The Concept: Test SEO for Akron
K6 Digital Marketing tested how well our city of Akron performs in the Google search engine results page (SERP) for keywords and concepts for which Akron is supposed to be known.
By doing this, we are trying to demonstrate and show proof of a couple of key concepts:
- Does the rank of a brand, person or industry in Google usually match the strength of that brand or concept offline?
- Since Google is a fairly important gauge by which a brand is measured, is Akron represented fairly on the web in front of millions of people for key knowledge areas?
Our company has gathered data using scientific and unscientific methods. Living local for the majority of our lives in surrounding areas of Akron, we have knowledge about what makes Akron the city it is today.
We gathered information from local and nonlocal sources. We found some facts via the Akron Chamber of Commerce, as well as facts on general sources like Wikipedia. After gathering data, we used trusted SEO tools to research, find information, and create this report.
Based on our research, Akron’s claims to fame include the following industries:
- Rubber products, specifically tires
- Polymer products and polymer research
- Niche healthcare services, specifically neurology
Akron SEO Results in Detail – Bottom Line, Things are “OK”
Overall, we grade Akron a B- for brand positioning and share of voice within our circle of companies, industry trade sites, city resources and development organizations against our nation as a whole.
The results are mixed, depending on how a search is conducted. Certainly, a Google position is not the only – or even the most important – measurement of a brand’s effectiveness. But it is interesting to see how an organic search result compares to the overall brand weight of a particular idea.
Tire Manufacturing and Rubber
We started in the most obvious place: the rubber industry. The only major company in the industry that is still headquartered in Akron is Goodyear, which is also Akron’s largest private employer. Based on the company’s website content, Goodyear is looking to be known as both a tire manufacturer and a retailer.
The good news is, the company ranks in the Top 3 of Google for plenty of great keywords related to the retail side of the business, such as tire shop near me and tire places near me.
The Goodyear site also ranks #1 for the keyword new tires as well as many vehicle brands and tires, such as wrangler tires and honda tires. The site does not rank in the first 10 Google positions for the keyword tires. They rank #90 for rubber.
Speaking of rubber, the city of Akron is well-positioned in Google for the search term rubber capital of the world, a phrase that gets 1,000 searches per month. The entire first page of Google, or positions 1-10, is taken up by Akron references, from the Akron Wikipedia entry at #1 to a UK rubber distributor website at #10. We aren’t claiming that a focused SEO effort is the reason for this great position in Google, but content and an established reputation are extremely important in getting ranked.
According to the city website, Akron has the largest concentration of plastics and rubber manufacturing plants, machines, and materials in North America. Therefore it would make sense that some of the companies and institutions behind polymer research, development and manufacturing would rank in Google’s top 10.
The school is not doing quite so well for terms related to the field itself, ranking:
- #3 for polymer engineering. They are beating MIT but are outranked by Wikipedia and ScienceDirect.com.
- #5 for polymer science. The top-ranked site is a company based in Indiana called Polymer Science, Inc. Other sites that outrank the U of A include Wikipedia and a single page on the Wiley Online Library site.
- Not in the first 10 for polymer research.
Searching the basic keyword polymer companies Akron resulted in a company called Akron Polymer Products ranked at #1 in the Google Map pack. This site also ranks #4 for polymer products – but almost no other keywords in the Top 10.
There are quite a number of polymer companies in the Akron area, as the Google map shows:
The manufacturing of specific polymer products, such as low density polyethylene (LDPE), is a widespread and broad industry including very large corporations such as Dupont and other companies overseas. Akron does not have a huge amount of presence in these specific industries.
The #2 and #3 employers in Akron are Signet Jewelers and Sterling Jewelers. Signet is the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry with $7 billion in revenue and more than 24,000 employees. Sterling Jewelers is a wholly owned subsidiary of Signet, with 18,000 employees. Signet’s divisions include the most well-known retail brands in the industry, such as Kay, Jared, Zales and Blue Nile.
But how do they rank in Google? Quite well, actually. We looked at those top brands and some very high-level keywords.
For the keyword diamond rings, these 3 retailers dominated the first 3 positions in Google:
Zales – #1
Kay – #2
Jared – #3
For the keyword engagement rings, the same 3 retailers did not rank on top, but they were solidly in the middle of the page:
Blue Nile – #1
Jared – #4
Zales – #5
Kay – #6
It certainly pays to have a conglomerate! But Akron benefits from all that traffic, we suppose.
Niche Health Care
The top 3 employers in Akron are healthcare providers – Summa, Cleveland Clinic-Akron General and Akron Children’s Hospital. So it makes sense that we do a check on how well those organizations are doing in Google for keywords they should rank for.
Summa is the #1 employer in Akron, with more than 5,900 employees in the area. At the top of the home page of the site, they proclaim they offer Award-Winning Neurological Care. Does Google rank them well for these types of services?
Summa’s website has improved for many keywords over the past 2 years:
However, the site does not rank in positions 1-10 for any services related to “neurological care”. It does rank for 2 keywords related to symptoms of neurological issues:
neurological disorders that cause falling – Ranked at #3
neurological disorders that mimic stroke – Ranked at #4
Summahealth.org does rank at #14 for the keyword spine and neurological center.
As we point out in our Cleveland SEO article, the Cleveland Clinic, which has a major presence in Akron, has grown spectacularly in the past 2 years for Top 10 rankings across a wide range of keyword areas, and now ranks on Page 1 of Google for around 2.2 million keywords and more than 879,000 Top 3 rankings, such as these:
- They are #5 in Google for cardiovascular disease, only lagging behind large government sites like the NHS and the WHO
- They are #6 for heart surgery and #1 for heart surgeon, beating Mayo Clinic for both keywords
Summing It Up
Overall Akron is doing OK in the Google search engine results page (SERP). We could see a better presence for some manufacturing companies in major industries, and it’s a little disappointing that more of the R&D side of polymers isn’t very prominent. Please let us know your thoughts!
- We are an Akron/Cleveland area SEO and digital marketing agency.
- We are not employed by the city of Akron, its partners or any of the development organizations. Nor are we in any way affiliated with any of the top brands or entities we studied. None of them are clients of ours.
- We are not professional anthropologists or Akron historians. Therefore, we might be missing some important aspects of what makes Akron great and what Akron should be known for. If you want to make suggestions PLEASE do so, help us make this page better!