Starting here in 2017, we’ve decided to expand our keyword searches insights to add to our past research we shared with the business community.  In the past, we showed how people differentiated between “townhomes” and “townhouses” in their searches and what people are looking for online.  We thought this might be helpful for realtors or prospective sellers of homes.  We helped local journeymen and people in the construction industry understand how online behavior is with regards to the search “handyman.”

Today, we thought we would focus on one of the “key industries” identified by the City of Seattle: Green Business.  Included in this category was originally “Clean Technology,” but we’re going to reserve the opportunity to talk about that field a bit more in a later post.

Wikipedia defines a “green business” as:

In general, business is described as green if it matches the following four criteria:[1]

  1. It incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions.

  2. It supplies environmentally friendly products or services that replaces demand for nongreen products and/or services.

  3. It is greener than traditional competition.

  4. It has made an enduring commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.

How Seattleites (or Western Washingtonians) Search for Green Business*

Using the keyword seed phrase of “green business,” google tells us these are the top terms or phrases:

KeywordAvg. Monthly Searches
1business6600
2environment2900
3green2900
4electricity2400
5sustainability1600
6wind turbine880
7solar power590
8solar energy590
9starting a business480
10small business480
11business ideas480
12renewable energy480
13small business ideas390
14carbon footprint320
15corporate social responsibility320
16wind energy260
17business opportunities210
18sustainable development210
19go green170
20online business170
21eco friendly170
22alternative energy140
23clean energy140
24green building110
25energy efficiency110

Obviously, “business,” “starting a business,” small business,” “business ideas,” “small business ideas,” “business opportunities,” and “online business” could probably be omitted from the list leaving about 18 phrases remaining.  If you wanted to add the next 7 in the list, they would be:

26green energy90
27renewable energy sources90
28alternative energy sources90
29energy conservation70
30environmental sustainability70
31green jobs70
32environmentally friendly70

But again, #31 might be omitted given that it is a job seeker looking to get into the industry.  Or should it be ignored by a “green business?”  It always depends and frankly, we have this discussion with clients all the time because there is a connection between HR and the business in general.

However, doesn’t it make sense to simply search “green companies seattle?”

In the search, not a single green company shows up.  We add the preposition “in” the search phrase and find a slightly different list of results in the SERP, but we still fail to see much in the way of companies individually.

Google makes some suggestions as they like to do:

Voilà!  We get our first hint of a “green company” here in Seattle.  LMN Architects, a local Seattle architecture firm.  It’s been publicized to be:

…”On the Right Track” in The Architect’s Newspaper,[2] as well as in “Vancouver Convention Centre Pushes Limit on Green Design,” from Contract Design Magazine,[3] “Advancing Data-Driven Approach to Architecture” in the Metropolis Magazine,[4] and the Seattle Times its contribution to the Seattle Public Library.[5][6]

But is this what people are looking for when it comes to “green companies?”  (in Seattle)

Why don’t these 35 “green companies” come up?

 

  • 3Tier — (Wind, solar and hydro power location services)
  • ADI Thermal Power — (Stirling engine power generation)
  • Altarock Energy — (Geothermal)
  • Bionavitas — (Converting algae into fuel and other products)
  • Blue Marble Energy — (Converting algae into energy)
  • CarbonCart — (Carbon offsets for shipping of products through Amazon.com)
  • Catchlight Energy (Chevron and Weyerhaeuser joint venture for cellulose-based biofuels)
  • