Last Updated on June 19, 2023 by Rental Recon
When hosting on Airbnb, it is critical to optimize your Airbnb SEO strategy. We’ve done some research for our own Airbnb, and have come up with some great tips to give your listing a boost!
What is Airbnb SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
First and foremost, you’ll want to understand that by maximizing your Airbnb SEO, you are increasing the visibility of your listing within Airbnb’s search results.
While some of the requirements of Airbnb’s search algorithm are available through Airbnb itself, others are more difficult to determine until you get some experience under your belt. By understanding the types of factors that can influence your Airbnb listing’s ranking, you can increase its visibility and maximize the number of potential bookings you’ll receive.
Airbnb’s search algorithm actually applies over a hundred different ranking features to determine where listings should fall within the SEO ranking. The algorithm delivers a personalized set of results for each search based on the application of different data points such as previous searches, demographics, price, and more.
First Steps to Improving your Airbnb SEO Strategy
There are some basic first steps to take that can give you a good idea of where you are at, how you can improve, and where you want to be. By determining your competition, establishing your own ranking, and deciding what searches are most popular in your area, you can establish a goal for performance and incorporate additional terms to ensure you meet your goal.
Determine Your Competition
Before you can decide how to best improve your SEO, you first need to establish where you rank compared to your top competition. By determining how nearby, similar properties are ranked, you can see how much you need to improve and in what ways.
You can use a tool such as Rankbreeze to look at top properties in your area and compare them to your listing to see what areas of yours might need improvement. By knowing where you stand, you can better determine where you want to be and the best way to actually get there.
Research Your City & Popular Searches for Your Area
Take a few minutes to search Airbnb in your area. Take note of what landmarks, features, and locations are auto-populated in the search bar. Search suggestions can give you an idea of the most popular guest searches, the most frequented tourist attractions, and the hottest places to visit near your rental.
Once you have an idea of some of the top search suggestions, look for ways to incorporate these into your listing. Mention that you are just a short drive from local landmarks, throw in your favorite nearby museum, or highlight the shuttle to the airport.
By including these keywords, your listing will experience an almost automatic boost in ranking and make itself more visible to guests searching for these specific amenities and accessibility.
Here is how to improve your Airbnb SEO Ranking:
- Respond Quickly to Guest Inquiries
- Keep Your Calendar Up To Speed
- Have Instant Booking Enabled
- Keep Your Bookings Up
- Link Listing To Social Media Sites
- Get Five Star Reviews
- Fill Out Your Listing Completely
- Use the Power of Google to Boost SEO
- Don’t Decline Guests
- Don’t Cancel Guests
- Provide High-Resolution Photos
Airbnb SEO Tip #1: Respond Quickly to Guest Inquiries
Airbnb rewards hosts that respond quickly to guests. So you want to try and have a 100% response rate to guest inquiries….preferably within 0-10 minutes of the inquiry, but no more than an hour. A host will get penalized for any response after 24 hours.
If you are too busy to fully respond to the guest’s question or comment, send them a canned response set up in your message templates. This may say something like this:
“Hello, thank you for your inquiry on my listing! I’m traveling at the moment, but will get back to you in short order! Thank you for your patience.”
Airbnb SEO Tip #2: Airbnb Calendar SEO
Open Up Your Airbnb Calendar
Airbnb’s algorithm responds favorably to hosts who keep their calendar continually maintained. So you’ll want to check your calendar once a day. This is as easy as opening up your app and clicking the calendar icon. Doing this task, at a minimum, will let Airbnb know you are a serious host.
Change Pricing and Block/Unblock Calendar
In addition, EVERY DAY you should change pricing and block/un-block a day. This has been shown to give a boost to your ranking.
Updating Your Title and Description
Your Airbnb SEO strategy should also include updating your photos, or description/ title regularly, as this forces the Airbnb system to update your information.
The Your Porter listing management software will snooze your listing for you in the slowest part of the night when bookings are the lowest. Use the code RENTAL.RECON to get $20 off your monthly payment. Check out the entire Your Porter article here.
Airbnb SEO Tip #3: Having Instant Booking Enabled Improves Your Airbnb SEO Strategy
Turning Instant Booking on allows guests to make an instant reservation, similar to sites like Travelocity and Hotels.com. This is more convenient for guests since they won’t need to send a reservation request prior to the host confirming their reservation.
Also, when guests are searching for a rental, most will select the Instant Book option so they can book immediately (if specific criteria are met). If you don’t have Instant Book enabled, you’ll automatically be removed from their search results.
Worried about turning on Instant Book? Some hosts are nervous about Instant Book, but ultimately hosts are able to screen Instant Booking guests by setting up their guest requirements. You can select to only accept Instant Book guests that have no negative reviews. See the screenshot below:
Airbnb SEO Tip #4: Keep Your Airbnb Bookings Up
The more bookings you have, the higher you rank in the search results. So make sure your prices are right at the upper threshold of the competition so that you still get bookings, but don’t leave extra money on the table.
