December 22

How to Rank Number 1 on Airbnb

What if I told you I could give you the keys to unlock the door to rank number 1 on Airbnb?

And that getting there isn’t a lottery, but a science?

Your property’s low ranking could be costing you thousands of $$$$ in lost income.

Achieving #1 spot will see your occupancy rate sky rocket.

Getting there is a huge challenge, and only the best hosts will ever achieve it.

But I’m going to let you in on my secrets.

I’m going to teach you step by step, the tips, tricks and strategies I used to get there.

What you will learn:

  • How to measure your current ranking position.
  • My secrets to a high converting featured image.
  • How to write an amazing Airbnb title.
  • How to create a top converting Airbnb listing.
  • Learn how to take professional quality photos of your property.
  • How important good Airbnb reviews are.
  • I reveal the #1 ranking factor for Airbnb in 2017  *it might surprise you…

How to check your current ranking position

How well does your property rank as of today?

To establish this, run a simple open search on Airbnb.

Go to

Enter your location.

Don’t fill in the date fields or the number of guests.

Then click “Go”

Search without filters

The list of results shows how well (or not) you rank against the competition.


This open search matches your property against ALL the listings in your area.

Sometimes filters should be used to gauge yourself against your immediate competition

e.g. You have a 1 Bedroom Apartment that sleeps x2 guests.

Filters to select: Sleeps Max 2 people + Entire home.

airbnb filters in use

This will filter your results to show how well you rank against your immediate competition.

Make a record of your ranking.  This will be used to track your progress and make sure you’re on the right track.

How to create a featured image that smashes the competition.

Featured images have the biggest impact on the click through rate to your listing.

A killer featured image will send your Airbnb listing views through the roof.

bad vs good

Creating the perfect Airbnb featured image:

A great quality image is a no brainer. I’m sorry, but an iPhone image is just not going to cut it here.

Do whatever it takes to source a decent SLR camera. This will make all the difference.

Camera in hand, what do I do next?

I’m about to show you my personal trick that has seen my click through rate explode:

It goes without saying that we are looking to capture the best image of our property. But we’re going to go one step further and add my secret sauce by adding colorful props that stand out.


You what???

Yep, that’s right, colorful props.

The goal is to add something out of the ordinary, that stands out from the crowd of mediocrity to lure your guests into clicking on your listing.

Examples I have used in the past:

  • Bright orange skateboard hanging on the wall.
  • Bright surfboards.
  • Colorful cushions with emotive text.
  • Bright wall art.

You get the picture.

Give it a go.  Try to use dramatic, striking colors to make our listing stand out. The more you stand out (in a good way) the more views you’ll receive.

Creating the perfect title for your Airbnb listing

Creating the perfect title in just 50 characters is a challenge.

There is no one golden rule/formula to create the perfect Airbnb title, but there is a strategy you should follow.

Your aim is to highlight all the outstanding features that make your property unique.

You need every one of those 50 characters working for you.

To begin, write down everything you can think of that is unique about your property.

get creative

If your home is a cottage in the country highlight the fact that it will be quiet, tranquil, relaxing.

If your home is close to a beach, city center, landmark etc. Be sure to mention it.

Your property might be particularly suited to certain guests eg. “Perfect for couples, families or singles”.

And why not highlight any special amenities e.g. Hot tub, outside hot shower, super fast broadband, Jacuzzi, Apple TV, Netflix the list goes on.

The key is to highlight the things that will appeal to your target audience.

Example of a great title:

‘Surf Pad’ 400m to Beach & Harbour + WiFi & Netflix

Let’s break down why this is a killer title:

‘Surf Pad’ – Emotive, descriptive name for the property.

400m – The use of “4oom” instead of ‘close to’ or ‘nearby’ saves valuable title characters (you’ve only got 50 remember).

Beach & Harbour – Here the host is highlighting the property’s proximity to the key attractions in the local area. Also the use of ‘&’ instead of ‘and’ saves yet more characters.

+ – Yet more character saving gold.

Wifi & Netflix – With the property targeted at younger couples, mentioning these amenities in the titles is very clever too.

Notice also the use of capital letters at the start of each word. This helps to make your listing stand out that little bit more.

Example of bad title:

double/twin and private bathroom.

