Airbnb Case Study, SEO Optimization, March 2020

Introduction: Airbnb Case Study

I know many of you reading this know who I am. Hi!

Many of you I have contact with routinely. And, many of you have never purchased a Super Host Listing Optimization.


Because you don’t have to. I make that very clear. If you have the time, then all my “secrets” are online and publicly available. I’m not concerned about making the most money I can nor about competitors…who, to this day, oddly, are non-existent.

My ultimate goal is to improve the Airbnb experience for both hosts and guests.

I’m saying that to say this: THIS IS NOT A SALES OR MARKETING ARTICLE.

Do not buy a Super Host Listing Optimization because you read this article. I only want to document a tiny, little, infinitesimally small portion of the successes I perform on a daily basis.

With that out of the way, let’s jump in.

Enjoy the show 🙂

What Is The Super Host Airbnb Listing Optimization?

I also should recognize that some people reading this may not know me, nor even be an Airbnb host…yet.

Let me explain my flagship product: Super Host Airbnb Listing Optimization.

Unfortunately, the easiest way to describe what I do is to compare it to an industry that I despise: SEO.

Basically, the service is designed to increase your rank on Airbnb.

It does that directly and indirectly.

Directly by making effective and efficient changes to the entire listing. I do these changes personally and everything is recorded or saved (text, settings, photos, etc.).

This tells the Airbnb algorithm that this host is now active and ready to accept a guest, and, maybe, more importantly, trying to improve and learn.

Oftentimes, you’ll receive an Airbnb reservation or inquiry within hours of my finished product.

I noticed this when I worked for a local Airbnb property management company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

My bonus was tied to the performance of our Airbnb listings and so I was incentivized to increase the bookings. The largest incentive was at the poorest performing listings and so I would make changes to these struggling listings and see a booking.

Well, it didn’t take long for me to notice the trend and start to leverage my analytical side to understand what was going on behind the scenes.

That is the direct part of how I increase your Airbnb search rank.

The indirect part of increasing your search rank is through conversion. I do this through many standard and developing strategies.

In fact, most people don’t know that I only do Airbnb property management for a very select few Airbnb hosts (never more than five) mostly to test out new strategies and products.

Let me highlight one of these strategies counter to the common knowledge. Airbnb, and many Airbnb experts, will have you believe that more photos are better for search.

While there might even be a correlation, I look at this differently. While it may be better for search, it’s worse for conversion.

Do you want a bunch of views or a reservation? Do you want to rank #1 without bookings or #10 with bookings?

Because when you have a bunch of photos, you also must consciously decide the order, the photo captions, the cover photo, etc.

Mostly, Airbnb hosts do this wrong and the guest doesn’t see the best photos because they don’t make it to the 35th photo.

Or they’re confused by what they’re looking at.

My listings will have typically between 10-20 photos, giving the guest more information as quickly as possible, which can be thought of as an overarching theme of my Airbnb strategies.

How Do I Measure Return On Investment?

I measure the total amount of revenue at two points, as you will see below.

Just before I start the Airbnb listing optimization, I will measure the current revenue from this month and all future revenue.

That is to say, all the revenue from the month I do the optimization and forward from guest reservations (ie no refunds, resolutions, etc.)

The second measurement is taken one week, or seven days after the listing optimization is completed.

I use these two measurement dates to compare and contrast the amount of added revenue from guest reservations in the week following the optimization.

I will then compare this to the average nightly rate over the next 90 days to get a percentage to better compare the results from the unique Airbnb listings that I optimize.

For example:

Day 0: $1,500 current and future revenue

Day 7: $2,000 current and future revenue

Average Daily Rate Over The Next 90 Days: $75

In the above example, the listing made $500 in the week after my listing optimization.

However, some listings have a nightly rate of $500, as is the case for the Airbnb listing in this case study. If I were to quote the dollar amount (ie “this listing earned $3,180”), it would be misleading for the average Airbnb listing around $100 per night. Though, I do track both.

Fun fact: the highest amount of revenue earned in this 7-day period was $22,367 for a listing in Miami. This represented $20,665 more than the week prior to optimization, which is also a number I started tracking about 2-years ago to understand what revenue the listing made without my help.

Of the current and future revenue that I track, I also will figure out of that amount, how much was booked in the 7 days prior to the Super Host Airbnb Listing Optimization.

In the case of the $22,367 Airbnb listing, $1,702 was earned in the week BEFORE my listing optimization. This gives me more confidence that my Airbnb Optimization service is truly an investment.

Back to the main example. To make the numbers comparable, I’ll divide the total amount of revenue in the week following my work ($500) to the average nightly rate of the next 90 days ($75). In percentage terms, this example listing earned 6.6x or 667% ($500/$75) of their average nightly rate in the week following my listing optimization.

What Was The Return On Investment?

The listing I’m documented in this case study is located in Hermet, California. The Super Host Listing Optimization was completed on March 15, 2021 around 11am.

Average Nightly Rate: $500

90-Day Availability: 63 days

Current Revenue: $0

Future Revenue: $0

7-Day Trailing Revenue: $0

Below is a screenshot of the current revenue, note the date. Usually, I would narrow down the current revenue to only the month of March, but in this case, as there was $0, it’s one less click for me.

case study airbnb super host listing optimization hermet california current revenue

Then, I click on ‘Upcoming Payouts’, to note all future revenue, as the screenshot below shows. If there are multiple listings on the same account, I would further narrow down the results by selecting the specific listing. Again, since the revenue is $0, in this case, it is one less click for me. #efficiency

case study airbnb super host listing optimization hermet california future revenue

Fast forward seven days…and a few hours…and it is now March 22, 2021 around 5pm when I took the second measurement and did a final check of this Airbnb listing.

