The Concept: Test SEO for Cleveland
Our goal was to test how well our beloved city of Cleveland performs in the Google search engine results page (SERP) around industries for which our city is supposed to be known.
For example, if Cleveland is truly the “Rock & Roll city”, we should rank well in Google for keywords related to “Rock and Roll”. Of course, that’s somewhat exciting – but Cleveland is also known for some industries that are not quite as dynamic as rock.
Cleveland has a long history of steel production, world-class healthcare and insurance. Our Cleveland area companies and organizations should rank well in Google for keywords related to those industries.
Via this experiment we tested a couple of concepts:
- Does the rank of a brand in Google usually match the strength of their brand overall?
- Since Google is a fairly important gauge by which a brand is measured, is Cleveland represented fairly on the web in front of millions of people for key knowledge areas?
We tested a list of keywords we built by using a number of scientific and unscientific methods. All of us are from the Cleveland area and most of us either grew up here or have lived the majority of our lives here.
We pulled information from Cleveland sources including the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Team NEO, the Port of Cleveland and other business development resources in the area. This revealed quite a number of fascinating niches that are currently in development for our area. We also pulled information from non-Cleveland sources, such as Wikipedia and other general knowledge bases.
We then used well-known industry SEO tools to analyze the companies’ websites, discover current keywords and Google rank and create this report.
Bottom Line: The Results
Overall, we grade Cleveland a C+ for brand positioning and share of voice within our circle of companies, industry trade sites, city resources and development organizations.
Cleveland scored a solid A in these areas:
- Health Care
- Jet Engines and Aeronautics
- Paints and Coatings
- Personal Insurance
- Rock and Roll
We did less well in these areas:
Cleveland SEO Results in Detail: The Winners
Our biggest SEO wins are in some of the older Cleveland established markets and industries, like manufacturing and insurance.
Sherwin-Williams dominates the local map pack with its stores and has a #1 position on the first page of Google for paint store and paint store near me.
NASA’s Glenn Research Center (Cleveland) ranks #1 for ion propulsion and #2 for warp drive:
The Rock Hall of Fame is #3 in Google for rock and roll (and #4 for the word rock). The Hall of Fame is on Page 1 of Google for many rock artists, like Joan Jett (#8), Tupac Shakur (#7), Buffalo Springfield (#3), and Buddy Holly (#5). They do not rank in the Top 10 for Elvis Presley or for The Beatles.
The Cleveland Orchestra, ranked the number 7 on the list of the world’s greatest orchestras, ranks #7 in Google for the word orchestra.
Progressive Insurance makes a strong showing in the insurance industry, as they are in the Top 5 in Google for car/auto, motorcycle, life and home owners keywords representing hundreds of thousands of monthly searches.
We estimate that Parker gets 250,000 visits per month from more than 50,000 keywords related to its business of Motion and control technologies (they are #7 for the keyword hydraulic). Meanwhile Eaton and Swagelok both add tens of thousands of additional visits per month to their respective sites from similar keywords related to hoses, fittings and fluid power.
The Cleveland Clinic is known around the world for leading technology and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and University Hospitals is a major employer and has the #2 ranked Children’s Hospital in the nation.
The Clinic 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.
Importantly, they have made progress against competitors like the Mayo Clinic for important terms:
- 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
- Interestingly, the Clinic ranks #4 for monkeypox, a keyword that gets 3.4 million searches per month
But there is still room to grow. Some of the ways the Clinic is
- The Clinic ranks #4 in Google, behind Mayo, for cardiomyopathy
- They rank #9 in Google, behind Mayo, for cardiac surgery
- They are not on Page 1 of Google for cardiology, while the Mayo Clinic is #9
Cleveland SEO Results in Detail: Decent Showing
Steel and Healthtech
Steel has been a staple of Cleveland manufacturing for more than a century. Results were mixed for keywords related to the steel industry.
ArcelorMittal Cleveland is one of the most productive integrated steel-making facilities in the world and the ArcelorMittal site ranks on 3,800 keywords that bring in 38,000 visitors per month to the site. However, neither the corporate website nor the Cleveland section of the site rank for any high-volume general keywords like steel or steel-making, nor does it rank for any of the specific keywords for what this Cleveland steelmaker produces (hot-rolled, cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized sheet, etc.)
Cleveland has been noted as an up-and-coming health technology (HealthTech) economy, and Forbes has written that it could be the next next tech hub. According to the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor website there are at least 160 companies in the HealthTech industry.
Case Western Reserve University ranks #4 in Google for sociology. It also ranks for more than 7,700 keywords related to engineering – including the functional search engineer salary (#6), which receives as many as 27,100 searches per month.
Cleveland SEO Results in Detail: Poor Showing
Cleveland boasts some large companies in other areas of manufacturing, such as bearings, specialty chemicals and power management.
Our largest manufacturing companies, however, are not well-represented on Google for large keyword areas, or for keywords that appear to be important to them.
Lubrizol Corporation – one of Cleveland’s largest employers, Lubrizol bills itself as “a provider of specialty chemicals for the transportation, industrial and consumer markets.” Their Home page Title tag is Specialty Chemicals – The Lubrizol Corporation. However, they do not rank in the first 10 positions in Google for the term specialty chemicals.
Applied Industrial Technologies – employing 6,600 people, Applied is a large distributor for several industrial markets. Howver, they do not have a Top 10 ranking for most generic terms that fit in their catalog (such as power transmission, bearings, and couplers). However, they do rank in the Top 10 for several branded terms of the manufacturers they represent (for example, they are #9 for bailey hydraulics and in the Top 10 for several Dodge products).
Eaton Corporation – although no longer headquartered in Cleveland, Eaton still has a major presence in Northeast Ohio. The company markets itself as a power management company for both “electrical and industrial” applications. However, eaton.com does not rank in Google’s Top 10 results for the term power management. They do rank #2 for power inverter and #9 for power distribution. Both keywords represent thousands of monthly searches.
Cleveland-Cliffs – North America’s largest flat-rolled steel producer and supplier of iron ore pellets, and based in Cleveland. However, clevelandcliffs.com does not rank in Google’s Top 10 for steel, rolled steel products, iron ore, Iron ore mining or iron ore beneficiation.
Summing It Up
In summary, we have made some good strides the past few years, gaining ground in some areas in which Cleveland truly excels. But, there are some definite areas that need improvement. Our SEO team has routinely discovered that this is true for many brands. Are you leaving business on the table because you haven’t uncovered areas that your competitors have? Give us a call to learn more.
- We are a Cleveland area SEO and digital marketing agency.
- We are not employed by the city of Cleveland, 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 Cleveland historians. Therefore, we might be missing some important aspects of what makes Cleveland great and what Cleveland should be known for. If you want to make suggestions PLEASE do so, help us make this page better!