As you can see, nothing emotive in the title whatsoever. The host is outlining things guests can already select when they search with their filters. No mention of anything unique to the listing, and also fails to use the 50 character quota.

Rookie host mistakes to avoid:

All too often you’ll see rookie hosts using their location in the title.

Do not do this.

This is a total waste of valuable real estate. Your guests already know the location they are searching for, you don’t need to remind them.

How to construct a top converting Airbnb listing

Since you’ve obviously followed my above steps for creating a killer featured image and title 🙂 you should now be expecting people to be flocking to our listing.

We’ve done the hard part by getting them here. Now we need to push to seal the deal.

When your guest is searching for a place to stay, they want as much information as possible before booking.

And that my friend is exactly what we are going to give them.

We are going to highlight everything that they could ever want to know about your place. And we are going to do it in a fun, compelling way that builds a relationship, and trust, each step of the way.

You see, the language and tone of your writing can instantly connect you to your guests (like I hope I’m doing with you now! Ommmmm).

So don’t be all formal and stuffy. Be light, have a bit of fun, be captivating and give them an insight into the real you.


airbnb summary

We are going to use the same method we used to create your killer Airbnb title.

Highlight your USP’s (Unique Selling Points) and elaborate on them. You only have 500 characters so don’t waffle.

Think about your target audience, and make sure it is written with their needs and likes in mind and not yours.

The summary is the first thing that every guest will read when they view your listing. So make it exciting and don’t be afraid to put some of yourself in it.

The Space

my space on airbnb

Use this section to describe in detail the space that your guests will be using.

Information to provide:

  • How many rooms?
  • How many floors?
  • Does it have carpet or hard floors?
  • How big are the rooms?
  • Does it have a TV?
  • How big is the TV?
  • Does it have a gas or electric cooker?
  • Does your property have a staircase? If so what type?

What we are trying to do is to create an accurate online description of your property. This doesn’t mean that it has to be boring, but it does have to clearly explain what your guests are actually booking.

Don’t be afraid to mention things that might be unsuitable for certain guests too.

For Example:

  • Your property could be a top floor apartment with lots of stairs.
  • It could be at the top of a really steep hill.
  • It could have no parking. etc. etc.

Although this could be seen as negative, it will help in avoiding renting your place to the wrong type of guest who won’t appreciate the steep hill or tight spiral staircase.

mountain top house

So, save yourself a headache, make sure to mention any of these in the description of your space.

Guest access

airbnb guest access help

This title is a little confusing, but what Airbnb wants you to outline is not how the guests will access your property, but what your guests have access to, at your property.

So if you have any areas off limits or any lock up storage at your property, be sure to mention it here.

Detailed description

This is where we need to change gear, and be a little more formal. Only a little…

Guests do want to know certain things about your property and it is up to us to make sure that we provide all of that information.

Don’t be afraid to use things like bullet points, and try and break up your paragraphs as much as possible. People find it much easier to digest information when it is laid out like this.

Interaction with guests

airbnb guest interaction tips

Your guests want to know how much interaction they are going to have to have with you. Will you be present in the home with them? Or do they have exclusive use un-interrupted.

Either way, make sure your guests know exactly what to expect.

It’s also a good idea to list all of the different ways they will be able to contact you in case of problems; Email, text, call, pigeon etc.

The neighbourhood

airbnb the neighbourhood

What is is like in your neighborhood?

Is it a bustling, multicultural inner city suburb? Or is a quiet, tranquil neighborhood surrounded by trees?

Whatever it is, highlight the very best things about the area you live in.

Getting around

airbnb getting around

Pretty self-explanatory really. Just give a brief rundown of how your guests can get around to see the sights and experience your city/town. Be it by taxi, bus, train. You get the picture.

Other things to note

airbnb other things to note help

Do you have pets in your house? Or do you have any other things unique to your property that you need to let your guests know? If so, put that info in here.

It can be a good idea to highlight any local walks or things to do in this section too.

House rules

Your house, your rules.

Just remember, keep it light. Your guests don’t appreciate being lectured to before they’ve even booked.

My personal tip for listing creation

Airbnb gives us lots of different text fields for a reason.

They want you, the host to fill them in.

So make sure you are an obedient little host and fill in as many of the listing fields as possible.

