STRATEGY to get bookings:
1) make yourself high in search -do SEO optimization
2) make your listing clickable (and therefore bookable) - stand out from the crowd
3) make your listing bookable - make it motivational and inviting for people to book. Appeal to human beings, not to machine
In this topic, we will discuss number 1 - what to do to appear higher in search results (without paying money for a booster). I will not bore with technical terms, if you have questions, feel free to ask.
Before we start, you should understand that Booking, Airbnb and other sites are in fact search engine machines. So, here we deal with a robot, not with sweet Booking staff. And these are the tips to make a robot to believe, that we truly deserve this number one place in search 😄
1) Optimize your Title by
Mention your town, city or at least landmark. Think of a word that people might be looking for. Condo in New York? Villa near the Beach? Use Google planner to see what people are looking for in your area
As an example, I am pleased to show our dear forum member Maria's listing. I am searching in the search box as a guest "Guesthouse in Oropos". And opa! The first result I see (top result) is "The Adams Studio in Oropos".
I am looking for "New York Apartment" and "New York Apartments" popped out.
If your property is very near to airport, mention Airport in the title. Central park, beach, Times Square, Fifth Avenue, downtown, forest, river, zoo and so on.
B) property type or traveler type
Use Guesthouse, villa, suites... Backpackers, couples, honeymooners, etc
C) amenity type
Example: room service, cooked breakfast, jacuzzi bath, balcony, spa...
D) maximizing it
Never mind the long listing name. It's a better long name and high in search than short name and invisible.
2) high resolution pictures
High resolution is a ranking factor. That also answers to the question should you hire a professional photographer.
3) maximize all fields
Everything that Booking and Airbnb offer to fill up, must be filled up. That's why don't think that in Guest access it is "understood" that the guest can use an entire unit (in Airbnb), you must write it for the machine, not for the human being. Don't skip Amenities, check yes and no. Add amenities that are cheap for you to add.
Very important - use Tags in all photos! Work on Property score in Booking. Don't forget to fill up profile info.
For Airbnb, don't forget to fill up home safety and guidebook.
4) make yourself active and Responsive
Don't log out of the system.an That way it will think you are alive. And kicking 😁 how do you kick? Block and immediately unblock the calendar. As much as you can keep the calendar open very far to the future. Machines like properties that are available and not those who will be closed soon. P.S. changing descriptions will not help, but updating calendar will.
5) work on numbers
Machines like numbers. That answers the question of how many pictures should have of. Don't worry about people, those who don't like to browse many will browse few. But for making yourself appear higher in search results the number of pictures must be impressive. Minimum 20.
If your property small and doesn't require a lot of pictures, then find a way still to put more pictures. Make pictures of nearest places, cafes, monuments, parks. Use pictures such as "English speaking host" or make screenshots of your best reviews.
Same for reviews. Numbers what matter the most. And, unfortunately, the score.
6) make stay as minimum you can
1 day is the best. And maximum stay as maximum you can.
On another hand, short stays will help you to get Quantity of reviews. Another factor for top search results.
7) twit-twit = win-win
Press that magic button at the top of your listing and share to Facebook and Twitter. It doesn't require a lot of work to do, just discipline. It's really win-win situation. Social networks will allow Google to bring people to you directly. People from social networks will visit your listing and Booking engine will think many people are visiting your listing and will put it higher in search for other people. You can also ask people to add your listing in their wishlists. Keep sharing 😀
For Airbnb keep sharing Wishlists. And make yourself in Wishlists! If many people have your property in their wish list, your listing will appear higher in the search.
Find Facebook groups or advertise in local sites with big traffic where you can leave the link to your listing. More people click, higher you are in search. That means that even if not potential clients do click, they still do good to you.
Open several FB pages and share your partner's links. They give discounts on Booking and Airbnb. People love discounts. Mix this kind of content with advertising your listing to bring more traffic. Think of catchy name such as "best hotel discounts in San Diego". Remember FB Page names are very Googable.
Just for Airbnb:
Don't overprice. First 10 results are those with a price range to the location's average.
2) fast response
You should be either glued to your phone (like me😃) or use channel manager that sends immediately response to the guest. It could be as simple as this "I got your message. I will reply as soon as I can".
3) instant book
...is a ranking factor. Turn it on.
4) past clicks
...are ranking factors. We will discuss how to make people click in our Strategy Step 2.
5) monthly discount
Again, your minimum should be 1 day. Monthly discount will increase your appearance in search results. It could be as low as 1%.
6) no to cancelations
Do anything you can to avoid cancelations. Give money in cash and ask your client to cancel himself, but just don't press this cruel button "cancel". The same goes for the button " Decline".
Make it long.
8) be a prolific writer 😂😅
One forum member called me "prolific writer" 😂 well, it helped me to appear high in search results and I am overbooked again, hurrah. You should know that Airbnb correlates higher search results to hosts that have more words in listing descriptions.
Sharing a secret tip. Airbnb gives preference to hosts who provide iron, desk, hangers, hair dryer, essentials and Internet. The desk will also help you to jump into Work collection, and therefore to have not only more guests, but more Paying guests!
10) 5 stars
Not less than 5 stars will bring you to the top search results. If you need tips on how to get not less than 5 stars, mention in the comments.
Many people ask if Superhost status will make them appear higher in the search. The answer is NO. But those factors that brought you Superhost badge will certainly make you appear higher.