Updated: October 30, 2018
Don’t want to read the entire article and implement yourself? Buy the Superhost or Advanced Listing Optimization Report and I create your new title for you.
The Airbnb title is for your guest, not you. It is the second most important feature of your Airbnb listing, excluding price and location which are filtered before any title is read. Regarding price, I wrote an article explaining an Airbnb pricing hack to guarantee more views. My guess is 90%+ of Airbnb hosts are not getting this important feature right. Given how many hosts overvalue their property in terms of their nightly rate, it is surprising to see so many lackluster titles. We have all seen them:
Beautiful, Relaxing Home in Downtown
Private, Quiet, Comfy, Clean Room
Two Bedroom Condo in Amazing City
Ugh! This blog post is long overdue. By the end, you will understand what goes into (and stays out of) the best Airbnb title’s.
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Focus on the front of your Airbnb title
May I demonstrate?
Over…overlooking a dump?
21…miles from what? Seems far.
Maybe I am over reacting. It is ‘Overlooking Garden’ and ’21 minutes from downtown’, but hopefully you can see the point. On mobile or tablet and sometimes desktop, the end of the Airbnb title may be cut off. Regardless, those great adjectives are really selling the FPG (future potential guest) – not! This brings me to my next point…
Did you know your Airbnb title is being cut off on mobile and tablet devices? Click To Tweet
Your Airbnb title should be 50 characters or damn close
Airbnb appears to favor listings with longer titles. The maximum length of any title is 50 words so get to it or within a few characters of it. Refer to Figure 10 of this Airbnb search analysis.
Avoid generic adjectives in your Airbnb title
Simple. Do not use adjectives. If you have any of the following words in your title, pat yourself on the back for finding this post and go immediately change them when you are finished reading:
- Studio, Condo, Townhouse, apartment, home, house, etc.
You do not want to use these because they are generic and do not communicate any information to the guest who is looking at a dozen other listings. You want to GRAB the attention of the FPG. Telling them your home is quiet and convenient in a central location is not going to accomplish that objective.
I want to comment on ‘luxury’ and ‘renovated’ which are, let’s say, tier 2 adjectives? At least they provide a bit more context, but you still do not want to use them in your Airbnb title:
- Luxury – The photos will communicate this thoroughly to the guest. You want to communicate as much information to the guest in the least amount of time so this becomes an unneeded word. Delete it and add something better. Plus, if your home truly is luxurious, you will likely need to explain what makes it so. “Heated bathroom floors!”
- Renovated – The pictures will also communicate this, but you need to add what was renovate and when. This is great to include in the ‘About this listing’ section. “Completely renovated in 2017!” If I am a guest, I am now thinking this home is not going to give me any hot water, heating, electricity, wifi, etc. issues.
Do not use the Airbnb title to identify one of your listings (property managers!)
More than once I have seen a code in the listing. It is always a property manager trying to identify the listing for themselves while totally disregarding the FPG. I get it, makes life easier for you. But, it does not make life easier for the FPG. Well, it sort of does. It makes their life easier by easily looking over your listing in favor of one with a better title. Hopefully, after reading this article you understand how important your Airbnb title is and how to do it right
Use your amenities to sell the guest
Do live in a city environment typical of parking issues, but have a parking space for the guest?
Do you have a private rooftop with hot tub overlooking the Sydney Harbor?
How about a massive back patio with a fire pit?
List your desirable amenities in your Airbnb title to attract more guests. Click To Tweet
Then let the guest know in the Airbnb title. Other less dazzling, but unique and/or useful amenities are:
- Washer + dryer
- HBO or Netflix
Under the right circumstances, these may all be used in your Airbnb title.
I do not have a strong opinion on this one way or another. To me, capital letters seem to be connected with low quality and scammy behavior. The obvious point is to stick out and draw more attention to your listing. Capital letters give you less real estate to work with (see ‘Focus on the front of your Airbnb title’ above). I do not use capitals for my listings or the listings I optimize.
Do not add your neighborhood
This is a controversial recommendation. I know people who recommend using the neighborhood, especially a well-known one. I very rarely use the neighborhood. I assume one of two things:
- The average guest does not know anything about your specific neighborhood so telling them is not going to encourage them to book (ie save the words for something that is)
- The neighborhood is so popular that the guest already knows about it and whether or not your home is there or not.
One exception might be if two drastically different neighborhoods are bordering each other. Let’s say one is known for crime and the other is upscale and your home is on the border (yes, these do exist, look up Palo Alto and East Palo Alto). In this case, I may specify in the title or somewhere prominent that my listing is in the “nice” neighborhood.
Take your neighborhood out of your Airbnb title now! Click To Tweet
Here is a perfect example. Piedmont is a small, residential, upper-class neighborhood that no one’s ever heard of while Oakland is generically known for crime. Most guests coming to the area do not know the nitty-gritty on what parts of Oakland are good vs bad, etc. so it might make sense to call out the neighborhood here.
(Maybe) use a location-specific descriptor
I am referring to a man-made structure (stadium, etc.) or a natural formation (beach). If you are by a stadium, you may think about using its name in your Airbnb title. I do not recommend this because the map shows your location within a few blocks. It is not necessary. The guest will zoom in the location and then look for a listing. I typed in ‘wrigley field’ and only one of the top 6 had ‘wrigley’ in their name. In this specific case, I do not think most guests will care if they are 2 blocks or 6 blocks from the stadium.
If you are next to a natural formation like a beach, it may make sense to call this out. Some guests want to literally be right on the beach. It may be difficult to know this without asking due to the way Airbnb shows the map. This listing could be anywhere from in the water to a 5-minute walk to the beach. If you cannot communicate this any other way, you can consider adding it to your title.
Using symbols in your Airbnb title
This is my most powerful technique, the reason why I have it at the bottom 😀 To reward you for reading the entire article. I use a whole range of symbols for the listings I optimize depending on the situation. In the past, I have used musical notes, arrows, sunrise, chess pieces, wingdings, check marks, figures, numbers, happy faces, degree symbol, etc. But, the most common ones I use are the star (☆) or the heart (♥). Instead of saying ‘heart of downtown’, use the symbol to communicate the same information in fewer characters. Do not overdo it, though! Three maximum.
I bet you didn't know about this Airbnb title secret. Click me to find out. Click To Tweet
Is this allowed on Airbnb?
I would be remiss if I did not point out that technically this is against Airbnb’s content policy. On the website, Airbnb states that “listing titles that include symbols or emojis” are not allowed. Even though they are not allowed, many hosts seem to be getting away with it. Please take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to add a symbol or emoji to your title.
The title is for your guest, not you. With so many Airbnb listings in your area (read about Pelin and her insane Airbnb competition), you need to do everything to set yourself above your competition. After the cover photo, your title is extremely important so why not optimize it for more Airbnb guests?
Let me know what you thought of this article in the comments. If you share a groundbreaking Airbnb title tip in the comments with the community, I’ll honor a 50% discount on any of the packages.
Also published on Medium.