Easy Steps to Boost Your Property's Visibility on Airbnb
As we’ve written before, Airbnb can be a great tool for first-time homeowners to pay off their mortgage, or for mid-career homeowners to earn an extra bit of income each year. But how do you stand out in a field of competitors that is so, so vast?
SEO. These three little letters can be a web-savvy Airbnb property owner’s best friend if you let them. But what is SEO, anyway?
SEO, or search engine optimization, as it’s known in its non-acronymized form, is—in layman’s terms—the process of retrofitting a webpage with search terms and other key information that will cause search engine algorithms to rank the page more highly than its competitors.
And, as it turns out, SEO isn’t the sole dominion of folks who depend on Google to keep their business running.
If you’re in the short-term rental market, and utilize sites like Airbnb to acquire your customers, there are all kinds of small adjustments you can make to your property profile(s) to give them a boost in Airbnb’s search engine results page rankings, which means—drumroll, please—more cash in your bank account come pay time.
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First and foremost: log in regularly!
Checking your inbox by logging into your property owner account on Airbnb is a basic signal of responsiveness to user queries for the site’s search engine apparatus.
Was that explanation a bit confusing? We thought it might be. Here’s an English language translation.
What this basically means is that you’re more likely to get a boost in search results rankings when you’re more engaged. This is a convenience-driven homesharing experience, after all. Airbnb wants to prioritize property owners that offer quality customer service so that users will trust their app and utilize it again and again in the future.
But you can’t just stop at logging in. You’ve got to do a bit of heavy lifting scheduling and calendar wise, as we’ll see in the next section, if you want to get on top of the Airbnb game.
Keep your calendar flexible, and respond to inquiries ASAP
When it comes to building up a solid reputation on Airbnb, it pays dividends to recognize early on that the whole process is cyclical—investments of time and energy that you make on the front end pay off on the back end, and vice versa.
Responding to user inquiries quickly is a good example.
When users leave reviews at the end of their stay, they’re going to remember how easy it was to communicate and coordinate with you—their five-star rating and positive words are going to build a sense of trust in prospective visitors who look at your profile, which will in turn lead to more bookings, more positive reviews, and a higher long-term rank.
On the same token: keeping your calendar open and flexible—that is, not blocking out too many days (particularly those high-visit times of the year, during shoulder season and the winter holidays)—is also liable to bump you up in rank, because of your openness to accommodating visitors based on their schedule, rather than yours.
Of all of the SEO steps you could choose to take, this calendar piece is perhaps the most important. According to AirDNA, keeping your calendar updated regularly can boost reservations for your property as much as 70%. Not too bad, huh?
Take high-quality pictures of your property
That grainy, mid-oughties cellphone closeup of your favorite ficus, Fern, isn’t going to satisfy prospective visitors when they explore your profile to see what your property looks like.
Thankfully, with smartphone technology being what it is, you don’t have to worry about taking poor quality pictures anymore. And, if you’ve got the disposable income available, you can hire Airbnb freelance photographers to take professional-quality images of your home or rental property, so you don’t have to get all Annie Leibovitz on your guest bedroom yourself.
Make sure your visitors enjoy their experience
Leave a chocolate on their pillow, like they’re staying at a hotel. Maybe leave a bottle of wine or a fruit basket waiting for them in the kitchen, along with a handwritten note welcoming them to your home.
Why go to the trouble, you ask? Well, it’s that whole cyclical concept we talked about earlier. Positive experiences beget positive reviews, which means more user interest and a higher search ranking on the Airbnb site.
If you felt like you really got on well with your guests, ask them to retroactively put your property on a public wish list of theirs on the Airbnb site—not only is it a greater bit of free marketing through the site, the fact you’re tagged will signal to the search engine algorithm that your property is a hot commodity, and will encourage searchers to explore it as an option.
As you can tell, there are all kinds of easy, low-maintenance fixes and additions you can make to your Airbnb property profile to cull more interest and engagement from prospective visitors. Implement these simple steps and watch the reservations in your inbox pour in!