One thing I noticed early on was that real estate photographer Bill Bayless (realestatephotographer.us) was very hard to beat in the Google ranking of the term "real estate photographer". It wasn't a problem beating him in ranking of the term "real estate photography". The obvious thing that stood out was Bill's domain name that had the search term in it that I was trying to beat him at. Bill and I talked a lot about our relative ranking. I found out that he'd had the domain and real estate photography site much longer than I'd had PhotographyForRealEstate.net. The thing that always amazed me was that for a couple of years he would always rank above me even though his content was almost static. I'd be doing 4 or 5 posts a week and still be below Bill.
This experience demonstrated to me that Google values sites very high for a search term if that search term is contained in the domain name. I finally got higher ranking for "real estate photographer" than Bill gets but it took me several years of continuously fresh content that had those key words in it.
Here are two other examples of the power of having your search term in your domain name;
It's not hard to see the pattern here! The most powerful thing you can do to get top Google ranking for a given search term is get a domain name with the search term in it. Having the search term in the domain name is clearly more important than having fresh content, but it appears to be less important than the length of time a site is in google's index.
As a real estate photographer you can use this fact to focus your ranking for searches in your local area where you work. For example SeattleRealEstatePhotographer.com, PortlandRealEstatePhotographer.com or in general YourcityRealEstatePhotographer.com will instantly get you at the top of searches for real estate photographers in your local area. As more and more people learn how to use google to find what they want this will be more important.