Since its launch in 2008, Airbnb grew from a single apartment trying to capitalize on a shortage of hotel rooms to 7 million listings worldwide. While that’s great news for Airbnb, it may not be great for you, being one of those 7 million listings. This means that competition is fierce and just like Google, your listing needs to rank on Airbnb search to perform. However, unlike Google, you cannot pay Airbnb to improve your search ranking. The only way to rank on Airbnb is organically by working through the search algorithm.
Airbnb’s search algorithm considers more than 100 factors to decide how to order listings in search results. It is designed to show guests the most ideal listing for them which means it’s personalized for each guest. The main goal of the algorithm is to facilitate bookings.
Airbnb ranks popular listings higher on search results. Just like Google, your listing needs to rank on Airbnb search to get more hits and more booking. But unlike Google, you cannot pay Airbnb to improve your search ranking. The only way to rank on Airbnb is organically by working through the search algorithm.
Airbnb also ranks new listings in order to promote new hosts on the platform. This means that as soon as you list your place, you will have good visibility for a few days. So it’s imperative to work the algorithm as soon as you publish your listing.
Essential Hack to Rank on Airbnb Search
- Create an attractive listing
Airbnb considers how many clicks your listing receives, wishlist additions and how often a guest requests to book your listings. If your listing gets a lot of engagements, Airbnb’s search algorithm improves its ranking.
Make your listing attractive to guests with:
Photos are the most important element of your listing. They are one of the primary factors in a guest’s decision to book your place.
Catchy listing title
The title and the cover photo are the first things of your listing that a guest sees on Airbnb search. If you want users to click on your listing, it’s important to capture their attention with a good headline. For instance, rather than writing, “Two-bedroom beach villa”, try – “Charming Villa by the Beach”.
A great listing description with detailed information about your property is essential to set guest expectations. Start by communicating the basic features and go on to highlight the top USPs of your property.
Highlighting popular amenities in your listing will help you stand out from the crowd. Airbnb allows guests to filter their search to display properties that include the amenities they want so by having more amenities, your listing is more likely to be shown in various search results.
- Be Responsive
Responding quickly to inquiries and booking requests is a simple way to boost your Airbnb listing. Response rate is the percentage of inquiries you respond to within 24hours and response time is the average time you take to respond to new inquiries.
Airbnb considers how often a guest attempts to contact you and how quickly you respond.
- Enable Instant Book
Allowing users to book instantly pushes your listing to the top of search results. This is why you see instantly bookable listings occupy the first few pages of Airbnb in any locality. Instant booking is the most effective way to increase your search ranking.
Users choose listings with instant book over other listings as it allows them to book a stay quickly which means they can get on with planning the rest of their trip.
- Updated Calendar
The more open dates your listing has, the more chances your listing will have to show up on various search results. Always make sure your listing calendar is open and updated way into the future.
Most hosts keep their listing calendar open for 3-6 months into the future but if you want to outrank them, update your availability 12 months in advance.
- Offer Competitive Rates
Airbnb’s algorithm takes into account how competitive your listing price is compared with other similar spaces in your area. Setting a competitive price can help improve your search ranking since the best-priced listings in any given region tend to be listed higher.
- Earn Positive Reviews
Airbnb search calculates the number of trips that have been completed and the reviews that were left by guests. Both the number and quality of the reviews you listing receives are factors that impact your search rankings. Encourage your guests to leave positive reviews after each stay.
- Decrease Cancellation
Never cancel a confirmed reservation. Because cancellations disrupt guest’s plans, Airbnb charges a penalty to hosts who cancel reservations – one of those being a drop in search rankings.
For hosts that use Request to Book, repeatedly declining booking requests can negatively impact search rankings. Because getting rejected while trying to book is a poor experience for guests, Airbnb tracks how many guests make a booking request but are denied.
- Anchor Listing
The listing process of Airbnb is different from that of Booking.com or Expedia. On Airbnb, you list every room at your property as separate listings(unless it’s a single key unit with multiple rooms). This means that a guest looking at your listing might not know you have more room available if you don’t mention it in your listing description. And even if you do mention it, there is a huge chance that your listing will get filtered out in search results.
This is where an Anchor listing comes into the picture. Anchor listing is one single listing that showcases your entire property. Suppose you operate a bed & breakfast / boutique hotel with multiple rooms. Aside from the private room listings, you create one single listing with all the rooms. This listing acts as a reference for Airbnb users to know that your property in fact has multiple rooms and can accommodate a large number of guests.
Now, you may not get a lot of bookings on this particular listing but when someone filters the search for multiple bedrooms, your Anchor listing will show up but your single listings will get filtered out.
- Airbnb doesn’t have a paid listings so the only way to rank is by hacking the algorithm.
- Keep your calendar open and updated well into the future.
- Instant Book has the most impact on search rankings.
- Keep your prices updated.
- The more action your listing receives, the higher it ranks on search results.