Cleveland Family Owned Businesses – Are They Ranking in Google?
Cleveland is home to some large, quality family-owned companies that collectively employ 30,000+ people. We set out to discover how well these companies rank in Google for their primary lines of business.
We used Crain’s List of Family-Owned Businesses from 2022 as our beginning source to conduct our research. Crain’s Cleveland published the list on June 9, 2022. We selected the top 3 companies for this research. We then used well-known industry SEO tools to analyze the companies’ websites, discover current keywords and Google rank and create this report.
The companies we analyzed were:
Minutemen Cos – Describing itself as a group of HR-related companies and one of the largest private employer service organizations in the United States, Minutemen provides HR support, staffing and related services nationwide. We analyzed two of their sites for this research: the Minutemen Staffing website at minutemeninc.com and the HR website at minutemenhr.com.
MTD Products – MTD designs and manufactures outdoor power equipment such as lawnmowers and snow blowers and has several well-known brand, such as Cub Cadet. The company was acquired in December 2021 by Stanley Black & Decker. Since the company’s individual brands are more prominent than the parent company, we analyzed the Cub Cadet site at cubcadet.com.
GOJO Industries – Best known for its Purell hand sanitizer, GOJO was founded in Akron in 1948 by Goldie and Jerry Lippman and is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise. We analyzed the corporate site at gojo.com, which is where Purell and other brand information resides.
Minutemen Cos SEO Analysis
Site Analyzed: minutemeninc.com
According to our analysis of this site, these are the keywords that they are most likely interested in:
- Temp agency
- Temp services
- Staffing services
- Contingent staffing
- Direct hire staffing
- Long-term staffing
So, how well is this site ranking in Google for these keywords? Here is a chart of the rank for these keywords:
To be clear, we have never spoken to Minutemen Companies’ marketing personnel, so we do not know their entire marketing strategy. But these results seem to indicate the following:
- It appears that Minutemen does not proactively market themselves via Search, or at least they don’t view Search as an important part of their marketing strategy. Our research indicates that traffic from organic search has been flat for more than 5 years – even on branded keywords – and the company does not currently run any paid search campaigns.
- Their website has not had a freshened design since about 2015, and still employs the use of static HTML and PHP. The site speed is above-average due to the low overhead of such a system, and it is functioning well in mobile browsers. But this indicates that the company is more comfortable “leaving well enough alone” if things seem to be working OK.
- As usual, the main reason for lack of rank on these keywords is a lack of helpful content. The company has created “geographic” oriented pages around specific cities in Northeast Ohio, but the content is repetitive and thin. The company has also created a helpful section of Industries they serve, which has helped them rank for a few long-tail keywords (see below). But again, the content is repetitive.
The site does get some traffic on non-branded keywords, due to Google Top 10 ranking, that are relevant to the business:
They are likely winning in these keyword areas because of the focused content on their site that specifically calls out the terms.
Site Analyzed: minutemenhr.com
According to our SEO analysis, these are some keywords that they are most likely interested in:
- HR management
- Payroll processing
- Payroll tax administration
- Workers’ compensation management
- Unemployment claims administration
Here is how the site ranks for these apparently targeted keywords:
Like the Minutemen corporate site, the HR services site traffic from organic search has remained flat for several years. Here are some other insights:
- The term payroll processing appears on only 3 indexed pages of the site. This denotes that a lack of content could be to blame.
- The term hr management appears throughout the site, because the name of the company is actually Minutemen HR Management Services. However, nearly all of the references to this keyword are the company brand itself. There is no page dedicated to this term alone, and there is little helpful content around questions their audience is likely asking.
- The term payroll tax administration appears only once in the entire site – on the Home page. Even the Services menu lacks a reference to this particular service.
We can see from this example that a lack of deep content, where questions are answered by the experts at the company with the intent to become a thought leader, is likely contributing to a high Google rank.
Again, this might not be a concern to the company. Minutemen has a very high level of brand awareness in Northeast Ohio – and it’s the area’s largest family-owned business! They are doing plenty of things to grow.
But they could be doing more! For example, we would advise the company not only to build new content for the above high-value keywords, but also consider focusing on these keywords that show clear visitor/searcher intent:
MTD Products SEO Analysis
Site Analyzed: cubcadet.com
According to our SEO analysis, these are some keyword groups that they are most likely interested in:
- Lawn mowers
- Electric mowers
- Snow blowers
- Commercial mowers
The Cub Cadet site is doing quite well in organic Search, enjoying more than 22,900 keywords at positions 1-10 in Google. But most of the non-branded keywords are actually losing ground to retailers and distributors. This isn’t always a bad thing, of course; MTD sells via retailers like Home Depot. However, some of their terms are being beaten by retailers (such as Lowe’s) that do not carry the Cub Cadet line, and other sites like Consumer Reports are winning the Google rank for some valuable terms.
They are also being beaten by true competitors, like Toro, for some keywords.
CubCadet.com keyword rankings over time:
Here is how the site ranks for these targeted keywords against others for Top 10 position:
GOJO Industries SEO Analysis
Site Analyzed: gojo.com
According to our analysis, these are some keyword groups that they are most likely interested in:
- Hand Sanitizer
- Hand Hygiene
- Surface Disinfectant
- Surface Disinfection
- Foam Hand Sanitizer
- Hand Soap
- Hand Cleaner
GOJO’s overall rank has flattened and even dipped lately. It’s no surprise that the company’s rank saw a boost in the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic:
These are the current positions of the high-value keywords:
It must be noted that GOJO sells strictly via their distributors, not directly. This means that an SEO strategy is likely going to be quite a bit different for this type of manufacturer compared to others. The company allocates most of their marketing resources providing general awareness of their brand, securing shelf space at retail locations and using offline sales strategies to drive relationships with large distributors (such as Walmart) and cultivating their brand on Amazon.
However, in our opinion it would still greatly benefit the company to own more share of voice in areas like hand sanitizer, given the strength of their brand. A Top 10 ranking in Google for some of the keywords related to “hygiene” would be a good way to build trust and awareness amongst people doing general searches about the subject matter.
The site does rank well for some high-volume terms that are less competitive against the retail giants like Amazon:
The Cleveland and Akron area are home to some very high-quality, famous, family-owned brands. These brands do a fantastic job of marketing themselves globally, and have stellar reputations for quality (not to mention, they routinely are lauded as great workplaces).
Their success in SEO is mixed. In some ways they are doing quite well, but in a lot of general areas for important keywords, these 3 companies are not dominating Google. Apparently they are choosing to use other means to get their marketing messages out to the public.
- 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!