You’ll notice two, single-night reservations at the same price. This means whatever Smart Pricing tool they’re using is not effective. In this case, the host was using Airbnb’s Smart Pricing which does not do a tremendous job pricing out individual nights. March 16th was a Tuesday and March 19th was a Friday. These should not be booked at the same price.

There are some highly sensitive areas that I do not actually change, I only make a recommendation. Pricing is one of those areas. For Elevate Host purchasers, I’ll actually connect the listing to a smart pricing tool and make the initial adjustments which we will go over on a live phone call at the end.

Nevertheless, the host got two bookings at $1,028.

results case study airbnb super host listing optimization hermet california current revenue

Next, I’ll click on the “Upcoming Payouts” tab, and here’s what we see.

results case study airbnb super host listing optimization hermet california future revenue

To summarize the results after seven days from the Super Host Listing Optimization…

Current Revenue: $1,028

Future Revenue: $2,156

Total Revenue: $3,184

As there was zero revenue earned in the seven days prior to the optimization, I attribute it all to my work.

Lastly, to get a comparable percentage, I will divide $3,184 (total revenue earned within one week from optimization) by $500 (average nightly rate over the next 90-days).

This host earned 6.4x her nightly rate or 637% of her nightly rate ($500 x 6.4)

If you want a rough estimate of how much you could expect to earn from my Super Host Listing Optimisation to understand if it might be worth it for you, please click here.

Can I Expect The Same Results On My Listing?

Given the unique nature of every market, Airbnb listing, and the Airbnb host, I cannot make any guarantees as it relates to a return on investment.

However, since 2017 I have been tracking 100% of the Super Host Airbnb Listing Optimizations and can say with good certainty that about 80% of the listings will receive some return (ie at least one booking) within the measurement period.

To be extraordinarily clear, that means about 20% of Airbnb listings do not see any return on investment within the measurement period.

For the most part, these hosts still can see the value brought to their Airbnb listing and are still satisfied with the new, shiny Airbnb listing that is clearly superior to their prior listing.

In a future case study, I will add in before and after photos of the title, the text, the photo layout, and some settings.

Additionally, as a Super Host Airbnb Listing Optimization purchaser, you are granted a few bonuses including lifetime priority support on both chat and email. I only ask that you reply to the delivery email so that I know to prioritize your email.

Why Does Airbnb SEO Work?

While everyone is focused on more listing views, keywords, and trying to screw the Airbnb guest with a strict cancellation policy, I take a softer approach.

How do I both attract the right guests while repelling the wrong guests? How do I increase the guest experience?

I want the perfect guest. Just because a guest wants a hot tub or to see the Eiffel Tower from their window, doesn’t mean your listing is perfect if it has those things. That guest could turn out to be a nightmare. There are strategies to repel the nightmare Airbnb guests.

I focus on the conversion rate or the percentage of guests who see your listing AND book your listing. I do not care nor measure listing views (see below).

Some years ago, an Airbnb host tested me. They had two nearly identical listings and hired me for the Super Host Optimization on one listing. The end result was a shocked Airbnb host.

He investigated with Airbnb support to understand why two identical listings are producing such different results and here is the answer from the host paraphrasing Airbnb support:

airbnb support proves that airbnb listing optimization works to increase airbnb search rank

What About Airbnb Listing Views?

Your Airbnb listing views don’t matter and here’s why.

Other Testimonials?

You’ll have to partly take my word for it when I say that I get TONS of positive feedback from website chats, Instagram messages, book reviews, product reviews, emails, media mentions, etc.

Only recently I started promoting some of this positive feedback on my Instagram account. Below are some screenshots I’ve saved over the years from happy customers. These are all unsolicited emails that the Airbnb host felt compelled to write on their own volition.

Here is an email from August 9, 2016, basically one of my very first purchasers. At this time I did not offer the Super Host Listing Optimization, only an information report similar to the Advanced Host Listing Optimization with suggested changes to implement on your own Airbnb listing.

Todd Zusman airbnb advanced host listing optimization feedback

And, another….

Tami Johnston airbnb payouts up 30% after using optimize my airbnb listing optimization

And, another…

Kathleen Zamsky unsolicited review of daniel rusteen of optimize my airbnb seo service

How To Buy A Super Host Airbnb Listing Optimization?

My Super Host Airbnb Listing Optimization is valid and suitable for about 90% of Airbnb hosts. If you think you’re in the top 10% of all Airbnb hosts, then you can send me your Airbnb listing link and I’ll have a quick review to let you know if your money will be well spent.

There are times where I will not work with Airbnb hosts in this capacity because it’s a waste of my time and their money.

This can also come in the form of a refund if, after doing a detailed review of your listing, I decide the benefit is not there.

You can purchase a listing optimization from me at any time to get a spot in line. There is typically a delay of about 10 days (and this has only been increasing). If you want to purchase one in advance, when you are ready, you will most likely be the first in line and I’ll work on your Airbnb listing next.

Have you paid for an Airbnb Listing Optimization? Share your experience below.

About Danny Rusteen

Starting in 2012, Danny has been an Airbnb employee, Superhost, and Airbnb property manager. Danny lives in Airbnbs (2,000 nights). As a guest, Danny has traveled to 36 countries and sifted through thousands of Airbnb listings, so he knows what makes a listing stand out and how to offer a world-class experience to your guest. Follow his journey.


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