Tips for Understanding AirBnb's Algorithm

How can I get my listing to appear on Page One of the search results?

One of the biggest questions from hosts centers around the algorithms that AirBnb uses to rank each listing on the site.  How can your listing earn a spot on the first page of a search in your area? AirBnb ranks your property on several factors (like location, type of space, and number of reviews) to help calculate the value of your listing.  Although you cannot control some of these factors, you can easily make a few changes to your profile that will improve your chances of moving higher on the search page.  By focusing on a few key areas in your profile, you may improve your listing value on the AirBnb site. Increasing the value of your listing can also be done by increasing exposure and the number of page views you receive by potential guests.  Don’t forget-the end goal is always to obtain reservations and to maintain a full calendar.  But sometimes, especially during slow travel seasons, hosts need to get creative and find different ways to attract travelers to their listing.  Creating a few marketing strategies is another way to increase exposure to your listing and to ensure a fully booked calendar. If this sounds overwhelming, then you’re not alone-I spent several weeks researching and analyzing AirBnb data before I grasped these concepts. Here are my three suggestions and take-home points that helped my listing land on the first page for guests traveling to the Pittsburgh area: 

Girl at computer

Step One-Understand conversion rates

AirBnb tracks your conversion rate (how many reservations are made after guests view your profile) and incorporates it into its algorithm to determine listing order.  The conversion rates are calculated by taking the number of inquiries per month divided by page views.  This number is important, because it is one of the factors that AirBnb uses to determine the order of listings after a search is conducted in a specific location. Although you cannot control the number of inquiries made from guests, you can focus on improving your listing in order to increase your page views.

Step Two-Increasing page views

There is a reason why AirBnb is constantly adding new data fields-like house information, amenities, local attractions, etc. They use this metadata in order to rank your listing. The more information you provide, the more valuable your listing is deemed. If you leave a section blank, then AirBnb assumes that you either do not pay attention to the details or care enough to update your listing-which will affect your listing’s value and spot in the search. Fill out every section on your profile and be accurate as possible without going overboard (while adding in those keywords). The longer you keep someone on your page, the higher the chance of converting him or her into a guest.

Step Three-Using social media and SEO to increase listing exposure and page views

Using AirBnb as your main platform doesn’t mean you have to stop there. If your calendar is looking a little empty, then consider expanding your marketing efforts to other platforms like social media and Google. Your gorgeous photos and captivating descriptions can reach a wider audience, and you will increase the number of page views by leading readers back to your booking page.

Google uses Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when creating its “Results” page. It reads and analyzes your profile for specific keywords that others search in order to rank your page. When someone searches “Cozy townhouse in Pittsburgh” on Google, my listing populates as the first option because I have chosen to use the keywords “cozy townhouse” several times throughout my profile. Do a little research on keywords here. Find your keywords and carefully add them to your listing when appropriate.

My listing appears at the top of "Results" page when someone searches for "Cozy townhouse" in Pittsburgh, PA. Choosing to strategically place keywords throughout your online listing will improve your SEO and enable search engines, like Google, to drive traffic back to your listing. 

My listing appears at the top of "Results" page when someone searches for "Cozy townhouse" in Pittsburgh, PA. Choosing to strategically place keywords throughout your online listing will improve your SEO and enable search engines, like Google, to drive traffic back to your listing. 

Videos and vlogging (video blogging) are the newest craze, and they’re quickly gaining popularity as an effective way to share information. Videos can showcase you, your personality, and your home. If you don't have fancy equipment or a tripod, then prop your phone up on a few books and remember these helpful hints to capture great footage:

  • Jot down an opening statement that will attract others who are traveling to your area. Mine would sound like this: “Looking for a cozy townhouse that’s situated between the Pittsburgh airport and downtown?”
  • Share a brief description of your space and amenities that you offer. DON’T go too in-depth with your information; the idea is to attract them to the actual listing and to spend more time on your profile. DO add descriptors that allow the guests to envision themselves in your home, like “Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee on the sundeck before starting your day.” Remember to use your keywords to maintain consistency and to optimize SEO.
  • Conclude the video with a “Call-to-Action,” and remind viewers to click on a link at the end of the video to learn more/see more/stay with you.

Be sure to upload the video to all your social media channels and YouTube. Google LOVES video content, and you may find your video at the top of Page One! I’ve created several videos to post onto Facebook and Instagram and asked family/friends to share, especially during slow travel seasons. Don’t be afraid to market yourself and the work that you’ve put into your space. There are several methods to increase exposure and to encourage bookings; this definitely is not a “one-size-fits-all” model. Experiment with several ideas and analyze your data from the past few months to determine any trends or patterns in your occupancy rates. Please feel free to share any other suggestions that you’ve used to update your profile and to maintain a relevant presence on social media in the comments below. Sharing is caring :)