Airbnb Seo: what is it and why you should you use it

How your Seo knowledge can get you more booking on Airbnb

Airbnb is an online lease and lodging services powered by home owner around the world. It provides rental services like apartment, home stay, or hotel rooms. It follows the same online marketplace principles as Amazon and ebay, where buyers and sellers meet on a common platform to make a mutual transaction. It proves to be an effective interface between homeowners who are willing to capitalize on the vacant room, or shared room, or an entire home available at their disposal.

Moreover to fully understand the functioning and operation of Airbnb, it is highly advantageous to know the tip and tricks of SEO.
Airbnb uses an algorithm, similar to what Google uses to position a website on its Search Engine Ranking Page. If Airbnb listing is given the same care and attention as given to a website by an SEO expert, it shall definitely move up in the rental property listing.

Let us look at how you can increase the visibility of you listing inside of Airbnb.

Little things you can do by yourself to enhance your listing

Now that you have listed your property for potential tourist, let us find out how you can stay on top of your game by appearing in the first page of the listing.
Your listing was meant to be alive, ever-changing and responsive to climb up the ladder.
To do that, you have to ensure that you address customer query within 24 hours from when it was asked. Response time reflects that the listing is active and alive. The algorithm is similar to the Google SERP, where a site which is active is ranked higher than a dormant or relatively lesser active websites.

To enhance and demonstrate even higher activity on your listing, it is advised that you update your prices on monthly or bi-monthly. By doing so, you apprise Airbnb of the price change maybe in respect to spurt or drip in rental demands. Moreover, you can tweak the description or shuffle availability status every once in a while to up your listing.

Consequently, if you wish to further optimize your listing for additional business, you can enable the instant booking option. By doing this, you are allowing a convinced guest to book without waiting for an approval, thereby speeding the process. Additionally, you may synchronize your Airbnb account with other social media accounts, which provides credibility to your listing.

Lastly, make sure your addresses, email id, contact details are verified by Airbnb.
If you haven’t done it already, you are losing a lot business because guest perceives your listing as non-credible. As a result, a listing that otherwise would have been a hot listing has failed to do so because it was not verified by the host.

Use keywords strategically and understand your guest

Like Amazon is the biggest market place for online purchases, there are articles or items that are listed under specific departments. For instance, running shoes shall fall under the footwear department. Searches performed by potential buyers on Amazon is similar to query that is completed on Google search page.
It becomes essential for a retailers to make their shoes appear on first page. In order to do that, a little tip is to find the most searched keywords or the most popular keywords that is associated with running shoes. Once you identify those keywords, you incorporate those in the product title or description, to make it keyword optimized.

A similar analogy applies to listing of rental property on Airbnb. For a property to appear on the first page of the search result it must contain the targeted keyword. Therefore, it is imperative for a property owner to identify the query or search keywords that a potential guest uses to complete his/her query on Airbnb. To find the right keyword, it is essential to know your target audience.

Ask yourself: what is the best customer for you? Which kind of customer your property suits you most? Which kind of customers go to your area?
Make a research on the top 5 listings pertaining to the area of your property. Read the property description of the entire five vacation rental, you will find certain keywords that are oft-repeated and common to all of them. For instance, a property that is located in the coast of Los angeles, may contain words like proximity to Venice beach or perhaps the pier.

Therefore, it is evident that guests are putting forth their query in the form of landmarks or amenities, which can play a crucial role in determining the ranking of your listing. So, write a description that encapsulates the tourist and leisure spots in and around your vacation rental to make it pop when a specific experiential query is made.

Even if the lengthy description is not read by users, the search engine crawls and index those listings to appear when a query is made consisting of those keywords. Hence, it is a rule of thumb to ensure you identify and incorporate keywords that is significant to your listing.

How users’ interaction can help your visibility

One of most effective Airbnb seo method to help your listing surge to the top is by gaining 5 star reviews from guests who have checked in your property.
Interestingly, most of the tourists are more than happy to share a review, if you only casually request them. As you gather and rack ratings, Airbnb will boost your listing as feedback is the most influential factor a potential guest consider before making a decision.

Additionally, you need to make your listing desirable that tourists find your listing super attractive, so they end adding it to their wish list.
This action signifies that your listing is valuable and is in the last stage of decision making by a tourist.
An online marketplace is similar to real life market economics, where the demand of a product, in our case listing goes up when it is purchased and stocked by a lot of buyers. Hence, you cannot ignore the importance of wish list should you want to make your listing more visible within Airbnb.

Pro tip: If you have already have a guest who has taken your services as a host, you can ask them simply add your listing to their wish list.

