In this article, we will discuss Airbnb SEO and how it can increase your STR traffic and make you stand out. Stop just relying on the home-sharing platforms to gain bookings, start taking advantage of google search to push guests to your website and then your Airbnb listing instead of competitors.
SEO is an abbreviation for “search engine optimization.” In straightforward words, it means the method of enhancing your site to increase its visibility when people search for services related to your business in search engines like Google, Bing, and others. The better visibility your pages have in results, the more probable you are to get engagement and attract new customers to your business.
Search engines like Google and Bing use robots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages, and putting them in their index. The index is essentially a giant library to help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the time.
Algorithms examine pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors, to then determine how to rank different pages and where they should appear for given search terms.
These search algorithms were developed to show relevant, authoritative pages and provide search users with an effective search experience. Optimizing your website and content to showcase these factors can help your web pages rank higher in the results.
So now we are taking the principles of SEO and implementing them with an Airbnb Business. Implementing both on-page and off-page for Airbnb can be extremely effective at bringing customers to you and not just hoping that they find you on Airbnb or VRBO. The reason this is important is that in many popular vacation spots, there are hundreds or even thousands of short-term rentals that guests have to sort through. It’s even worse for condos because all the rentals are focused on one location.
This should be done even before choosing your website domain name or your title on the home-sharing platforms. A free tool with Google Adwords easily allows you to see the types of searches for Airbnb and lodging in your STRs location. Let’s look at an Example in Hilton Head:
Searching Hilton Head Airbnb in Google Keyword Planner shows almost 10k monthly searches for this keyword and even better shows additional keywords. For this example, it shows almost 100 more searches that can be exploited to push traffic to your website and then to your home-sharing platforms to book your rental.
In addition, your home-sharing platform STR page should include one or more of these keywords in the title and description. This is because many big keywords will show homes on the platform first and you have a better chance of ending up in that sport if you include keywords in the title.
Moving on to your On-Page SEO, we look at the content that can be created around your website. The first is looking at the keywords we got from our search and finding the low volume and low competitive ones to focus blog posts around. By building up with these low competitive keywords, you will gain traffic from multiple keywords looking for Airbnbs in the area. After this, you’ll expand to more area searches from potential visitors to gain guests who are looking in the general area but not specifically home-sharing searches.
All basic SEO should follow normal guidelines and a great resource is MOZ beginners guide to SEO which goes through the basics. Since these basics are the same for Airbnb SEO, I won’t go into the nitty-gritty as MOZ has already put together the best guide.
Links need to be placed on all your pages that link to other pages on your website. A great example is looking at any Wikipedia page and you’ll see how they use internal links to send you to other pages on their website. Since your website will be in the early stages, you don’t want to overdo the linking. So look to add 1-2 internal links on each page.
Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free profile on google maps and search that gives your business more visibility and authority.
While there are hundreds of social sites that you should have a profile on, the main ones that you want to keep active are Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Page, and Youtube. While Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all great to be active on and post, the best way to get new guests from those sites is getting your previous guest to post and tag your profile. To do this you will need creative and postable activities, home decor, and other fun interactive recreations in your STR. These should all be relevant to the area your rental is in.
Now the best way to get new guests with your posts is from youtube videos. This is because not only do give you more content but they can also rank on google for keyword searches. Keep in mind if you have a boring bland Airbnb, this won’t work and to be honest boring bland properties won’t be profitable in the future at all given the increase in properties available and the higher real estate prices when acquiring new rentals.
Finally you’ll want to start building links off-page. This will include social media links, web 2.0 links, and guest posts. Many of these can be created free of charge if you do them yourself or for minimal costs if you outsource.
Now you have a basic understanding of Airbnb SEO. Remember that SEO doesn’t stop after the first implementation, you will continue to have to add more content and build upon your initial success. While the results won’t be immediate, within a few months you will start to gain more and more traffic and this will continue to gain year on year which will benefit you in the future as Airbnb gets more competitive. If you’re looking for new Airbnb properties, you can start searching here today.