The “if you build it, they will come” approach to Airbnb only goes so far. With over 6 million listings worldwide, you’re up against some serious competition as an Airbnb host and will have to put in some serious effort if you’d like to keep your occupancy rates up.
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. To help you get there, we’ve compiled a list of the best (and most actionable) of those techniques. Here’s how to optimize your listings’ “Airbnb SEO” and maximize both visibility and booking potential. With this extra push, “they will definitely come.”
Beef up your listing
1. Update your calendar
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, something you’ll want to be on top of anyway so you don’t miss potential bookings. Even further, Airbnb’s algorithm tags hosts who regularly update their calendars as both active and responsive. And with Airbnb, hard work really does pay off – active and responsive hosts are rewarded with priority seating in the search rankings and generally attract more inquiries as a result.
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Hosts who don’t let their calendar get a month or more out of date are 70% more likely to get booked.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 seemingly require a great deal of commitment on your end, but what if it didn’t have to? 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.
2. Price competitively
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 or surpass similar listings in your area: you also need to stay competitive. While beginners are encouraged to start below rivaling rates until their reviews build up 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, Perfect Price, PriceLabs or Wheelhouse.
3. Increase flexibility
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 profile fresh & Clean
Think about what search terms may be important to your ideal guests and try to incorporate those terms into 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 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 the snazzy Airbnb watermark attached to their professional shots automatically optimize your listing’s SEO. Win-win.
6. Turn on Instant Book, this instant
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 awaiting 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 instantly bookable. Who’s laughing now, approval-dependent hosts?
Beef up your 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. Complete your profile
Just as reviews build up your Airbnb reputation by verifying that you’re a trustworthy host, as does a complete profile. Airbnb views a fully filled-out profile as an indication of active hosting, and 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.
Make sure that you’ve completed (in detail) each and every section of your listing and Airbnb profile. What you’re doing here is demonstrating that you’re invested, and responsible enough to host guests. . Remember – no profile section gets left behind.
3. Qualify for Superhost status.
Ahh, the badge of approval from Airbnb itself. Earning this elite status 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 helping you increase both bookings and positive reviews.
Beef up your hosting
1. Be responsive
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’ve got you covered. 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. Avoid canceling bookings
Airbnb also penalizes hosts who cancel bookings, as this seriously inconveniences guests. Make sure to only accept bookings you know you can see through.
Using a centralized calendar that blocks off dates that have been booked through other channels will help you avoid the need to cancel reservations on account of accidentally accepting two different bookings on the same date.
3. Put in 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 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. Get social
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 in and beyond Airbnb.
Admittedly, there’s a lot of information to be aware of and to try to implement. 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 to be able to fill it with happy guests.