Using Airbnb brand authority to your advantage

As your listing starts driving revenue and gain new bookings regularly, its time you take the word out to the street. Airbnb permits and promotes the idea of adding three different official badges to promote your listing independently.
Three types of badges that you get to promote your listing are Reviews, Ratings and Super-host badges. Like typical SEO tool, a snippet of code for each badge can needs to be copy-pasted into HTML source file of the website.

By doing so, it is a mutual gain for the host as well as Airbnb because the traffic from a specific website is diverted to the host’s listing that translates into bookings. To learn more about badges and widgets from Airbnb click here. Airbnb snippets can be coded on multiple websites, which can act as a backlink page for your website.

Search Engine Ranking Page position of Airbnb

Airbnb has become increasingly popular rental booking website among its users, however looking at it purely from a SEO perspective, it has catching up to do.
When a potential guest puts his query on Google, it is unlikely that Airbnb appears on the top of the search result. Doing a test with popular cities when specific queries were entered, there were mainly competing websites that took the top spot i.e 9% of the time and Airbnb appeared on the top result only 2% of the time.

You can read an article Airbnb SEO ranking here.

Not appearing at top of SERP is harming the business by about 40% and with the increasing number of host on Airbnb, this website is made to thrive.

Is Airbnb SEO all that great?

Although, Airbnb has its merits, there are certain drawbacks in its SEO algorithm that is not identical or similar to Google or any other search engine.
Unlike in Google, content is the not the king for Airbnb Seo, because the written aspect of the content is often times ignored by potential guest as well. It is an online marketplace and hence if a potential host has huge number of reviews, it is often difficult to compete directly against such listings, as review score trumps other form of listing position.

On the data metric there is only limited user information that a host has access to, as a results most of the host may risk to play it by the ear.
Number of views a listing get is the only significant data that Airbnb provides. Information relating to the heat map, user behavior or information of the guest is never disclosed. There are tools developed externally that can tackle this issue, however you need to have a specific Seo background in order to use it properly and efficiently.
Nevertheless, it is an amazing platform that has gained tremendous brand authority and is one of the hottest brands in travel and vacation space. What do you think about Airbnb and how was your experience there, as a host, guest or an SEO expert? Let us know in the comment section below.


Why your website may need a Seo Audit

What is Seo Audit and why you should perform that

SEO audit is running a check on the SEO health of website to ensure it does not contain errors that degrade the rank of the website on Search Engine Ranking Page. SEO is essential to help index and rank the website higher than its competitors, in every search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex etc. If left unchecked there are errors or technical redundancy that creeps into a website as it grows which hampers flow organic traffic.

SEO Audit is often considered secondary by many enterprises because of how we fail to acknowledge its benefit. Without an SEO audit, a website that enjoys a domain authority status may lose its significance to its thoroughly audited rival website.
You need to audit and rethink your SEO strategy because there is a constant flux in Search Engine algorithm, webmaster guidelines change, backlinks become toxic and contents get outdated.
The goal of a seasonal SEO audit is to identify weak points in your website and chalk out an actionable blueprint to transform the website, which if stringently followed helps boost the site’s SEO campaign.

SEO Audit

Is SEO Audit time-consuming?

Well, depending on the size of website and number of pages that are indexed an SEO audit may take time. This question can be answered metaphorically by considering SEO audit as a marathon not a sprint race.
Likewise, if the website has several technical faults, it may need an overhaul which can translate into several months before we can witness any results. However, if there are only cosmetic errors like structural data errors, mobile optimization requirements etc, these can be fixed within a couple of weeks.

SEO Audit

How to get started with an SEO audit?

SEO audit contains an exhaustive checklist that is extensive and requires scrutiny at many different levels and in many sectors of the digital marketing.

Hence, it is advisable to conduct an audit by an expert, a consultant who is well versed with each and every technical nuances of SEO. It is commonly observed that an audit is comprised of majorly four types of Audit.

Four important types of SEO Audit are

1) Technical Audit – making sure your site is well coded and runs fast
2) On-site Audit – full review and analysis of all pages for proper keyword use in all pertinent areas (H1-H6, title tags, content etc.)
3) Off-site Audit – analysis of back links and anchor text and authority and trust
4) Social Audit – review current mentions and visibility

To be precise Onsite SEO is more controllable and includes elements like Titles and Description, URL Structure, Text formatting, Content, Internal Link, Images, Banners, Ads, Page Speed, website structure etc.
Whereas Offsite SEO includes backlink profiling and competitor analysis. Ideally, it is convenient to start with onsite SEO as it directly affects the contents, appearance, load time etc which impacts user experience.

