Learn how to improve your ranking on Booking.comDecember 23, 2019・2 min read
If you want more bookings, you must first get your listing to the top of search results. This can be a tricky job, since the mechanics behind rankings aren’t very clear. They can be an issue to even the most experienced vacation rental professionals.
Not that long ago, guests would spend an entire day browsing through flyers and brochures before choosing their trip. Nowadays, booking an accommodation only takes a couple of clicks, which is why it's so difficult to win customers over in a short amount of time.
The science behind search results
Like many other websites, Booking.com tracks our queries, clicks and interests in order to show relevant suggestions.
But unlike Google, which stores a very detailed profile of each user, Booking.com makes use of a wider set of data based on different circumstances. For instance, your rental will never show up in hotel searches, but you can still achieve a good ranking for guests looking up rentals to stay.
Optimizing your listings
Every vacation rental professional wants first place in search results, but very few actually know how to achieve this. There are a couple of ways to do it, which are largely dependent on how much you’re willing to sacrifice.
The most cost-effective way to attain a better ranking is by improving your listing content. Take high-resolution photos of your rental and include all commodities in detail. Not only is this recommended by Booking.com, it also has a direct impact on your property page score, which in turn affects your ranking.
There are other strategies that may result in additional bookings and subsequently a better ranking. For instance, consider thinking long-term when adding your availability. This will guarantee that your rental shows up for guests who prefer to plan things ahead and choose future dates.
You should also invest in building rapport with guests by actively communicating with them and giving them special offers like included breakfast. Positive reviews will go a long way in increasing your overall ranking.
Programmes and opportunities
If you're part of those who are willing to pay a little more commission, you may have a couple more options at hand.
The Visibility Booster makes your rental stand out on dates of your choosing, which can be particularly useful during periods with higher demand. If you want bookings on specific dates or your occupancy is lower than usual, you can use toggle this option to improve your ranking temporarily.
The higher the commission, the more your ranking will improve. This is a win-win situation for both you and Booking.com, though it comes at a cost.
Additionally, if your rental is part of the 30% high-performing properties, you might meet the requirements to join the Preferred Partner Programme, which grants exclusive perks for its members. There are multiple criteria: you need to have a high review score of 7.0 or more, a high conversion rate and very few cancellations.
Perks include more visibility, a “thumbs up” sign next to your rental name and up to 65% more views. All of this will greatly improve your ranking for just a slight increase in your commission. To know if you’re eligible, simply go to the “Opportunities” tab in your Extranet.
If you don’t feel comfortable paying more, consider improving your listing and providing guests with the best experience possible. There are several ways to rise up to the top, but you should only do whatever you’re absolutely comfortable with.