2022 Northeast Ohio Weatherhead 100 Winners: How Are They Doing in SEO?

SEO for the Fastest Growing Companies in the Cleveland Area

Each year the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University awards the fastest-growing companies in Northeast Ohio. The Weatherhead 100 winners are those companies that  have the biggest growth in net sales over the past five years—from at least $100K to $1 million.

We took a look at the Top 3 Winners in that category, with sales growth from 2017-2021, to answer the question: do companies with the fastest growth in the Cleveland area benefit from a high Google rank? Has their website not contributed significantly to their growth?

Weatherhead #1 Fastest Growing Company in Northeast Ohio: Fuzion Sports


Fuzion Sports grew by more than 995% in sales and 1,500% in employment between 2017-2021. The company provides customized, quality, branded apparel and accessories.

First off – congratulations to this company for their achievement. I have been the recipient of 2 Weatherhead 100 awards in the past, reaching the teens at best, and steady growth like this over 5 years is really something to be celebrated.

Clearly, a company’s website is not the ONLY marketing vehicle that matters, and sometimes it isn’t even one of the most important marketing tools. Nor is it a requirement that every company rank well in Google’s search.

In fact some days I wish nobody had to worry about Google at all. It’s a tough life to constantly be chasing rankings!

But still, we are going to take a look at how well Fuzion Sports is doing in Google and see where they could use some help.

According to our analysis of the Fuzion Sports site, these are the keywords that they are most likely interested in:

  • corporate gear
  • custom apparel
  • corporate apparel
  • custom yeti
  • custom nike
  • soccer uniforms

Results: Current Google Rank of these Keywords

Assuming these keywords are actually relevant to this company – and it’s pretty certain they are – here is how they are ranking today.


We have never spoken to Fuzion Sports’ marketing personnel, so we do not know their actual marketing strategy. But these results seem to indicate that Fuzion does not proactively market themselves via Search, or at least they don’t view Search as an important part of their marketing strategy.

Traffic from search has grown in the past several years, but it’s mostly branded traffic, not from keywords that are high-intent.

We think the main reason for lack of rank on these keywords is a lack of helpful content. For example, the website often uses the term “gear”, but they don’t rank in the first 100 positions in Google for the term corporate gear, which is a high-intent keyword their audience likely uses. Their main navigation uses the phrase “Quick Custom” to direct users to their product catalog. What does that mean?

If they simply changed that keyword to “Custom Apparel” or “Corporate Gear” or something related to keywords their audience is using, they might get a higher rank – and more sales.

The site does have a Top 10 rank in Google on these keywords. But most of them relate to Fuzion Sports’ customers. Each customer gets their own portal and shopping area, so that page will often show up in Google’s first 10 positions for at least a while.

Weatherhead #2 Fastest Growing Company in Northeast Ohio: Powdermet Inc


Powdermet grew by more than 821% in sales and 657% in employment between 2017-2021. Employing more than 20 people in the Cleveland area, it is a nanotechnology and advanced materials research and development organization.

According to our analysis of the site, these are the keywords that they are most likely interested in:

  • nanoengineered composites
  • toll processing
  • nanocomposite metals
  • microcomposite metals
  • energetic composites
  • cermet thermal spray coatings
  • thermal spray coatings
  • thermally engineered alloys
  • engineered diamond powders
  • nanopowders
  • niobium alloy powders

Results: Current Google Rank of these Keywords

These keywords are very specific and represent a niche market, therefore they do not represent large numbers of monthly searchers.


Again, the results indicate that Powdermet does not proactively market themselves via Search, or at least they don’t view Search as an important part of their marketing strategy. In my opinion, however, it wouldn’t take an enormous commitment to an SEO program to start moving the needle on these niche keywords. Some simple updates to tags and content within the existing pages would likely start moving the needle.

For which keywords does Powdermet rank? Well, not many – and all of these are branded keywords:

Weatherhead #3 Fastest Growing Company in Northeast Ohio: Roofsmith Restoration


Roofsmith Restoration grew by more than 459% in sales and 787% in employment, and is a roofing and gutter company specializing in roof replacement, restoration and repair.

According to our analysis of the site, these are some of the keywords that pertain to their business:

  • roof inspection
  • roof replacement
  • roof repair
  • storm damage roof
  • commercial roof maintenance
  • commercial roof repair

Results: Current Google Rank of these Keywords

This particular company targets specific geographic areas – such as Cleveland/Akron Ohio, so they are most likely interested in gaining a high rank in Google’s Local Map pack, as well as a high rank for geographic limiters such as “Cleveland” and “Akron”. So, in our ranking analysis we took that into account, checking the site’s rank for these keywords within the Akron, Ohio market.

The site ranks well for commercial roof maintenance, with a #5 Rank in the Google Map Pack, but otherwise is not in the Top 10 for some high-intent keywords. The site does rank in the Top 10, however, for some long-tail keywords that are likely bringing in some good traffic:


These fast-growing companies in the Cleveland/Akron area deserve all the accolades they get for their accomplishments, and we wish them well. While every site isn’t going to benefit from a high Google rank, nor should every company place SEO and search engine marketing in their marketing plans.

We find it interesting that highly successful and high profile companies do not necessarily have a high Google rank. There is certainly far more to success in business than building website traffic from organic search. But, it doesn’t hurt to consider adding it to every company’s marketing mix – it just might drive even bigger, faster growth.

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