From announcing new policies to launching Trips, a new product that will let travelers book experiences with locals, there have been a lot of changes happening at Airbnb.
Amidst these developments, the vacation rental giant is testing and unveiling website design updates. With a new minimalistic look, the Airbnb website is shifting the focus from some elements and magnifying others.
As vacation rental copywriters, we’re exploring what these changes mean for listing descriptions. Check out our takeaways, plus ways your copy may be impacted by the proposed changes.
Known for its human approach, taking the host photos out of the search results is a bold move for Airbnb, but it’s one that’s rooted in a fight against discrimination. With the host photo gone, you’ll now have more space for your listing description headline in search results (despite the fact that the listing title has been removed from other places on the website).
To best take advantage of this new update, target your headline to capture the experience of staying at your rental, with a key selling point hinted at if possible. Your guests are already searching by bedroom or guest count, so ditch the “2BR, 2BA” and cut to the chase: is this a lake haven for adventurers? A chic city spot for upscale guests? If you need help crafting a headline that pairs perfectly with photos to nail your rental’s experience, check out the recording of our webinar on the topic.
Be aware: long headlines will be truncated, so keep an eye on your character count. Try to keep your most important words at the beginning.
Another way Airbnb’s new updates place emphasis on your headline is by making it larger in your individual listing.
But that’s not the only copy that’s getting a boost. In fact, your entire listing description will increase in font size.
Now more than ever, it’s important to have a fluid, well-written description that’s appealing to look at on the page. That means no renegade punctuation, no TYPING IN ALL CAPS, and no messy structuring – all of which will be amplified by the new design.
It’s also important to keep your details concise. While the larger font size may make your descriptions more readable for potential guests, it will require even more effort from them to scroll through excess information to get to what they want to see. If you’re not sure what’s worthy of mention, try taking the Goldilocks Challenge to hone your description.
That’s right. In the new format, your glowing 5-star reviews are displayed even more boldly and proudly for the world to see.
But what if you have a few duds hanging around in your review section? Since this element now takes up even more space and features a larger font size, those could get more attention, too.
Luckily, so will your response. That’s why it’s even more important to make sure your replies are thoughtful and professional. Don’t engage in verbal warfare with your dissatisfied visitor. Rather, use this space to show potential future guests that you care.
Explain in specific detail how a complaint has inspired your rental to become even better than ever, whether it’s as simple as purchasing new linens or as drastic as an interior renovation. If you need a little more guidance in addressing negative reviews, we’ve got you covered.
So get to it! Take these changes into account and make your listing the best it can be. If you need a little help, give us a shout.