BNB STORIES #6
Hey again! We’re glad you’re back for another episode in our BnB Stories Series. In our last episode, we discussed all the steps you need to take if you get a bad review.
But we have another exciting topic for you this time: Attaining a higher ranking on Airbnb! We all know this platform has completely disrupted the hotel industry. In fact, it has over 6 million listings and 500 million guests, so there’s no doubt that competition is fiercer than ever.
So how do you make sure your listing gets noticed on Airbnb? Easy. You constantly try to improve your ranking.
When users start searching for accommodations on Airbnb, they’re met with a number of options that appear in an order that solely depends on a sophisticated algorithm. Most hosts think you get ranked based on relevance and quality, but there’s actually a lot more to it than meets the eye.
9 Tactics for Ranking Higher on Airbnb
1. Update your calendar
One of the best ways to improve your ranking is to keep your calendar updated. That way, it highlights when you have a vacancy and when you’re blocked out. If you have multiple listings on numerous websites, using an Airbnb channel manager such as Hosthub that syncs your rental calendar will help you keep all your bookings organized.
And you’ll get an even higher ranking if you keep your calendar updated to match certain holidays. Most people book holidays way in advance, so you’ll be able to capitalize on this tendency if you highlight those holidays.
2. Avoid cancellations
We know, we know! Sometimes cancellations are inevitable. But apart from major emergencies and extreme unforeseen circumstances, never cancel a booking. It’s not even about making a guest unhappy (which it definitely will); it’s also due to the fact you’ll be instantly penalized by the search algorithm. So it will take you some time to redeem your ranking.
3. Respond quickly
Nowadays, people expect an answer ASAP. While responding within 24 hours is acceptable, more instantaneous replies will increase your search ranking for two reasons:
- The guest will be more likely to book your space, especially if they’re in a hurry.
- Algorithms prefer profiles that are always active on the platform. In other words, the more you’re online replying to messages, the better.
Quick Tips: If the guest’s question requires a detailed response, reply with a brief response to let them you’ll get back to them with more information as soon as you can. And to reap the benefits of an excellent ranking, reply within an hour!
4. Get positive reviews
Easier said than done, right? Clearly, the better your reviews are, the higher you’ll rank. A staggering 90% of users of people nowadays look at reviews before even making a decision about their purchase/booking.
5. Keep your descriptions up-to-date
Airbnb gives you a little hint about the way your listing should look: We’re talking high-quality pictures, a clear and updated title, and more than enough information about nearby attractions, neighborhoods, and amenities. This tactic shows Airbnb that you’re worthy, focused, and responsible enough to generate income for the website. Furthermore, it draws positive attention to areas that don’t have a lot of listings.
6. Offer competitive rates
You can choose from plenty of pricing models before you book on Airbnb. But the more competitive your rates are, the more attractive you’ll be. In fact, we have a whole episode about pricing your listing! A short-term rental channel manager can give you helpful insights about how to price your property. If you want more tips regarding pricing tactics on short term rental channels you can also check this video.
7. Login everyday
It has been proven that your ranking will start increasing if you log in daily. Actually, it will even increase if you sign in once a week (but not as much as if you log in every day). Keep in mind that Hosthub does that for you, so you don’t have to bother each and every day.
8. Activate Instant Booking
There’s no way you’ve heard of Airbnb without hearing of the holy grail of booking sites: Instant Booking. Although this option may be stressful for you, a channel manager like Hosthub can make it easy and safe in case you are listing on more than one channel. So turn on your Instant Booking, reply promptly, and make sure you message the guest after they’ve booked.
9. Improve your click-through rate.
Everything that was covered so far increases search rankings. But what if search ranking itself could be majorly improved by leveraging the click-through rate (CTR). These factors can almost instantly improve your search ranking:
- Use a high-res photo (at least 1024 x 683 px)
- Keep your title short and catchy.
- Lower your price at first, so the search algorithm will favor you.
- Make sure you’re verified and complete your profile.
So how long will it take to actually see results?
You’ve optimized your profile to perfection. You’ve put effort into your pricing strategy, and you’ve gotten some positive reviews. When will you start seeing improvements?
While there’s no specific timeline (such as a specific number of days) for your search ranking to increase, the formula is quite simple: The more guest interactions you have (whether they’re messages, bookings, CTRs, or requests for info), the more the algorithm will favor you. If everything goes well, you should start seeing results in a few weeks.
A few last words
If you don’t rank well on Airbnb, it will negatively affect all aspects of your hosting experience. So it’s crucial to actively improve your rankings and CTR, and secure prospective guests. Until Airbnb publishes the inner workings of its search algorithm, use the tricks provided in this article and let us know how they work for you!