If your direct competitors enjoy consistent higher rankings on other OTA channels such as Airbnb, Stayz and Booking.com, and you only rank higher to be a featured property once in a blue moon while offering seemingly the same conditions and rates, it is not a matter of luck, but a smart OTA SEO strategy is using Aabode.com Premium.
Your success for a diverse OTA channel distribution strategy starts not with having just an amazing property with all the millennial “wants and needs” to create the best possible stay experiences at the centre of your region.
Indeed, it starts with good visibility of your property in online search results.
Online SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about making your listing appear on the first search result page. Not all property owners/managers can boast of excellent SEO skills or afford expensive hard to measure digital advertising campaigns. To get an advantage in the vacation rental marketplace, you first need to learn how search algorithms work and then be able to use this knowledge to the advantage of your property.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the art of pushing your website to the very top of a search engine result page. In the core of a search engine lies an algorithm that assesses the relevance of a website and eventually determines its appearance in search results. For instance, Google’s search algorithm exploits over 200 factors from website content and locates its position.
What is OTA channel SEO?
Similar to Google,OTA’s such as Airbnb, Booking.com , Stayz , Expedia search engine displays the best and most relevant listings on the first search pages. With over 3 to 7 million listings published on each of these OTA platforms each has designed a proprietary algorithm that evaluates properties and determines their visibility in their own search results. This algorithm relies on predefined rules to analyze all actions that happen on a listing (both positive and negative ones) and gives your property a total internal score.
A formula to calculate a listing’s score is simple: one positive event gives +1 point, while a negative event deducts 1 point from the total internal score. The higher the internal score, the better will be the listing’s position in the OTA search results. The OTA’s are constantly monitoring your listing and will register all events that occur within it. Every single action that takes place on your listing affects its internal SEO score, either positively or negatively. When your listing is clicked and scrolled through, when your rate is updated, when there are no actions at all for a long time – Google and the OTA’s records everything and brings it into play. Internal factors are all about the attractiveness of your property proposal to guests, while external factors take into consideration user behavior, meaning what people do when they see your listing.
External factors (registered user behavior) include:
- Clicking through: This criterion counts the number of users who clicked on your listing when it appears in search results along with other similar proposals.
- Conversion: This criterion compares the number of users who end up booking your longing and the number of users who just viewed your listing but concluded a deal with another host in the same area.
- Bounce rate: This metric reflects the number of visitors who only quickly viewed your listing and left it without performing any actions.
- Exit event: This indicator registers how prospects move through your page before leaving it such as whether they read reviews, click on photos, adding your page to their Wishlist, etc.
- Average book time: is an indicator calculating how much time on average a user spends on your page before placing a booking.
- Direct linking: This index evaluates the percentage of users who directly land on your short term listing through URLs provided in Instagram, emails, messengers, and other external websites.
Internal factors that have an impact on your OTA ranking:
- The age of your listing: The longer you publish on any OTA Channel , the more credible you seem to its search machine.
- Response rate: You will relish in increased customer traffic on if you reply to enquiries ASAP or allow instant book as much as possible
- Listing head and description: The algorithm analyzes keywords in the title and the description of your listing to weigh its relevance to the inquirer.
- Positive reviews and ratings: The five stars and lots of good reviews lead to a higher ranking position.
- Available amenities: The more comforts your property features, the higher it will appear in any OTA channel search results. Think of adding some add-ons like free breakfast, gym access, or guided tours as a part of a deal as well as fill and highlight your property with health & safety resources to boost your ranking.
- Price per night OTA’s are entirely guest-focused and value an owner with affordable rates and real discounts for prolonged and low-season stays.
- Cancellation rate: OTA channels will not love you if you cancel reservations without a good reason.
- Approval rate: While any OTA channel will always reward property owners and managers who allow instant bookings, it also punishes those who too often decline booking requests.
- Verified Property Ensuring your property is verified by OTA’s can raise your visibility in search results, too, as the platforms strive to exclude fraudsters from the business and gives an edge to those owners who are verified
- Keywords in photo descriptions: While guests will hardly read the names of your vivid photos, the OTA’s algorithm is very sensitive to all keywords used in your listing.
- Updated calendar: A regularly updated calendar is an important sign for any OTA channel that your availability is accurate, which means you will rarely reject or cancel a booking. Connect your Ical to Aabode.com to ensure this is not a manual process.
Why Aabode.com Premium?
A diverse OTA channel distribution SEO strategy together with any Aabode.com Premium listed property will turn all your OTA channel listings into a highly ranked property across all your chosen OTA channels . You will stay ahead of the competition as your property will consistently hit the best position in a search made by potential future guests..
To master the expertise required for smart search engine optimization on your own it is time and effort consuming as well as expensive.. If you want your listing to start generating the right kind of guests consistently and improve your digital advertising ROI then do not want to waste time with expensive trial and error with SEO, please consider the Aabode SEO team who know how to support your property to the top of any OTA channel search result page together with your Premium listing on Aabode.com.
Important for me to list just some of the many references for this article in addition to the over 100 case studies of Premium listed properties from June 2019 to March 2021