Looking for a home away from home? Or maybe you want to pop a squat a little bit more on the wild side? Airbnb is no stranger to the hospitality industry – often cited as a first mover in the anti-hotel hotel space. Airbnb was able to uniquely capture a segment of the travel-eager audience and give them unique experiences and stays outside the ordinary.
Gone are the days of copy-paste hotels, and run-of-the-mill rooms. When booking your next getaway with Airbnb, the stay is just as exciting as the adventures that lie ahead. However, as primary and secondary competition rises, Airbnb’s organic mobile marketing strategy may need some improvement to offset it.
Today, the app is the destination, and it’s even more fitting for Airbnb to take advantage of it through App Store Optimization (ASO). Here’s how Airbnb can take its product page to the next level to gain more downloads, remain more competitive in the app stores, and grow its presence as the leading choice in stays.
Airbnb App – App Metadata
As one of the leaders in home and room rentals, Airbnb holds a unique advantage over its competitors. With flexible options ranging from boutique hotels, whole houses and other unique places to stay, Airbnb is able to garner a large audience for its diverse set of offerings. However, notable competitors like VRBO, Onefinestay, Agoda and plenty of others are starting to adjust their product mix to mimic Airbnb’s.
Airbnb’s first-mover advantage definitely helps drive traffic to their product page, but nearly 50% of all conversion and download opportunities lie within feature/functionality search queries.
So if a user were to hypothetically type in “home stay” in the search bar of either of the app stores, and Airbnb won’t appear in the top 10 search results, it loses that opportunity to one of the competitors that did.
Optimizing app metadata fields across both app stores helps gain that crucial search real estate. In reality, most users won’t look past the top 5-10 results once they initiate a search, so ensuring you have the keywords that help provide visibility is crucial.
Here are some areas of opportunity our ASO agency has found:
Airbnb App Title
App titles are one of the most heavily weighted fields in the indexation process across both app store platforms. They serve as a vital touchpoint to users for branding cues and features. While a branded title helps drive users to make a decision to download through brand recognition, having a branded title alone leaves about half of the opportunity on the table.
While titles are more overtly there for relevance on the user-facing side of things, they also work to grow your visibility on the app stores. For iOS, the title works together with the other metadata fields (subtitle and keyword bank) to create search phrases to rank for. Ensuring these fields are filled with relevant keywords is essential.
App title tags are an invaluable asset in developing and building out your metadata fields. A title tag is usually the app name + relevant keywords that describe your app. This method of keyword optimization leverages the power of one of the most heavily weighted metadata fields to help an app rank for targeted keywords. Competitor VRBO uses a title tag by tacking on "vacation rentals" to their app name.
Establishing a targeted keyword strategy can be difficult without visibility on what users are searching for in a particular category or need set. With ASO tools & technology like DATACUBE, Airbnb can see detailed information and data not only from their users, but see key insights into competitor performance as well.
Airbnb App – App Creatives
Now more than ever, creative assets like screenshots, videos, and app icon designs are crucial in driving conversion. With changing store experiences, creative assets can drive the difference between a download or a pass.
Here are some areas of opportunity:
Airbnb – Screenshots
Currently, Airbnb uses some ASO design best practices for app store screenshots like emphasized UI, use of handset, and in-app imagery. The first three screenshots are crucial in showcasing key features, as most users don’t go to the product page before they download the app. Right now, Airbnb’s screenshots showcase a new feature without showing much of what the app does. This could potentially alienate new users who may not be familiar with Airbnb’s key value proposition.
Airbnb makes waves with or without the ocean with its unique approach to stays and rentals. But as app competition rises, it’s vital for them to have ASO best practices enacted to maintain their moment on the app stores. Through a better store presence, Airbnb can continue to grow above the competition and attract more users to their app.