tips & tricks

Tips & Tricks to Optimize Your Listing for Airbnb's Search Algorithm

July 19,2023 | Published by Barr Balamuth


In the competitive short-term rental marketplace, effectively optimizing your Airbnb listing for discoverability is crucial to attracting more guests and bookings. Airbnb's search algorithm - the systems and criteria it uses to rank properties for any guest's search query - is notoriously opaque; the company provides few instructions on how hosts can improve their ranking, and the criteria themselves are constantly in flux, changing to suit Airbnb's latest company priorities. 

This article explores key optimization strategies to improve your visibility, click-through rate, and conversion based on market data and Airbnb search insights.

Understanding Airbnb's Algorithm

While we don't (and may never) know all the factors Airbnb uses to rank listings, we do know the below criteria play a major role: 

  • Relevant keywords that match search terms
  • High guest ratings and numerous reviews
  • Competitive pricing and high demand/booking rates
  • Listing details, photos, and amenities that demonstrate relevance

With these factors in mind, here are some actions you can take to improve your listing's visibility in Airbnb search results.

Conduct Keyword Research

Leverage keyword research tools to identify high-volume search terms related to attractions and locations near your rental. Strategically incorporating these keywords makes it easier for travelers' searches to discover your listing.

For example, if you're located near major museums in Washington D.C., work phrases like "Smithsonian Museums" into your descriptions - Google data shows over 40,000 monthly searches for this term. Similarly, "Freedom Trail" with 33,000 searches monthly is ideal for Boston rentals hoping to attract history buffs.

Use Market-Tested Descriptors

Certain descriptors have been shown through testing and data to resonate with Airbnb travelers in listings. For instance, terms like "modern", "luxurious", "amenity-rich", or highlighting tech features like "smart home" tend to increase interest and bookings compared to more generic terms.

Align your descriptive keywords and phrases with words that your target market responds to based on Airbnb search volume tools. This helps cast a wider net to capture travelers inclined towards those attributes.

Highlight Amenities Creatively

Don't just list amenities - use vivid, engaging language to get prospective guests excited and intrigued when reading your listing. For example:

  • Swimming pool → "Our resort-style pool is perfect for sunbathing and swimming laps in the morning, or stargazing from the lounge chairs at night."
  • Hot tub → "Unwind after a day of skiing and let the massaging jets of our spacious cedar hot tub melt your cares away."
  • Chef's kitchen → "Our gourmet kitchen with professional-grade appliances and cookware is a foodie's dream for preparing delicious vacation meals."

Adding a few products that compliment your amenities can help you strengthen your listing photographs in ways that support these descriptions.



Analyze Successful Nearby Listings

Use tools like AirDNA to analyze Airbnb occupancy rates and listing content from rentals with consistently high booking rates near you. Look for SEO strategies and keywords you may be able to incorporate.

For instance, if a luxury cabin listing that books 90% of dates uses "mountain retreat" and "fireplace", those are likely effective terms in your area. Just ensure any borrowed terms or phrases align authentically with your property.


With the right mix of keyword optimization, market research, enticing descriptions, and analyzing competitors, you can perfect your Airbnb listing for higher visibility and more bookings. Stay true to your rental's unique character while strategically enhancing content to appeal to Airbnb travelers and ranking algorithms.

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