Rental Recon Tip: When you start hosting, Airbnb will give you a boost in your rankings for the first three months. During this period, list at price below all your competition to get as many bookings as you can within that 3-month window. You’ll have to sacrifice income in order to get reviews. Once the boost is finished, you can price your Airbnb more competitively. Hopefully, you will have racked up at least five 5-star reviews.
Airbnb SEO Tip #5: Link Airbnb To Social Media Sites
Sharing your listing on your social media platforms is a great way to improve your Airbnb SEO. Generating traffic to your listing from social media will be rewarded with a boost in your listing search results.
Provide a link to your listing in Facebook groups where you might get a backlink to your listing. This will help your Google ranking as well. You may even consider creating a Facebook group dedicated to short-term rentals in your specific market.
For rentals that are trying to appeal to the millennial and gen z market, using apps like Snapchat and Tik Tok is a great way to increase visibility, show off your home, and encourage guests to engage with your content.
Even better, guests can provide this content FOR you! By including a hashtag or QR code, tech-savvy guests can film/take pictures in your rental and share them with their friends, family, and followers. In this day and age, it doesn’t take much to go viral…basically simply engaging with these trends can establish free, guest-driven marketing for your property.
Airbnb SEO Tip #6: Get Five-Star Reviews to Improve SEO
Great reviews signal to Airbnb that you are a serious host who cares about their guest’s overall experience. Keep getting great reviews and you’ll receive Superhost status, further boosting views on your listing. Guests will be able to search specifically for Superhosts in your area, limiting competition, and increasing your bookings.
Also, the more reviews you get, the higher you will appear in the search results.
Airbnb SEO Tip #7: Fill Out Your Listing Completely
Airbnb will penalize your listing if it is not fully filled out. So make sure all descriptions are completed.
Most hosts will fill out their listing description and then move on to the next screen, skipping the remainder of the optional boxes. But by doing this, you take a hit on your SEO.
Instead, you should take the time to fill out boxes listed under the “Want to add more info? (optional) heading. You’ll get a boost in SEO since most hosts elect not to fill out this extra information.
Double-check that every amenity that your home offers is clearly listed and checked! The goal is to be honest about what your listing offers, but check as many boxes as possible that apply. As an example, I have street parking available in front of my Airbnb, so I checked the Free Parking amenity checkbox.
Airbnb SEO Tip #8: Use the Power of Google To Improve Ranking
You can utilize the power of Google to boost your Airbnb rankings. Google indexes your Airbnb wishlists, listing titles, and listing descriptions which help hosts get more eyes on their listing through Google’s search results.
So if someone searches Google for “downtown Boise Airbnb”, and you have a wishlist named “downtown Boise Airbnb,” your wishlist will come up in Google’s search results. The same applies to Google searches for keywords in your title and description.
To wishlist, you just click on the little heart symbol found in the upper right-hand corner of every Airbnb listing. Create a name for your list of homes you like. This is basically a saved “favorites” section for you to review later.
Airbnb has also confirmed that the amount of wishlists your listing receives does impact your SEO status.
So go ahead and wishlist your own listing, and have your friends help you out as well. There are several Facebook groups dedicated to wish-listing each other’s listings. Just provide a link to your listing in the Facebook group, and request people wishlist your listing, and you’ll return the favor.
Airbnb SEO Tip #9: Don’t Decline Guests
If guests don’t meet all of your Instant Book requirements, they can still send you a message to request to stay at your place. If you get a request that you’re not interested in, send them a message stating the reason why their reservation won’t work for you. And that’s it!
You don’t want to ever decline a guest by hitting that “Decline” button. This will damage your Airbnb SEO.
Airbnb SEO Tip #10: Don’t Cancel Guests
Airbnb does not look favorably on hosts who cancel guests after the reservation is confirmed. Cancellation is sometimes a must but try and avoid them wherever possible. Otherwise, your SEO ranking will take a major hit.
Airbnb SEO Tip #11: Up Your Photo Game to Improve SEO
It’s no secret that many guests choose their Airbnb based on the images provided. It’s important to put your best foot forward to show off your beautiful short-term vacation rental but also to maximize your SEO results.
If you have vertically oriented photos as part of your listing, you are hurting your Airbnb SEO results. Yes, Airbnb actually gives an SEO boost to listings that have all of their photos oriented horizontally.
The Number of Photos Matters
Additionally, you need to have at least 8 photos in your listing, and all of your photos need to be high-resolution images. The images must not be under or over-exposed since Airbnb’s algorithm can pick up on the quality of the photos.
Airbnb recommends a minimum of 1024px x 683px for your photos. We’ve noticed that the Airbnb algorithm gives higher ranking status to listings with higher resolution, so make sure your images are very crisp and clear. Even 10 pixels higher than your competition could make you jump ahead of them!
Search Engine Optimization can seem like a very technical and time-consuming project for those less versed in technology. But in reality, there is nothing further from the truth! With a few small adjustments, you should be able to take your listing to the next level.
Simple things like changing photo orientation and responding quickly to guest inquiries can boost your search results. By improving your Airbnb ranking, you will increase the number of potential guests who are looking at your property, increase the number of reviews you receive, and maximize your revenue and popularity.
We hope that this step-by-step guide can help you as much as it has helped us in improving our Airbnb SEO Strategy.