You are about to read the five easiest strategies to increase your Airbnb search rank. This is part I of III in this series. Click here for part II (intermediate strategies) or part III (advanced strategies).
5 Unconventional Ways To Increase Your Airbnb Search Rank Click To Tweet
Introduction: Easy Ways To Increase Your Airbnb Search Rank
In this three-part series, I’m listing 15 strategies to increase your Airbnb search rank. Some are more advanced, some should be foundational, but worth revisiting.
Luckily, advanced does not mean complicated. Instead, it means few Airbnb hosts are taking advantage of these opportunities.
It’s no secret that a lot of where your listing appears in Airbnb search rank has to do with your hosting abilities (i.e. 5-star Airbnb reviews).
Most of the below strategies make you appear in more search results. The theory is the more your listing appears in relevant search results, the more it will get booked. And, the more it gets booked (with good reviews), the more Airbnb will encourage more guests to book your place, and your Airbnb search rank rises.
It’s the Airbnb circle of life.
You see, unlike Google and their search rank, Airbnb is momentum based. This is because your Airbnb listing does something for Airbnb that websites listed in the Google search don’t do for it. You directly make Airbnb money! But it goes deeper than that.
If a first-time guest stays at your listing and has a bad experience, the likelihood of that guest returning to Airbnb is low. You’ve lost Airbnb a stream of lifetime revenue. Very bad.
However, if you consistently provide a positive guest experience, you are making Airbnb money with every reservation. And, you are compounding their future revenues as these guests are likely to return to Airbnb to book their next vacation and tell their friends. Believe it or not, Airbnb is still in growth mode. Up to 40% of reservations include a first time guest.
Additionally, a side benefit of all this is getting more wishlist saves which directly increases your Airbnb search rank. It’s the Airbnb circle of life.
In no particular order…
Lower Your Minimum Stay Requirement
Every day you lower your minimum stay is going to result in your listing appearing in more search results. Think about it: if your minimum is 3 nights, you’re missing out on guests searching for 1 and 2 nights.
I advocate a one-night minimum. This will require you to scrutinize guest profiles more.
You can use PriceLabs to keep your minimum at 2+ nights while using their ‘Orphan Night’ setting to have the software automatically update your calendar minimum night requirement if there’s an unbookable (ie ‘Orphan) night based on your current settings.
For example, if you have a 2-night minimum with an open day on Wednesday, then PriceLabs will create a special rule in Airbnb to allow only this day to be booked as a single night.
Plus, you can also auto set a price increase of 20% or so (like I do) to avoid the guest who wants to throw a party (the most commonly cited concern over single-night minimums).
Eliminate Your Max Stay Requirement
If possible, completely remove maximum night requirements. Some hosts worry that the guest will stay because, in some areas, a guest would have tenant’s rights if they stay more than 30 days or so. But how common is this?
It seems more common because every time it happens, the media covers it. Just like in 2019 for a period of a few months, the media covered every Airbnb host who allegedly had a hidden camera in their listing. At the time it seemed common, but it was/is not.
Judge your risk and make an appropriate decision. This one is quite obvious and simple, let’s move on.
Increase Your Booking Window
Consider opening your calendar to ’12 months into the future’ when possible. Obviously, you’ll appear in more search results. You can also charge a premium if a guest wants to book 3+ months out.
If you do not have a good handle on your area’s special events (ie conferences, concerts, etc.), then I recommend “3 months out into the future” as savvy guests are likely to book up Airbnb listings far in advance when unscrupulous hosts haven’t updated their prices.
At first, this appears to be ‘duh’, but I see so many hosts overvalue their homes resulting in abysmal occupancy levels (sub 30%).
No matter where you are in the world (with few exceptions), if you’re ever below 50% occupancy in a month, you’re doing it wrong.
Lower your pricing in increments of 10% and wait 7 days to see how it affects your occupancy. Again, the lower your price, the more search results you’ll appear in.
For those hosts starting with really high nightly rates ($200+), you’ll experience the most increase in search rank visibility every $15 you lower your rate.
Plus, an Airbnb study put out in early 2017 showed that Airbnb heavily favors lower-priced listings. This makes sense as we know Airbnb’s Smart Pricing keeps hosts’ calendars cheap because the price is one of their greatest advantages over traditional hotels.
Relax Your Cancellation Policy
It’s no secret that Airbnb has been pushing a flexible cancellation policy. They have even forced it on some hosts. At a point, they were considering charging hosts 4% and 5% if they selected a moderate or strict cancellation policy, respectively.
Given how much Airbnb has promoted the flexible cancellation policy, it’s plausible they give a boost to listings with flexible cancellation policies. In a recent change to the cancellation policies, Airbnb has said the changes were “to encourage more bookings—especially for more flexible listings.”
In fact, I believe that Airbnb does give a search boost to listings with a flexible cancellation policy, as well as, an additional search rank boost for these same listings if there is a cancellation within 72-hours of check-in.
Insider Tip: Highly likely Airbnb gives a search boost to listings with flexible cancellation policies due to a better guest experience. Click To Tweet
Have you tried any of these techniques? Did you see an increase in views, wishlist saves, reservation requests, etc?
Don’t be greedy, share your Airbnb search rank boosting strategies with me.