Every agent aspiring to build a strong digital presence wants to get an answer to the most important question: How long does it take for real estate websites to rank in the top 10? In this post, we’ll take a look at what it takes to land on the top positions for your most important keywords in 2020.
If you do some online engineering to find how long it takes for real estate websites to rank high, you’ll see there isn’t a definite answer. Webmasters may share their experiences but in each case, the timeframe will be different. Likewise, SEO experts will say that nobody can give you a precise answer. There are just too many factors (including the ones we don’t know about) to know for sure.
So how to find it out then?
The team at Ahrefs tried to analyze the top ranking pages (taken randomly) to see what differs them from under-performing websites. The insights aren’t shocking but can help site owners set realistic expectations about how long it might take to rank high.
It’s good to remember, though, that there are more than 200 ranking factors search engines use in their ranking algorithms. This post takes only domain age and the time needed to get on top into account.
How long does it take for real estate websites to rank high?
It’s true that older domains tend to rank higher than the new ones provided other factors are equal. However, it doesn’t mean your website has to be 20 years old to rank high, but a few years do make a difference.
Research shows that websites that are at least 2+ years old are more likely to rank in the top 10. This means it’s very hard – but possible – to land in top results with a brand new website. According to the same study, just 22% of pages with a domain age of 1 year made it into the top results and even that number gets smaller when further analyzed (more on that below).
How long does it take to get on top?
Further research by Ahrefs showed that only 5.7% of pages landed in the top 10 results for a particular keyword within a year. However, it makes little sense to draw any conclusions on this metric because it also depends on the keyword in question and the monthly searches it has. It’s so much harder to rank for a popular, high-volume keyword since your competition pursues the same goal. Ahrefs shows that of those 5,7%, only 0,3% managed to rank in top 10 for a particular high-volume keyword within a year!
So what does this mean for your website? More than 95% of websites don’t land in the top 10 for their best keywords within a year. Unless you have exceptional SEO knowledge and experience, it’s not a realistic expectation.
This means the older your website gets plus the harder you work to boost your domain authority (e.g., with link building and traffic), the sooner it’ll get higher in SERPs. As we have seen, in most cases it takes at least a few years – exactly how much will depend on your particular case.
How do you land your real estate website in the top 10 faster?
We’ve outlined the most effective local real estate SEO techniques in one of our posts, Get on the Map: 23 Ways To Ultimately Master Local SEO, so make sure you aren’t missing out anything important.
In addition to those must-use techniques, it really helps to work on the following.
1. Go for longer content
Longer content ranks higher. It makes every sense: a 2,000-word post usually carries more valuable information than a 300-word one. Since search engines prioritize valuable content, they favor longer content since it’s much more likely to be helpful to users. In other words, the more detailed and longer content you publish, the better effect it has on your real estate SEO.
Another benefit of longer content is you can naturally include other related keywords you’d like to rank for, both short and long-tail ones. As we’ve already seen, short keywords have the highest volume but they’re extremely hard to rank for quickly. At the same time, long-tail queries are less popular, but they’re typed in by people who are more sales-ready (e.g., 1-bed apartment to rent in Temple Bar Dublin). And this can have a direct relation to the number of your online leads.
But… if something you have to say should be short, keep it short where it suits the context.
2. Include LSI keywords to your content
LSI keywords stand for latent semantic indexing keywords. In a nutshell, it’s a complicated name for a group of keywords that carry a similar meaning to the keyword you’re targeting. To find these keywords, type your target query in a search and scroll to the bottom of results or you can use this free tool. For example, these keywords may look something like this depending on your query:
All you have to do is include these keywords to your content where it makes sense. This will help you rank for similar queries too.
3. Earn more backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors. The more backlinks you have, the stronger your positions online will be. Just remember that you need to focus on earning backlinks from websites with high domain authority. Spammy backlinks can leave your site penalized.
Here are some resources you can use to get started:
4. Use the year in your title
A lot of queries naturally include current or next year. If you include the year in your title (and content), it’s another signal to search engines your content is relevant and new. Of course, you don’t have to do this for every post but where it suits the context naturally. Chances are big these posts will rank much higher.
P.S. Don’t forget to update the post next year!
5. Use target keywords in the URL
A super easy, yet effective SEO hack is to always include your target keywords in the URL for the page. This can be done in your CMS in a few clicks and will help search engines index your content faster. Also, it’s better to keep the URLs as short as possible.
6. Optimize your images
Apart from being a great visual aid to your content, images can also help your real estate websites rank higher. Add your focus keywords as ‘alt’ tags to send yet another signal that this page is all about valuable info in a given niche.
It’s equally important to optimize your images properly before uploading them to your site. Image compression is a great way to reduce the size of an image so the page can load faster. Not sure how to do this? Here’s a step-by-step guide: Real Estate Image Optimization 101: Lightning Fast Site & Stronger SEO.
7. Link to other sites in your content
Where it reinforces your message, link to other valuable resources that will be helpful to your readers. Outbound links are an important ranking factor too. Google favors sites that prioritize information and are open to sharing info from various sources.
SEO is a long-term game. Hardly anyone knows how long it takes for real estate websites to rank in the top results, but you can definitely speed things up if you get serious about it. Commit yourself to dedicate some time each day on enhancing your website’s SEO and your efforts will pay off for sure.