The Inside Guide to Building a Listing That Ranks Well
Mar 12, 2021 | 5 minute read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

How well you rank on FishingBooker directly affects how many people see your listing. But how does our website choose which listings to put first? And how can you use this to your advantage?

We’ll walk you through the main things our ranking system looks at and show you how to use them to strengthen your visibility. We’ll also share some tips about why your listing may rise and fall in the search pages depending on the day you’re searching. 

Read on to get our insider’s guide to building a listing that can reach the front page – and stay there.

What to Focus on to Boost Your Listing

Improving Your Reliability Score

You’ve probably already worked hard to grow your reputation as a reliable captain – but this work doesn’t always show up online. But did you know that reliability is actually one of our main ranking factors?

The reliability score measures how likely captains are to honor their commitments to customers – whenever the conditions allow.

If you need to cancel or decline a trip because of something that could have been avoided – such as a double booking – this decreases your reliability score, as well as your ranking. The best way to stop this from happening is keeping your calendar up to date, so you only get bookings for dates you can commit to.

Good to know:

  • You won’t lose your visibility for being safe! Canceling a trip because of bad weather or an extenuating circumstance is penalty-free.
  • If your customer cancels a trip, this won’t affect your ranking.
  • If you don’t reply to a booking request within 24 hours, your request will be automatically declined, affecting your reliability score. Check your notifications regularly to keep your bookings, your customers, and your ranking!

Getting Instant Book

Enabling Instant Book gives you an immediate ranking boost. This feature relies on you keeping your calendar updated – when you have it, your bookings are automatically accepted. 

This means it helps your ranking twofold: with the initial boost, and by increasing your realization rate as you accept more bookings. 

That’s why keeping your availability up to date is essential. If you cancel four bookings because your calendar and listing weren’t up to date, you’ll no longer have access to Instant Book.


  • Having Instant Book doesn’t mean committing to accepting short notice bookings. Instead, you can choose the minimum number of days notice you’d like for new bookings by updating your advance notice settings.
  • This ranking boost applies when people look for dates that are instantly bookable according to your settings. For example, if your short notice period is seven days before the trip date and someone looks for a trip eight days in advance, they will see you ranking very well. But another person looking for a trip only six days before the trip date won’t see you so prominently – because your Instant Book feature doesn’t apply to them.

Collecting Reviews

The more great reviews you get from our customers, the better you’ll rank. Having 12 or more verified positive reviews will give you the biggest boost, but every little helps. 

You can even get the ball rolling by inviting your previous customers to review you. This doesn’t affect your listing as much as having reviews from FishingBooker customers, but it can help you get started.

Good to know:

  • Getting a bad review doesn’t automatically cause a major ranking drop. Our system looks at your average score. 

Updating Your Commission Settings

Commission isn’t the most important ranking factor, but it does affect your position. You can set it anywhere from 10-30%, and a higher commission percentage means a bigger ranking boost.

While raising your commission can be a quick fix for improving your ranking score, the way to stay towards the top of the search pages is to focus on your realization rate once you start getting bookings.


Matching Your Rates with Your Other Online Advertisements

Our Best Price Guarantee promises customers that they won’t get overcharged when they use FishingBooker. That’s why our system drops any listings it finds that are charging more on our site than elsewhere right to the end of the search results. 


  • Whenever your rates increase, make sure to update your website and your FishingBooker listing at the same time to avoid an unexpected ranking drop.

Other Things That Affect Ranking

Your Location

Each search page is focused around a place – a city, state, country, or region. How close your listing pin is to this place affects how well you rank there. You will show up in the search results for any location that’s within 30–40 miles of your listing pin. But the further away you are, the less strongly you’ll rank.


  • If you depart from more than one boat ramp or dock and don’t know which one to use for your FishingBooker listing, we suggest you choose the one that’s closer to the center of town. This will help you in the rankings and also show customers that you’re easy to find.
  • Always make sure you’re advertising a point that you realistically can start your trips from. Otherwise, you risk bad reviews from confused customers who can’t reach you!

The Date of the Trip

A lot of the questions we get about ranking are from captains who can’t find themselves on the search pages. Do you know the single biggest reason for this? The search date. 

Our system tries to show customers charters that are available when they want to go fishing. So, if the date you’re searching for is when you’re out of season or already booked, you almost certainly won’t show up. Remove the date from your search, and you’ll be back in the search results!

These are the main factors that affect your listing’s ranking. For more details, learn about all the ranking signals here.

We want to provide a level playing field for fishing charters, and to give every legitimate charter operator the chance to advertise their business. That’s why realization rate, review score, and Instant Book are such important parts of our ranking algorithm.

This means we know the captains who have given our previous customers a great experience will be promoted in the future. Follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll secure your listing’s spot in the rankings, too!

If you want to learn more about boosting your listing, check out our comprehensive guide to getting more bookings on FishingBooker. 

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