SEO Audit

Common SEO errors and how to solve them 

Content Issues – Includes keywords, url structure, title tags, meta description tags, meta keywords etc.
How to solve it?
Yoast SEO plugin is a tool that can be installed on WordPress assigns an identification color for each category of content posted on the website. If it strongly qualifies SEO content algorithm, Yoast assigns green, yellow for an ordinary SEO conformity and Red, if the content fails in most, if not all algorithm. It does have a free version which provides a basic understanding and a premium version which is paid and provides advanced level solutions.

Recommendation: Do not rely your entire SEO strategy and control on Yoast Seo. It is like having a mixer preparing you a meal. For sure you are going to have a decent one, but to get a tasteful meal you need a real chef who has a much more extended knowledge about the tools.

Indexing error – Errors relating to indexing is fatal to a site which includes page inclusions & page exclusion, redirects, duplicate content, broken links etc. To gain an insight on what these issues mean, you can find a description of the same here.

Which tools are the most effective?

One of the most effective tool for SEO audit is, hands down, Google Web-master tool. In order to diagnose the symptoms of an unhealthy site Google Analytics serves as an effective measure.
An analysis of the metrics laid out by Analytics can help trace the problems with the website such as bounce rate, plunge in traffic and from which source, page-load speed, mobile friendliness etc. Google Analytics is all the more essential when it is the first time that your site is audited for its SEO health. To start with, tools created by Google is free to use, do not have any usage restriction and are reliable to use.

Another amazing audit tool is Screaming frog, which conducts a comprehensive check to detect errors and technical defects in a website using a ‘page by page’ analysis.
Screaming frog has a paid and premium version, it is recommended that you opt for the premium version for the best results. Other free tools that you could try for an SEO audit are SEOPTIMER, ZADROWEB, SEO SITE CHECK UP etc.

Which one is the best? It is depending on the business and type of website. For a website that does an e-commerce business and a website that provides information, will have the differing combination of tool to complete its audit.

SEO Audit

Remember: Data should be considered from multiple sources!

When a site is audited there are various pivotal points of the website that are to be considered to provide a holistic overview. To stay competitive, it is important that every aspect of your site is covered in an audit; there is no single tool that microscopically detects every defect, hence a combination of software has to be utilised.

With all the free software available online, you do get a fairly accurate picture of the SEO health of your website. An auditor can analyse the data and draw a plan to target the areas of SEO that is doing the most harm for your website.

 Your starting point are your data

Additionally, when equipped with so much data, recommendation and plans must be properly analysed. They shall include strategies to better Keyword usage, Penalty removal, content recommendations, Link building etc.
By implementing these strategies, a website can witness significant improvement in its ranking, load time and traffic inflow.
However this requires frequent monitoring and analysis as there multiple changes taking place in the world of SEO. At the initial steps pertaining to the repair of your website, not only will the user experience be enhanced but also Google will respect it and boost its ranking.

SEO Audit

Should you audit your website seasonally?

An SEO audit needs to be done periodically, i.e Monthly, Quarterly or Biannually depending on many factors, such as growth rate of your traffic and of your sector.
There are several reasons to consider timely, scheduled and frequent audit because of constant changes in Search Engine Algorithm, revisions in Google Webmaster guideline, the expiry of content or content redundancy and aged or toxic backlinks.
Due to ever changing and dynamic SEO, the need to keep your site free from errors, in better conformity to algorithm becomes a necessity than a luxury.

Therefore it is best to keep your website updated and let it evolve with frequent audit and experience a higher traffic compared to your competitor.

Black Seo techniques: what are they and why cheap seo services harm you

Black Seo techniques

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is a series of unethical technique to boost the ranking of a website on Google Search Engine Ranking page. It is a trick employed to make the website appear valuable to search engine crawlers and spiders, which in reality is far from the truth. An effective SEO is to conform to the guideline of the target search engine, enhance user experience through amazing content, appropriate keyword placement and effective use of meta-tags.

Black hat SEO works in contrary to this principle by using keyword stuffing, incorporating invisible text and relying on doorway pages. Generally speaking, black hat SEO circumvents search engine rules and regulation, provides a tacky user experience and employees unethical strategy to cheat the SEO system by tricking search engine crawlers, bots and spiders. To find a complete list of Black hat SEO techniques that attempts to cheat search algorithm, click here.

Black SEO

How was Black hat SEO born?

