February 8, 2018

How Great Listing Photos Can Influence Your Search Rankings

In a previous blog post we highlighted the importance of quality photography for your short-term rental listing. It can have a huge impact on your income, in terms of both the quantity of bookings and pricing. High-resolution photos show the guest what to expect and give you an opportunity to highlight the view, rooms, amenities, and all the personal touches that make your property so much better than your competition. While high-resolution photos taken and edited by a professional photographer can ultimately influence and raise your booking rates, there’s another thing to consider.

Getting Clicks

Like with any other form of eCommerce, the listing photo is always a determining factor in getting a customer to click on and view your listing. Without that click you’re never going to get booked. An educated click is even better.

Imagine you’re shopping for shoes on eBay. If the price is within a few bucks, which listing would you click on: the pair of shoes with the picture blurry and fuzzy, or the pair with a clear, sharp closeup where the colors pop, on a white background so you can get a clear idea of the quality? Most potential buyers, of course, are going to click on the listing that looks like the seller cares about the sale. Same goes for potential guests. Better photos equal more views. More Views = Higher Rankings = More Views While search results are influenced by many different factors like reviews, volume of bookings, and pricing, it all starts with the guest clicking on your listing. The more clicks you get, the higher you rank. The higher you rank the more views you get. Both Airbnb and VRBO/HomeAway have search algorithms that influence where a listing turns up in overall searches in your market. Overall views into your listing can highly influence your overall ranking.

From AirBnbWhat factors determine how my listing appears in search results?

 “To understand how guests have responded to your listing in previous searches, we look at numerous signals, but two important factors are: Clicks in search results: When a listing is shown in search results, we consider it a good sign if a guest clicks on that listing to learn more. To ensure that this is fair for our whole host community, we make sure to only count clicks from different guests.”                                                    

From HomeAway What are Ranking Metrics?“Total Page Views This is the total of all views a listing has had over the last 30 days and your listing’s market rank for total page views. Every single time someone views your listing it will be counted towards the total, even views through mobile devices. To help increase your page view total you can improve your listing's content and/or photo quality, consistently receive reviews, and keep your rates competitive.”

While your listing title, price, and rating will influence that first click, a high-resolution photo sells the overall experience of your property. Just as importantly, the more professional the photo, the more views you’re going to get. More views drive up your ranking.

Ultimately, this is another reason a professional real estate photographer is so important for the long-term success of your listing.

Your Photos Can Probably be Drastically Improved

Most hosts don’t even realize that their photos aren’t that great. Advances in photography have made digital photography available to everyone, so most people take the free route and use their smart phone to take the listing photos. Don’t do this! You’re missing out on bookings by trying to do it on the cheap. Get proper listing photos from a professional photographer, and pay the extra money for HDR processing. Take a look at some more before and after photos that illustrate the significant difference. 

For more information about our free professional photography at Voyajoy go to www.voyajoy.com

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