guest and host. VRBO only makes money when a booking occurs, so they’re heavily incentivized to make the booking process as easy and painless for the guest as possible.
- Use Dynamic Pricing:
If you want higher VRBO rankings then consider integrating dynamic pricing software into your VRBO listing. Software like Beyond Pricing and Wheelhouse will regularly make micro-adjustments to your nightly rates to keep your pricing as competitive as possible.
Optimize Your Photos:
Photos are among the most important parts of your listing. Guests often flip through your photos without even reading your written content so it's important to provide the best photo quailty, lots of shots, and photo captions.
Photo Quality: The suggested photo quality of VRBO is 3840 x 2160 pixels
Number of Photos: The maximum number of uploadable photos is 50. We recommend at minimum providing 20 high-quality photos.
Photo Captions: In order to keep your listing ADA compliant it is important to have captions for each and every photo. Briefly and accurately describe what is in the image.
- Embed Video:
Unlike Airbnb, VRBO has an option to add a video tour of your property. Videos provide prospective guests with a clear picture of what your property offers and allows them to have a feel for the property before they actually arrive.
- Grow Your 5-Star Reviews:
Ensuring your property is receiving 5-star reviews is one of the top VRBO ranking factors. VRBO wants to ensure that guests are satisfied with their stay, and so properties that have 5-star averages tend to rank much higher on VRBO’s search results.
- Maintain Response Times:
Maintain a response time of 24 hours to stay highly ranked on VRBO and HomeAway. VRBO wants to ensure that guests receive near-instant responses from the host. By providing quick communication you will directly improve your VRBO and Homeaway ranking as well as improve your overall guest experience. Aim to respond to guests within 1-hour and certainly no more than 24 hours.
- Keep Low Cancellation Rates:
Both VRBO and Homeaway do not like when hosts cancel on guests. Try to keep your cancellation rate as low as possible. If a guest needs to cancel the reservation do not cancel it for them, require that they process the cancellation on their end.
- Maximize Amenities:
The more amenities you offer at your property the more searches you will show up for. Read through all of the amenity options available and try your very best to implement each one of them into your property. Put a heavy focus on the essentials and all of the safety amenities.
- Keep House Rules to a Limit:
Guests do not like house rules and as a result, neither does VRBO or Homeaway. Try to keep your house rules short and limit them to no more than 3 or 4. If your property allows for pets, events, and smokers, make sure you include those options.
- Write Great Content:
Ensure your listings have excellent and eye-catching titles and descriptions. Titles should briefly explain the unique selling points of your property in as few words as possible.