7 Proven Airbnb Ranking Optimization Techniques to Top the Search Results

All hosts want to see their listings on the first page of Airbnb search results. For that aim, it's useful to learn Airbnb ranking rules and algorithms. Read about most effective Airbnb ranking optimizations techniques and use them to attract more new guests to your property!

If your listing doesn’t rank well in the Airbnb search results, then potential guests won’t see your listings, you won’t get traffic, which leads to fewer bookings and lower earnings.

Therefore, it’s crucial that you obtain the highest Airbnb ranking possible if you want to grow your Airbnb business.

If you’re looking to improve your Airbnb search optimization and get more bookings on Airbnb, you need to optimize your listings properly. However, learning how to improve your Airbnb ranking isn’t only about creating better listings, how you manage your Airbnb account also matters.

The following list of 7 proven Airbnb ranking optimization techniques will help you get the results that you’re looking for.

  1. Better Reviews Lead to a Higher Airbnb Ranking


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    Airbnb host Nick Child determined that guest satisfaction was the most important factor in ranking high in the Airbnb search results when he performed a data experiment that uncovered that “the average Page 1 listing on Airbnb has a guest satisfaction score of 83.7%.”

    It’s important to note here that the Guest Satisfaction score is only calculated after each Airbnb guest completes their review of their stay. As a result, if you want better rankings, you need to encourage all of your guests to leave a review. Furthermore, you should make sure that you attempt to resolve any issues that may lead to a less than stellar review to keep your average ratings as close to 5 stars as possible.

    Being attentive and responsive before, during, and after a guest’s stay will significantly decrease the chances that a guest will have a poor customer experience

  2. Avoid Cancellations and Rejections

    Airbnb prioritizes reliable hosts (hence their continuous push to have hosts achieve the Superhost designation). So naturally, this sentiment extends to the search results as well. If your cancellation rate is starting to climb or is abnormally high in comparison to other hosts, you can expect to see your Airbnb ranking drop as well.

    There’s simply no trick to avoid the SEO damage that cancellations cause so it’s in your best interest to keep cancellations from happening at all costs. By keeping your Airbnb calendar updated and ensuring that your listings include every important detail that guests need to know upfront, you can significantly reduce your chances of having a guest cancel a booking.

    In the same way that cancellations matter in determining your Airbnb ranking, keep in mind that rejections also matter. Airbnb hates to disappoint guests and considers rejections to be one of the worst experiences for guests. Instead of counting rejections, Airbnb compares you to other hosts. As a result, if you reject guests more than other hosts, it will lower your Airbnb ranking.

  3. Choose Your Airbnb Listing Settings Carefully

    How you configure your settings for your Airbnb listings can actually make a huge difference when it comes to your overall Airbnb search ranking. Things like extra service fees, security deposits, and discounts can actually have more of an impact than you think. That is because these settings will affect the amount of traffic that your Airbnb listing receives.

    When you start adding extra charges to your listing that other hosts in your area aren’t charging, you could inadvertently increase the bounce rate for your listing. When you receive fewer bookings because of the extra charges, your Airbnb ranking will drop.

    The solution to this problem is to carefully study the listings of the top hosts in your area. What do they charge for their listings? What are their minimum stay requirements? Do they offer additional services that they charge extra for?

    Then make sure that your Airbnb listing settings match those of the top ranking Superhosts in your area as closely as possible.

  4. Choose Your Photos for Shareability

    how to improve airbnb ranking


    As already explained, your
    Airbnb ranking is partially determined by the amount of traffic that your listing receives. If you choose great photos to represent your listing, the higher the chances are that your Airbnb listing will be added to a Wishlist or shared among guests on social media.

    In addition, the more visibility that your listing receives, the more traffic you can expect.

    Make sure to choose photos that are enticing, yet a realistic depiction of your property. Arrange your photos in batches if you have multiple photos of the same room and provide photos of all of the rooms that guests are likely to spend the most time in. By doing this you can increase the amount of time that users spend browsing your listing and decrease your bounce rate.

  5. Use Instant Book

    Airbnb has encouraged hosts to use Instant Book for some time now as the company’s goal is to make booking accommodations as fast and easy as possible for guests. Another reason why turning Instant Book on results in a higher Airbnb ranking is that Airbnb has officially confirmed that it is part of the Airbnb search algorithm.

    In some cases, the Instant Book filter may actually be turned on by default. When the filter is activated, listings that do not have Instant Book turned on are not going to show up in the guest’s filter unless they turn it on. This means that you won’t get visits from those guests which will hurt your Airbnb ranking.

    Finally, the fact that over 50 percent of bookings from guests are handled via Instant Book is a final incentive to make sure that it’s turned on.

  6. Maintain a High Response Rate

    Hosts must maintain a response rate of 90% or higher in order use Instant Book. Therefore, it’s clear that your response rate is pretty important to Airbnb when it comes to determining the rank of your listing in the Airbnb search results. Responding to requests within 24 hours of receipt from a guest will boost your Airbnb search ranking.

  7. Remove Objections to Increase Guests’ Booking Decision Speed

    airbnb search results


    A lesser known method of improving your
    Airbnb ranking is to decrease the amount of time that it takes for a guest to book your listing. You can determine whether guests book your listing quickly after browsing it simply by reviewing how many guests have questions before they book or abandon your listing. If guests have a ton of questions or they aren’t booking within 24 hours of contacting you, that is a clear sign that your listing needs some optimization.

    Airbnb SEO firm, Higher Bookings, uncovered that guests’ booking decision speed is a ranking factor for Airbnb after obtaining access to an internal tool used by Airbnb in measuring split tests on their platform. In the test shown, the SEO firm found that Airbnb ranks listings based on how quickly a listing gets booked quickly by guests who have just searched for properties on Airbnb. If your listing has a quick response rate, a low ratio of searchers to bookings, among other fast booking decision factors, it will receive a higher Airbnb ranking. You can also test different call-to-actions in your listings to see if you can improve your booking rates.

    Lastly, use vacation rental management software such as iGMS to update your listings frequently. In fact, you can sign up for free right now and start improving your search ranking while increasing the occupancy rate.   

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