Airbnb knows what information your guests need, which is why they rank listings higher that have all the fields populated.

Now I’m not saying to just chuck a few words in each field just for the sake of it.

Again we need to make sure that each field is filled in with the same care and attention that we did for our description.

How to take killer gallery photos for your Airbnb listing

It’s scary how many listings I see with terrible photos.

To think of how many potential guests these hosts are turning away is frightening.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Follow my steps below, and you can be sure that you will maximize your impact, and give yourself the best possible chance to convert more bookings.


  • Get your hands on the best quality camera you can.
  • Take all images in Landscape mode (very important).
  • Make sure your property is immaculately clean.
  • Make sure your cushions are puffed, bedsheets are crease free, windows are sparkling etc.
  • Fill your space with as much light as possible. Take your photos in the morning or afternoon to avoid glare.
  • Turn all lights on when taking your photos.
  • Take heaps of different photos from different angles. Don’t be afraid to take a ton of shots as we are only going to be keeping the best.
  • Enhance your images with photo editing software (ask in comments if you need more info).
  • Get creative.
  • Make sure to give the best representation of you place.
  • Don’t be afraid to throw in a few shots of your area e.g. beach, town, landmarks etc. Don’t include too many, but just a few to keep things interesting when your they’re scrolling through your gallery.
  • Showcase at least 20 photos.
  • Create interesting captions for each of your photos. If you find yourself getting stuck, why not use an inspiring quote, or better still you can put in guest reviews. Great for building social proof.


  • Use a crap camera, or worse still, your phone.
  • Take photos in portrait mode.
  • Shoot photos at night.
  • Just take 4 photos and call it a day.
  • Upload blurry photos.
  • Fill your house with clutter.
  • Have people in the images or your pets for that matter.

If you follow these rules and put them into action you will notice the difference to your listing views and ranking immediately. I can’t emphasize enough just how important killer photos are to your success on Airbnb.

The importance of great reviews


Airbnb became the beast that it is today by solving the unique trust issue of:

a. Renting your house out to a complete stranger


b. Staying in the house of a complete stranger.

Other companies tried and failed, but Airbnb solved this with their review system.

By allowing both the host and the guest to review each other, Airbnb was able to bridge this trust gap, and the rest is history. Look at where they are now!

So, great reviews are not only crazy important for your ranking, but they are invaluable when building trust.

Achieving great reviews doesn’t have to be a lottery. There are certain steps that you can take to maximize your chances of getting 5 star Airbnb reviews.

But for the purpose of this post we can safely say that great reviews have a direct impact on your ranking.


Now, if you follow the steps that I’ve outlined above, you are well on your way to increasing your ranking on Airbnb, generating tons more bookings and adding $$$$’s to your bottom line.

However, there is one metric above all others that Airbnb uses to rank your listing.

Above all of the points above combined!

Do you have any Airbnb ranking tips or tricks that I’ve missed?

Is there anything you’d like me to cover in more detail?

Just hit me up in the comments.

Remember, I answer every comment personally.

About the author 

Rowan Clifford

Hey, I'm Rowan.  I'm a bit of a nerd, and froth a little too hard when it comes to Airbnb. And, I LOVE anything that makes my life as a host easier and more lucrative (which is pretty much exclusively all I write about on this blog). Tools, tips, tricks and sneaky hacks are my kinda thing...

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  • Awesome article Rowan. Can’t wait to put it to work. How long does it take before I start to notice a change to my rankings?

    • Thanks Dane. No problem. Depending on the current condition of your listing you should see results immediately. As your listing improves so to will your click through rate which has a huge impact on your Airbnb ranking. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see results. Thanks Rowan ✌️

    • Hey Zuzka. There is no exact answer here. A high booking rate eg. Above 3%, is an indicator that your prices are too cheap. I aim for a booking rate of approx 1.5% – 2.5% and adjust my prices as demand fluctuates. The key here is to find the right balance. I aim to be booked: 100% 7 Days out. 80% 14 Days out and roughly 50% from about a month onwards.

  • Hey Rowan,

    I love your Blog! I am managing 20 properties here in Germany and found really good stuff here. Thank you for your time and the dedication to write this all down.
    This is a really a fun and exciting business.

    You are welcome to stay at my place whenever you are in Germany. Greetings!

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