If you decide to rent your property to tourists, Booking.com is to become your best friend. There is probably no easier way to rent your apartment in the short term than to place your listing on Booking.
What makes Booking so good for property owners?
First of all, its popularity, ease of use and the fact that a day after the listing is created you can start using it.
Although when it comes to short term apartment renting, people generally think of AirBnB (which is also a great property rental channel), Booking is still more popular.
How is Booking ranking different from Google or Youtube ranking?
Two basic differences make Booking and similar sites different from Google search:
- The location, date, and number of people are entered instead of phrases
- Booking will only show apartments that are not already booked
This is exactly what makes the results vary from day to day, so you can see that your rankings jump tens or hundred places per day.
How to rank better on Booking?
Several factors can affect Booking and increase your visibility in listing (or improve your ranking), and it all starts with creating your profile:
Fully completed profile
Booking will boost listings that have a full profile. The measure for “how complete your profile is” is called “Property page score” and the goal is to make it to 100%. You will accomplish this by providing: over 10 high-quality images, tagged by category; breakfast images; details such as the languages you speak; details on how the keys are handed over; the environment in which the accommodation is located; what the accommodation contains, and other information.
Booking will send you a letter addressed to the location of the listed accommodation containing the code that needs to be entered in the provided field in the admin panel to verify your listing. Fortunately, Booking will give you plenty of time to do this.
The average rating, as well as the number of reviews, certainly influences your rankings (not only on Booking but on all sites). For this reason, it is very important that you get good ratings, which will be achieved first and foremost by a welcoming attitude towards the guests and accommodation that is fully consistent with what the guests saw on your listing on Booking.com. You may also consider asking guests to leave you a review, especially in the beginning (Booking will not show reviews until you have collected at least 5).
People often, in addition to the standard search, filter some other advanced options such as parking, free wifi, massage and especially breakfast. If you have noticed, Booking especially expresses the option if breakfast is provided in the apartment, and it seems as if it can create a kind of preference for such accommodations. For this reason, a properly completed profile is very important to take advantage of all the options you have to offer.
Also, the impression is that Booking is increasingly ranking apartments that are being rented more often. Booking wants satisfied guests, and a large number of reservations that are accompanied by a good average review rating is a signal to Booking that you offer exactly what the guests want.
If Booking notices that there are a lot of cancellations, your listing may not rank well, but if someone has booked your apartment and then canceled in the last-minute, Booking might react in such a way to promote your accommodation to “compensate you for the damage”.
Also, Booking often ranks better accommodation that offers free cancellation.
What we have just mentioned could also be considered as flexibility, and the same goes for reservations. If you allow for last-minute bookings, late check-in or check-out as late as possible during the day, there is an opportunity to rank better in searches like this.
Booking also likes to give more visibility to accommodations that offer some discounts (especially to logged-in users). Often, the Booking itself offers a specific type of discount that the account administrator can accept or decline.
This is a very important option, which greatly affects the visibility of your accommodation. Visibility Booster is an option that Booking offers to listing administrators. The administrator can decide how much commission he wants to pay. The default commission is 12% and can be increased by up to 30%. The higher your commission, the more the Booking will show your listing to your potential guests.
Genius loyalty program
“Genius” is an exclusive program that Booking offers only to selected partners (with top ratings, high bookings, and few cancellations). With a 10% discount, Booking will more often show your accommodation than others, especially for longer stays.
What else can you do?
Of course, in addition to ranking well in Booking, there are other things to think about:
Increase conversion optimization
The ranking is one thing, and how many of your profile visitors you will be able to convince to book your accommodation is a completely different story. The biggest impact, in addition to price, review, and location goes to the description and especially the pictures. So, make sure you have the best possible picture and description of your accommodation.
Rank your listing on Google
It is not realistic that your apartment will be ranked #1 for “Apartment Paris” search on Google, but you can try to rank for so-called “long tail phrases” such as “apartment in Paris with parking”. To achieve this, in addition to the name of your apartment, in its title when creating listings, put in the specific things you offer that you want to target (breakfast, massage, parking, etc.).
Besides, you can work on link building for your apartment, and you can create so-called “local citations” in order to improve the ranking of your listing.
Make your own website
Your website will hardly be able to cope with global giants such as Booking or AirBnB, but it can help you with two things in particular.
Your returning guests in the future are likely to make a reservation through your site, which sets you free from paying a commission.
If you do any type of PPC advertising, you can again avoid paying commission to Booking.
While there may seem to be too many options at first, it is not difficult to get your accommodation listed on Booking. So, if you haven’t done it already, create your account, and good luck!
If you know something we don’t know, we’d love to hear it in the comments.