Optimize Your Vacation Rental Listing to Maximize Bookings

Creating a listing for your vacation rental on Airbnb or HomeAway is easy, but creating a successful, creative, and enticing listing is a bit more difficult.

The two most popular ways travelers find vacation rentals like yours is first, directly through booking sites, and second, through Google results.

When guests are searching for a short-term rental to book, they’re more likely to click on search results in Google or on these sites that meet all of their needs. Crafting a listing that preempts guest questions, showcases your property, and positions yourself ahead of the competition in your area will help you earn more bookings.

Here are 4 things that will make your property listing stand out and appear higher in search results:


Use Localized Keywords

When it comes to making an appearance on page one of Google results, you’ll have some serious competition for phrases like “vacation rentals,” “condo rentals,” and “beach homes for rent.” Our Ecommerce Product Manager Brian Shreckengast recommends using local search terms guests might use when looking for a rental like yours in your listing or on your website.

For example – if you own a rental on South Congress in Austin, Texas, you might want to include the phrase “vacation rental on South Congress in Austin” instead of just “vacation rental in Austin” in your listing.

There’s no harm in including broader phrases, but it will be harder for your rental to stand out with big brands using them too.


Highlight Your Amenities

While guests expect towels and wifi in their rental, there are other features and amenities that guests will be excited to see your rental offers, like being walking distance to the beach, having a balcony, or allowing pets.

Include the unique features and amenities your home offers in your listing headline and make sure they’re high up in your property description. This makes it easier for guests to pick out the pet-friendly, close to the beach, balcony-having unit they’re looking for on the results page.

For example – “Beachfront villa with wraparound patio that sleeps 6 in Sarasota” will be more clickable then “6 bedroom/3 bathroom house in Sarasota.”


Use Professional Photos

When a guest is staring at a page of results for vacation rentals in Vail, Colorado, they’re most likely to click on the listing with the thumbnail of a professional looking photo of a beautiful home dusted lightly in snow instead of a grainy version of the same photo.

Invest in high-quality photography for your listing, and include photos of all of the important areas – kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, etc. Guests also appreciate photos of the front of the house and any outside amenities.


Provide an Exceptional Guest Experience

While you can’t ask a guest to leave a positive review on your listing, you can provide exceptional hospitality so the guest feels compelled to leave you a positive review.

Be accurate in your listing so guests know exactly what to expect, be responsive if your guest contacts you, and when possible, go above and beyond. Here are some tips to ensure your guests will leave your home with the desire to leave a positive review.

A few negative reviews or a lack of reviews won’t affect your position in search results on listing sites too much, but Airbnb admits that positive reviews play a role in where your listing appears.

Need help optimizing your property listing? We have a team that will put your property’s best foot forward online. Learn more here.

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