Owners are always looking for the secret to increasing reservations, but what really drives bookings? Is it luxe amenities? Professional photos? Or, maybe, it’s the location? While all of these factors contribute to your Airbnb success, there’s one key factor that’s responsible for the initial hook: a convincing description! The guest hook will be what really maximizes your bookings (well, and good management software for properties on Airbnb, of course). So how are you going to entice your guests to book a stay?
The sheer importance of good Airbnb copywriting scares away many hosts and corners them into hiring an Airbnb copywriter outright. While hiring a professional is one good way of securing a stellar description, it’s not the only way.
We’ve gathered all the top tips and secrets on how to nail Airbnb copywriting as well as some advice for hiring a professional if you choose to outsource it. Don’t neglect what really gets you reservations, like your Airbnb description and vacation rental software if you’re looking to increase your bookings.
What is copywriting for Airbnb?
From the name alone, hosts feel the pressure of producing an expert-level description if they want to get bookings at all. The good news is that it’s really quite simple once you understand what your guests are looking for. Better still, no two descriptions are alike, and creating a unique one is what’s going to help your listing stand out from the rest.
Airbnb copywriting can be described as an intentionally crafted listing description with a focus on search engine parameters and the guest hook. It’s going to be the words that attract your customers so essentially, the elevator pitch for your Airbnb.
Why does Airbnb listing copywriting matter?
The easy thing to do would be to write “two-bedroom apartment in the city center,” but it doesn’t reel guests in. Having a good Airbnb description is important, but it’s also a lot of work. Working within a tight count limit of only 50 characters and having to strategically choose every word isn’t going to take a mere 15 minutes.
Despite this initial effort needed, the payout is huge. A good Airbnb copy will help you to attract the right guest, improve your page ranking, and, the best part, get you more bookings! Let’s dive a little deeper.
Impress potential guests
The dream is to have all your clients come from word of mouth or have them search directly for your Airbnb listing, no work necessary. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Most of the time, you’ll be convincing complete strangers to feel comfortable enough to book a stay in a new town and a new accommodation. You’ll need to encourage newcomers to make a reservation with nothing to base it on except your Airbnb listing. Now good Airbnb copywriting skills make a little more sense.
You might be competing for the same weekend slot as a million other “two-bedroom apartments in the city center,” so how are you going to make yours stand out? Good Airbnb copywriting sets your listing apart from the rest while impressing all potential guests who land on your page.
Clearly communicate expectations
Your property can’t speak for itself, so you have to be the one to step in. Set the tone of what you expect from your guests in your description. This isn’t a place to lay out your house rules, but by positively demonstrating your property’s “vibe” you save yourself the trouble of having to over-clarify guidelines later.
Appeal to the right audience
In a similar vein, you want to attract guests who will fully appreciate what your property offers. You’re not just selling your property, you’re safeguarding your peace of mind. Let’s say, for example, you run a small cottage vacation rental outside the city. You see your property as a tranquil escape from the city, perfect for couples or quiet wanderers, while some travelers might see this as an opportunity to host a big friends reunion without being bothered by noise complaints.
Make your Airbnb listing more popular
Remember that your Airbnb ranking doesn’t follow quite the same pattern as a Google ranking. SEO still matters but in a different way. As an echo of Airbnb’s push for quality, your listing will be rewarded if it’s descriptive. Going straight to the source, Airbnb says, “Building a competitive listing starts with having a clear, accurate description of what guests will get.”
When your Airbnb copywriting is properly written, you stand a better chance of increasing your position in the Airbnb search feature.
Secrets to good Airbnb copywriting
By now you’ve realized the importance of a good Airbnb copy, but you still might be wondering what makes an Airbnb description special. Shy of hiring a professional, there are some tips and tricks that you can follow to be your own Airbnb copywriting expert.
Highlight your main selling points
Many hosts make the mistake of sharing too much or not enough about the property in the title. The recommended number of selling points for an Airbnb listing title is one or two maximum. If having a jacuzzi is a rarity in your area, mention it in the title. Putting your big sell front and center is what will catch the attention of potential guests.
On the other hand, you don’t want to overwhelm guests. If you make your title look like a laundry list, it will be too busy on the eyes and users will just move to the next listing. That’s why you should ideally strike the perfect balance between the two. Highlight your best features without going overboard.
Avoid fillers at all costs
Your description should say something about your property. Fillers and generic adjectives offer nothing for your guests. Using the wrong descriptive words can not only make your property appear generic, it can also come across as spammy. Your choice of adjectives needs to communicate a feeling of positivity without leaning on the side of falsity. Here are some words to avoid:
And whatever you do, avoid using “very.” When you use words like “very” to amplify or emphasize a point, all you’re really doing is wasting four characters that could’ve been better used substituting for a more specific word. For example, very good views can be better said as stunning scenery in the same character count. Your space is limited so describe wisely!
