Maybe you’ve done everything you can to make your Airbnb listing great. You’ve crafted wording that’s worthy of a Pulitzer Prize and put careful consideration into price points and availability. But all that effort isn’t going to result in many bookings if people aren’t finding your listing in the first place.
Airbnb’s search results page works via a complex search algorithm — much like Google search results. Because of this there are a lot of different factors influencing how high up in the results your property will be. These factors include the quality of your listing and how easy it is to make a booking.
The results even vary based on who is searching. Airbnb themselves state that results are personalised and that “each guest will see different results when searching based on the preferences they add, their past booking history, and other search criteria.”
Although the search system is complicated, there are particular things you can do to help boost your Airbnb search ranking. Bearing in mind that most guests will simply book the best thing they find on the first one or two pages of results, this can make a huge difference to your bottom line.
“If guests frequently click through to your listing page or try to book your space,” says Airbnb, “this can also positively affect your placement in search.” In other words, the more interest there is in your property, the higher it will rank. Promoting your listing using social media — Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, for example — can increase the number of views on your listing page, potentially having a positive impact in your Airbnb search ranking.
Similarly, choosing your absolute best photo as the main one is paramount. Aside from the obvious — this is the first thing that people see and the thing that catches their eye — this can also lead to more people clicking through, once again giving your placement a boost.
Response rate and response time are factors in your search ranking. Do your best to respond to all enquiries so that your response rate is 100%, and try to respond as quickly as possible. Having the Airbnb app on your phone can help with this, so you can respond even when on the go. Alternatively, hiring a specialised property manager can take care of this for you so you don’t have to worry.
It’s not exactly surprising that Airbnb preferences higher rated properties over those with fewer stars or less feedback. 5-star reviews not only give confidence to potential guests that they’ll have a great experience, it will increase the chances of them seeing your listing in the first place.
Have you double checked that you’ve accurately listed all the amenities and facilities available at your property? Remember that when guests are searching they can filter results by these things (for example, whether the property has a hairdryer, wifi, a gym or wheelchair accessibility, etc). If you as host can speak multiple languages or you allow for pets on the property, tick these boxes: the more options you have ticked, the more you’ll show up in search results even when filters are applied.
In their documentation, Airbnb notes that their search also considers how many guests you accept. “Rejecting a large number of requests, or failing to respond to inquiries will affect your placement and visibility in search.” Cancellations matter too. “If you do cancel on a guest, it can negatively impact where your listing appears in search,” they say.
Airbnb wants to know that you as a host are keeping your listing up to date. As well as responding to enquiries quickly, logging in regularly and updating your availability is a great way to keep your account active and your listing fresh.
If you’re an Airbnb Superhost, there’s a good chance search will look upon you favourably. After all, the Superhost badge is basically an at-a-glance certification that you’re an exceptional host. If you manage to succeed in the other tips above — like having a high response rate, high ratings and low number of cancellations — you might already be on your way to Superhost status. Keep it up, and you’ll have a much better chance of topping the search results.
How are you going with your Airbnb search ranking? Let us know your own experience in the comments below.