All too familiarly, the “if you build it, they will come” approach to Airbnb only goes so far. With over 1,000,000 listings worldwide, you’re up against some serious competition as an Airbnb host. Luckily, getting to the top is not just a shot in the dark: Airbnb’s search rankings reward both strategy and creativity in the quest for first place. Even more luckily, the best (and most actionable) of those techniques have been compiled into this post. Here’s how to optimize your listing(s)’ “Airbnb SEO” and maximize both visibility and booking potential. With this extra push, “… they will come”… finally.
Use the SEO Force Within Each Listing
1. Time is of the Essence
Keeping your calendar up-to-date is one of the easiest ways to increase Airbnb SEO. The obvious reason is that staying on top of your listing’s availability ensures that all your open dates appear on the Airbnb market (so you don’t miss any potential bookings). But further, Airbnb’s algorithm tags hosts who regularly update their calendars as both active and responsive. And with Airbnb, hard work pays off: active and responsive hosts are rewarded with priority seating in the search rankings (and generally attract more inquiries, as well).
Don’t panic if your calendar is already accurate – you can simply block out dates in the future then immediately free them up again (as a sort of “nudge, nudge… I’m here” to Airbnb).
Hosts who don’t let their calendar get a month or more out of date are 70% more likely to get booked.
If monthly updates can increase your booking likelihood by 70%, consider how beneficial daily updates will be for your Airbnb SEO. This level of involvement would clearly require high commitment on your end, but what if it didn’t? Guesty’s advanced system will automatically refresh your calendar every day, so you can lean on our automation to carry your listing up that one extra step (which could very well be the step needed to bring it to the very top of the search results).
2. The Price is Right
When you first create your listing, Airbnb suggests an appropriate price point based on your specific accommodations, amenities, and general location. This property value calculator also allows you to personally assess the most fitting going-rate for your listing.
Assigning an appropriate value to your listing isn’t enough to go up against (and beyond) similar listings in your area: you also need to stay competitive. While beginners are encouraged to start bbelow-rivalingrates until their reviews buildup and their responsiveness reflects on their profiles, Airbnb “vets” should try to stay relevant and remain on par with competition. Scraping this data isn’t as easy as it sounds, so it may save you time to utilize Airbnb’s internal smart pricing features or even some external value optimization software such as BeyondPricing, or PriceLabsCo.
3. One Night Is… Actually Enough
One idea for getting your listing as many views as possible is set your minimum stay duration to 1 night. The goal here is to really just show the flexibility of your listing. The more search permutations that your listing satisfies, the more your booking will appear in results.
4. Keep Your Listing Details Fresh & Clean
This same showcasing of flexibility goes for your listing title and description, as well. Think ahead about what search terms may be important to your ideal guests, then include these potential search terms in your title and description. Consider any appealing keywords relevant to your city, such as major landmarks, tourist attractions, and local events. The more targeted search terms that match your listing’s information, the higher up your listing will appear in the results.
5. Make Sure You Photograph Well
They say nothing comes free, but they’re wrong. Airbnb offers free professional photography sessions in select cities and for listings that match certain criteria. So if you’re a match – do it. Not only do well-photographed listings organically attract more bookings but also the snazzy Airbnb watermark attached to their professional shots automatically optimize your listing’s SEO. Win-win.
6. Turn On Instant Book, This Instant
Though it may not be the most popular of options amongst hosts, the Instant Book option is yet another way to showcase your listing’s flexibility and, therefore, match more potential guests’ targeted searches. Allowing guests to immediately book your Airbnb without your pre-approval may even open up your listing to a whole new market: travelers with strict planning time frames. Plus, some Airbnb’ers go so far as to limit their search results to listings that are Instant Book-marked. Who’s laughing now, approval-dependent hosts?
Use the SEO Force Within Your Airbnb Profile
1. Earn Street Cred With Reviews
Reviews (especially positive ones) are the easiest way to organically optimize your Airbnb SEO. Good reviews are the backbone of a best-selling listing, and the frame of trust that comes along with a healthy reservoir of reviews can almost guarantee more bookings and higher search rankings. While, of course, this isn’t an angle that you can work for yourself, there are ways of helping things along. After each guest’s stay, promptly leave a review and ask for them to return the favor. A nice collection of references can help legitimize your listings too, so make sure you reach out to people that can help.
2. One Large Profile, With All The Toppings
Just as reviews build up your Airbnb reputation by verifying that you’re a trustworthy host, as does a complete profile. The SEO return of a filled out profile falls under Airbnb’s reward system – the more active that you are (and the more seriously you take the Airbnb process), the more you deserve to show up at the top of search results and so, the more you do.
Make sure that you’ve completed (with detail) each and every section of your listing and Airbnb profile. What you’re doing here is demonstrating that you’re worthy of and responsible enough to host guests. And of course you are, so it’s your job to work it. Remember – no profile section gets left behind.
3. It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane… It’s Superhost.
Ahh, the badge of approval from Airbnb itself. Earning this elite status is like holding a Starbucks Gold Card: it represents a pat-on-the-back in the form of special recognition and company favoritism.
Guesty can help you reach Superhost status by ensuring fast response rates, keeping an eye on your calendar to prevent booking cancellations and increasing both bookings and high-esteemed reviews.
Use the SEO Force Within Yourself, the Host
1. Respond at The Speed of Light
Just like your routine calendar update, guest inquiry response speed proves to Airbnb that you’re ready, willing, and able. The payoff for attentiveness goes farther than SEO optimization – it prevents your listings from downgrading. That’s right, Airbnb doesn’t simply reward active hosts, it penalizes the lazy ones.
If you’re a host who’s regularly busy with things outside of Airbnb, we got you covered (to the max). Guesty responds to all booking requests and guest inquiries around the clock. While we’re optimizing your listing in the search results, we’re also preventing any missed bookings. High-five.
2. For The Life of You, Avoid Canceling Bookings
Nothing more to add here, just always be sure to follow through with your offers.
3. Do The Time
Make sure you log in regularly. This is another angle that Airbnb’s algorithm works in order to track how available you are for the guests. They take note of how much time you spend on the site, and once again, effort is rewarded in this sharing economy. It will seriously pay off, so you can either make it a habit, or we will for you.
4. If You Love It So Much Why Don’t You Tweet About It?
All search engines, Airbnb’s included, puts more trust in something they see more than once. Promote your hosting self on social media and make sure you link to your Airbnb profile. You (and your friends) can start with a”tweet”, “like” and “+1” for your Airbnb page. Go that extra mile by creating and sharing Airbnb wish lists, too. Extra links (especially good ones) can work wonders for your search rankings inside of and outside of Airbnb.
Admittedly, there’s a lot of information to be aware of and to try to include. But remember that every day is a new day and your Airbnb status usually only reflects your activity over the past 30 days. So, if you have a bad month, there’s always next time… and there’s always Guesty waiting for a chance to pick up the slack and bump you to the top of Airbnb’s search results. Regardless of the extra work, it’s worth taking these tips to heart. You want to be proud of the Airbnb you build, and you want guests to look forward to coming.
If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.