No negative words
Even when you’re trying to communicate a positive message if you say it in negative terms the effect is exactly that: negative. You want the experience to be positive for guests from start to finish, especially when you’re trying to encourage visitors that your property is the right one for their vacation.
For example, let’s say there’s a cabin located in the woodlands surrounding Nashville. Maybe the original description reads, “Quiet cabin far from the busy highway.” The first words that jump out are busy and highway, which carries quite a negative connotation despite it being a positive selling point. Let’s try again: “Quaint cabin tucked away in the Nashville woods.” You communicate the same message but with a much more pleasant tone.
SEO still matters
Airbnb boasts an intricate algorithm (around 100 factors) for finding guests the perfect property for their trip. The ranking system is fiercely accurate in terms of matching guests to suitable stays, but you need to learn how to hack it if you want to get any of the prized traffic.
Airbnb is transparent about what it takes to increase your ranking, all you have to do is follow the steps. The algorithm isn’t limited to description alone, but it is an important consideration. So what should you do?
Their website states, “The algorithm considers how often guests click on your listing, how often guests attempt to contact you from your listing page, and how many booking requests you accept. If lots of guests add your listing to their wish lists, it will also rank higher, and those guests will be likely to find your listing again in future searches.”
Basically, your listing needs to be click-worthy. The more clicks you get, the higher your listing goes. A catchy headline that actually gives details about your property is what’s going to attract Airbnb users to your listing and consequently increase your ranking on the search results.
How to find the perfect Airbnb copywriter
If you’ve never hired freelance travel writers before, you might wonder where to begin. Rest assured we can help! It’s more common than ever for freelancers to specialize in copywriting for one particular industry and Airbnb copywriting is no exception. Finding the right person in such a niche field can seem challenging, but when you know the right place to look, you’ll be well on your way to hiring the Airbnb copywriter of your dreams.
Personal recommendations & referrals
If you happen to have a network of friends or colleagues who also have vacation rental homes, a good place to start is by asking them for any recommendations. More often than not, property owners who have received a good service would be happy to pass on the contact details of the provider, especially as both parties may benefit from the deal.
Ask around amongst your peers for advice and referrals, or you can even start discussions on online forums for vacation rental communities and see what results you get. These discussions could be on sites where you list your vacation rental already like Airbnb or HomeAway, or on professional LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups or Reddit threads.
To dive straight in and find freelance copywriters to spruce up your site, try out online freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Speedlancer. Upwork is the largest and arguably the most famous tool out there for both professionals and businesses alike. You can skim through freelance writer profiles, read reviews about their work at a simple glance and see the kinds of rates they charge.
As freelance writing is quite a saturated market already, and even more so when it comes to sought-after travel writing gigs, you might even find that copywriters will fight for your attention with very competitive rates. Don’t settle for the first writer you come across, get to know the market beforehand and use writers’ ratings and work examples to make an informed decision.
Instead of choosing the individual for the job, you could choose an umbrella copywriting agency and have them handle the paperwork and decisions for you.
One option is choosing a specialized agency like GuestHook, which really knows their stuff when it comes to vacation rental listing descriptions). Alternatively, opt for a more all-bases-covered agency like Copify, which works with big brand names from across many different sectors and they will pair you up with a copywriter who’s right for your role.
Many of these services work on a per word or per post basis, so always check rates before you commit to hiring.
As well as using sites like LinkedIn for discussions, you can actively search for freelancers using the website’s advanced search function. What’s great about using LinkedIn is that your search results will be ordered by relevance to your network. That means if you have any mutual connections, they’ll show up in the top results, so you can ask your common connection to introduce you.
Equally, many independent travel writers or small writing businesses will have profiles on Facebook, Twitter and so on. Just type in your search term and choose the “Accounts” option on Twitter to find all the related results who use those keywords in their bio.
You can also search Twitter for relevant hashtags that freelancers are using – Productive Writers’ list is the perfect starting point.
By contacting freelance travel writers directly on social media, you’ll immediately strike up a conversation as a fan of their work, which in turn provides a great basis for building rapport and starting your professional relationship with them.
Airbnb is one of the biggest players in the vacation rental industry. Getting your property known and noticed on this major OTA could translate to serious booking success! All reservations must start somewhere and, with the exception of word of mouth or direct bookings, this is typically from your listing title and description.
Airbnb copywriting is going to grant you access to the number of bookings you’re hoping for. If you follow our industry secrets of highlighting your top-selling points, avoiding empty adjectives, keeping the message positive and integrating SEO into your copy you can expect increased Airbnb bookings in no time.
When you become a booking superstar thanks to your incredible Airbnb copywriting skills, you’ll need a reservation system to manage your incoming stays. Lodgify helps you to stay on top of your Airbnb bookings effortlessly. Test it out for yourself with our free 7-day trial.