5th July 2018
How to Get a Top Ranking Listing in Airbnb Search Results
Why Are Listings Ranked?
When users search for short-term accommodation on Airbnb they’re shown a selection of listings best suited to their search queries. These results and their order are decided by the information provided to Airbnb by hosts in the listings. Using a sophisticated algorithm, Airbnb ranks these listings by relevance and quality to make sure users are shown appropriate results for their needs.
Rankings are important because they essentially decide which Airbnb listings get the most visibility on the platform. Being seen in the search results pages leads to more engagement which in turn equates to more income from your rental property. Basically, this means that the higher your listing ranks, the better you’ll do on Airbnb.
Fairly recently, Airbnb released an article outlining everything they take into account for rankings. This, along with a number of expert hosts’ speculation, has provided Airbnb users with the tools needed to get the best results from their listings. Following these recommendations will allow you to optimise your listing to get it in front of as many people as possible.
The Factors Affecting Airbnb Listing Rankings
Clicks on Your Listing
One of the most important factors that the Airbnb ranking algorithm uses to determine search page results is the number of clicks a listing gets. Listings that generate a lot of engagement after users have searched for a property are obviously very appealing to guests. If a listing is consistently getting the majority of clicks in a search result page, it’s clearly a good listing.
Airbnb uses this metric to order their results accordingly and show users properties with a proven track record of attracting guests.
Reviews are a really important part of Airbnb listings because they offer a testimonial of quality. If a listing has many 5 star reviews, it shows the platform that they’re reliable and provide a positive experience. Airbnb uses reviews to determine whether a listing should be given priority when displaying results.
Your listing’s rates will play a part in determining its positioning, but usually only if users have designated their budget. Properties at a specific price point will be prioritised when people are filtering the results based on price.
Airbnb wants to offer its users the best experience possible on the website. This means they don’t want to match people up with unresponsive hosts. The platform strives to reward hosts that consistently respond to guest requests and correspondence in a timely matter, to ensure a smooth transaction.
While this doesn’t mean you’ll be penalised for not responding instantly, it’s important to be mindful of how long you leave guests in limbo. Even if you’re rejecting requests, it’s crucial to keep people in the loop.
In their article about ranking factors, Airbnb stated that “Guests on Airbnb value a quick and easy booking experience and are most likely to book an Instant Book listing.” They also went on to clarify that in some circumstances, Instant Book listings are given priority in search results pages to ensure the best outcome for users.
While Instant Book doesn’t work for everyone, it’s clear that Airbnb values this feature in offering a fair and straightforward service. Those looking to get great rankings for their listings should consider the Instant Book option as a way of improving their results.
Requests to Book From Listing Pages
Occasionally, some listings will receive requests to book from search results pages. This means that users have been so impressed by what they’ve seen from the listing preview that they wanted to request to book right there and then.
Airbnb believes that listings receiving bookings like this are favoured by guests, hence, they use this as a factor when determining rankings in search results pages.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Airbnb Listing Rankings
Complete Your Host Profile (Make Sure You’re Verified)
Airbnb wants to provide the best experience for both guests and hosts. This means they’re driven to favour users that have verified their identities and can be trusted. Remember that offering your listing first in search page results is kind of like an endorsement from the platform. They’re unlikely to do this if you’re a bad host or if they’re unsure that your property will provide a pleasant experience for guests.
Verifying your identity should be one of your first steps when getting started on Airbnb. The more verified you are, the better. Use this step as a way of showing guests and the website itself that you’re serious about providing a genuine and authentic experience.
Ask for Reviews, After You’ve Offered a Great Experience
To do well as a host on Airbnb, you need to have good reviews on your listing. This shows potential guests and Airbnb that you’re a host that can be trusted. Guests are usually very proactive about leaving reviews for the properties they’ve stayed at, but, if they’re not, don’t be afraid to ask them to. Airbnb runs on trust, reviews help offer peace of mind to everyone using the platform.
Make Your Listing Pop – Take the Best Photos You Can
If you want people to click on your listing when they see it in search results, you need to be sure that it stands out amongst the others. Having a good looking listing will help you get the engagement you need. This means you should invest in eye-grabbing images and persuasive titles.
Make the effort to take outstanding Airbnb photos, to craft your wording and to fill out all the extra details you need to and you’ll see the benefit in the number of enquiries you get.
Ensure You Have Competitive Pricing
When listing a property on Airbnb, you should do your research on other similar listings to see what your market rate is. This will help you accurately price your property for what it’s worth. Competitive pricing is an important part of playing the Airbnb host game. Not only does it impact your rankings directly, but it can be the decider between whether users choose your property or another one that’s similar.
How Long Does it Take to See Results?
Once you’ve optimised your listing for search result rankings, it will take some time for it to take effect. Factors that involve guest interaction require consistent effort, it’s not something that can be altered in the click of a button. However, it is worth it. The majority of attention on Airbnb is given to the listings that rank the best. Working to get your property as high as possible is key to doing well on the platform.