With the internet age, came several technological start-ups that ushered the new face of modern civilization. Because of them our world is intricately connected and the information is one of the most vital resources available today.

Search engines were formed to provide compartmentalized and relevant information within the blink of an eye. The birth of SEO took place which laid down the guidelines for becoming a top ranking website for searches/queries made by the user.

As with any business, the owner expects faster and fatter cash-flow; because of his expectation, if not greed, a similar analogy has been applied in the world of SEO. Black hat SEO was the quick fix, the magical pill for website owners, who wanted to rank their website at the highest, faster, but without investing time or resources in it.

Black SEO

But my consultant tells me he can jump my ranking in matter of days, is this possible?

The World Wide Web filled with billions of website and at least thousands, if not millions in every most popular niches. Some of the common niches for website that has a lot of competition are Dating, Self-help, Food, Travel, Lifestyle etc.

Moreover it is becoming increasingly easy to create a website from scratch, because of the fall in the cost of acquiring a domain name, a host service and designing a website. As a result, it is definitely difficult and time consuming to put a newly launched website above the well-known and popular domain.

Although an effective, well executed SEO strategy can enhance the visibility of the website, it is safer to expect a 4-6 months of turn-around time. Professionals who overlook the importance of quality content, valuable & relevant back-links, accurate meta-tags etc which offers unique user experience rather focussing purely on quick results are most likely to be employing black hat SEO.

Hence, it is essential that you ask questions relating to an intrinsic value of the back-links associated with your website. You can assess the strategy by enquiring about the exact results such as time-duration or the exact movement in the rank page i.e incremental or exponential!

For anyone who is committed to optimize and elevate you the ranking on your site within weeks or months probably will be employing Black Hat SEO. The price you pay for it is a loss in quality, poor branding and the risk of being penalized by the search engines.

Black hat SEO

How do search engine penalize websites that uses black hat SEO?

With any open market, there are regulators to ensure that the market does not corrupt and tank due to malpractices. Similarly, google monitors and keeps a check on websites in order to provide a level playing field for every website.

If it detects a website that uses unethical means to climb to the top, this is arbitrary and unfair to the competitors who are providing real value to its users. Hence, by disincentivizing websites from breaching fair guidelines, most of the malpractices are prevented before it occurs.

Google uses harsh measure by de-ranking the website potentially pushing it to the end of Search Engine Ranking Page. In few cases, Google has completely deindexed websites that deployed Black hat SEO techniques.

Trolling motors lost 80% of their traffic i.e 800 visitors out of 1000 visitors because of Black Hat SEO.

Google has algorithm and set of codes that determines if a site is exercising unsound SEO practices.
Moreover recently, the effort of search engines in finding whether or not websites are using black seo techniques has increased.

However, if you, as a person wish to identify whether your competitors are operating on similar principles, there are paid tools and few subtle hints that if carefully observed, could help you confirm your suspicion.

Easily, the best method to identify this, by analysing the back-link profile of a website using tools like Ahrefs, open site explorer. If most of the backlinks come from an irrelevant source, then it may be a sign of poor-quality and fabricated backlinks.

Certain redundant methods like right-clicking on a web-page and hitting select all, reveals hidden text, that are employed to deceive both bots and users.

Black hat SEO

Is it smarter to mix white and black hat SEO for optimum impact?

With loads of information, misinformation and ill-advice there are lots of misguided website owners who fall for the short-term efficacy of black hat SEO. It is a dream, a wish for any business or website owner to be on the top of SERP, and not giving in to the temptations available becomes difficult, if not impossible.

You may have witnessed certain sites take off to the top on the search engine ranking page, but most of us overlook the rate and depth of failure attached to this unethical approach.

BMW, JC Penney, Forbes, Newsday and Overstock were swept by Google.

Keep in mind that using a combination of black hat seo with white, is same as deploying a strategy solely based on black hat SEO and the repercussion for both, is the same. Therefore, never opt for any unethical practice despite how attractive it may sound.

Black SEO

Do not confuse ingenuity with dubiousness

There are lots of misconception about the legitimacy of a SEO technique, and due to pronounced misinformation, some of the black hat SEO strategy has been misinterpreted as an effective secret method of branding and marketing.

Sites like WordPress, BBC, Rap genius, you heard right fell into the obnoxious trap of Black hat SEO.

Creatively mastering SEO, utilizing quality and relevant back-links with out-of-the-box on-site optimization must never be confused with unethical practise as the line between the two are clearly demarcated.

Seo and Sem strategy should be creative in order to guarantee good results and ROI, but an Seo expert must always study and be wary of legitimacy of the technique he employs.