Do you know how high your listing appears in Airbnb’s search results?
As a rental property manager, your number one goal is to get bookings. But before you can land a booking, potential guests need to find your listing. If you’re not on the first few pages of Airbnb’s search results, then you’re unlikely to attract many inquiries.
Airbnb’s rapid growth means increased competition for the top spots. It’s more important than ever, to understand how Airbnb’s search algorithm works. In this article we share 8 tips to improve your Airbnb SEO.
#1 Respond Quickly to Every Inquiry
As a host, you receive many questions from potential guests. Some are vague; others are basic questions that you’ve already addressed in your listing. Over time, you learn to differentiate serious inquires from the curious.
But, no matter what the question, you must respond quickly.
Airbnb rewards hosts that respond to all initial inquiries within at least 24 hours. Airbnb does this by tracking response rate and response time. These measurements appear on your listing and factor into your ranking in Airbnb’s search results.
Response rate is the percentage of inquiries you respond to within 24 hours. Response time is the average time it takes you to respond to a new message. They are both calculated using data from the past 30 days.
If you can’t provide a complete response, reply with a simple “I’ll follow up with you shortly.” This will stop the clock. Also linking your Airbnb inbox to your phone’s SMS messaging helps you stay responsive while you’re on the go.
If you want to improve your Airbnb SEO, you must maintain a 100% response rate to all inquiries and reservation requests.
#2 Update Your Airbnb Calendar Daily
Airbnb’s search algorithm feels more confident with the accuracy of your price and dates if you continually update your calendar. Make sure you stay active on the site by updating your daily price, calendar availability, or weekly pricing.
I reassure the system at least once a week by making small changes to near term pricing. Simply logging into Airbnb on a daily basis may also improve your listing’s search placement.
#3 Enable Instant Booking
As a new host, I was hesitant about allowing just anyone into my home. But the more bookings you accept, the more you realize the risks of hosting are small. In over 300 rentals, I haven’t had a single bad experience.
Instant booking is an Airbnb feature that helps you get more reservations. Travelers like the option to book a room immediately, as they would with a hotel.
If you enable instant booking, you attract more serious guests that want to quickly secure their accommodations and are happy to pay top dollar. Instant booking ensures your listing is booked more often thereby boosting your Airbnb ranking.
#4 Link Your Account to Social Media
By sharing your listing on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, you market your home to your immediate circle of friends and family. This signals to Airbnb that your rental is worthy of highlighting. Airbnb loves the free publicity and rewards you accordingly.
Post your listing on all of your social media accounts and ask your friends to like and share it. Having a strong social media presence shows Airbnb you’re serious about becoming a trusted business partner. One of my listings jumped from the 8th page to the 1st page of results within one day of sharing the link on Facebook.
#5 Get More 5-Star Reviews
Airbnb has stated that “the quantity and quality of reviews from past guests can impact your search performance.” This is especially important when getting started. One early, bad review can bury your listing.
A tip for getting awesome reviews: Email your guest shortly after departure and ask for any critical feedback. Let them know you’re dedicated to improving the guest experience. Emphasize the importance of their review to your success. If they respond quickly with positive remarks, then leave them an official review on Airbnb. If they have a lengthy list of critical feedback, it’s probably best not to review them at all. Guests are much more likely to leave a review, if you review them first. Also they are typically less critical after some time has elapsed.
You won’t see a guest’s review until after you submit your review of them. This is part of Airbnb’s two-way system. Hosts and guests only see reviews after both have completed their evaluation. Reviews are made public once both guest and host save their feedback. Or, if only one party leaves a review, Airbnb makes that review public after 14 days.
#6 Create a Generic Guidebook
Airbnb allows you to create a guidebook to share your favorite local attractions and restaurants. The key to creating an effective guidebook is to include all of the major tourist attractions in your area. Users often search for neighborhoods, landmarks, and tourist traps. Including popular tourist destinations will help you appear in more search results.
#7 Convert Inquiries Into Bookings
I receive most of my bookings in a cluster. I won’t have a booking for a week then I’ll receive three in one hour. This is because Airbnb favors hosts that have a recently completed transaction. It’s an indicator that you are currently active. Early on, set your pricing low to attract your first reservation. Then increase your rates. Your second booking is right around the corner.
#8 Have a Complete Listing and Profile
Airbnb are constantly updating their site by adding new features. Many hosts are slow to react to these changes. You can use this to your advantage, by making sure you complete every part of your listing, including description, amenities, profile, photo caption, etc.
If you’re interested in further maximizing your Airbnb bookings, take a look at our AirDnA reports to see which properties perform best in your area and why.