Over the last decade, Airbnb has transformed the way vacation rentals are marketed and operated. Previously, the process for booking a vacation rental was clunky, time-consuming, and frankly - unappealing to the masses. The birth and rise of Airbnb has created a unique opportunity for homeowners and investors alike to capture a piece of the success, but with over 7 million listings on the platform how do hosts stand out? How do prospective guests discover your property among the ever-expanding Airbnb universe? The high-performing hosts utilize a little known secret called ‘Airbnb SEO’.
In order to understand what we mean by Airbnb SEO, you first must understand what SEO stands for. Search Engine Optimization which is the process of optimizing a web page to satisfy the needs of the search engine. The largest search engine in the world is Google, sound familiar?
In the case of this article, we’re optimizing your vacation rental listing on Airbnb, which is just a big search engine for helping people discover short term accommodation. By optimizing your listing in a certain way you can significantly increase your visibility when someone searches for a property that matches yours.
The real question is, how do we optimize our listings to satisfy the needs of Airbnb?
Now that we understand what Airbnb SEO means, we need to understand what the benefits of Airbnb SEO are:
Increased Visibility - The more optimized your listing is the more likely Airbnb will want to showcase your property to searchers. Let's take New York City for example, if someone is looking for a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan, how does Airbnb know which property to showcase in the first position? Well they showcase the property they feel best represents their company, has a complete and verified profile, excellent reviews, and a friendly host.
More Listing Views - Since your listing is showing higher up on the platform, now your listing will naturally receive significantly more clicks, or views. The more eyeballs on your listing the better, as the first step of any marketing campaign is to be seen and recognized.
Significantly Higher Occupancy - The golden ticket to a successful vacation rental is to have higher occupancy rates. Since much more people are viewing your listing, that means more people will end up booking your property. For most hosts, an increase of 10 - 20% occupancy could translate to tens of thousands of additional bookings with a vast majority of said bookings being straight profit.
These Airbnb ranking factors are proven tips to improving your SEO and ultimately increasing your properties occupancy rates. Many of these SEO tips are obvious to a seasoned host, but to a beginner they could be the difference between success or failure. At the end of the day, when planning your listing optimization strategy, think deeply about what makes an excellent guest experience and your listing will benefit greatly.
Reviews are the most important indicator of whether your Airbnb will be a success or not. For a new listing do everything you can to ensure your first 20 reviews are stellar, that way Airbnb is confident in your property to serve an excellent experience to their guests.
In order to get the best reviews, it's important to understand how your guests will be surveyed by Airbnb. The guest will be asked to answer on a 5 star rating system. The information gathered from these surveys will have a direct impact on your listings SEO performance.
Airbnb will ask your guests the following questions:
In today’s day and age, there is no reason to not have a response rate of at least 90% as required by Airbnb for Super Host qualification. In recent years, some of the leading property management systems (PMS) have developed automated messaging systems that practically guarantee your listing will maintain a 100% response rate at all times.
If you were planning a vacation and you were trying to book accommodation, would you want it to take hours or even days for the accommodation provider to respond to your inquiry? Of course not, so make sure your response rates are lightning fast and if you need help from an automated system, book a demo with our team and see how the platform can work for you!
Your listing will benefit from high quality images in more ways than just one. From a strictly SEO perspective, high resolution images are one of the most impactful ranking factors on Airbnb’s platform. Images are so important that at one point Airbnb offered to pay for professional photographers to accurately capture the essence of the property.
5 Airbnb photography tips:
Airbnb is closely monitoring the number of visitors the view your listing and how many are actually resulting in bookings. This performance indicator is probably the most important metric that matters to Airbnb. It goes without saying that unless people actually book your property Airbnb does not make any commission on the sale. So from a strictly business perspective, it makes sense for Airbnb to showcase properties that convert views into bookings at an above average rate.
Tips for improving your view-to-booking ratio:
Again, Airbnb only makes a commission when bookings are confirmed, so the easier you can assist guests in booking your property the better. Airbnb has publicly stated that properties with instant booking enabled benefit for increased visibility and ultimately more bookings.
Few things to note about instant bookings:
Bonus SEO Tip: View your Airbnb performance tab for suggestions on how to improve your listing. These tips are created by Airbnb based on the settings you have configured on your listing. Ensure your property offers as many of these options as possible!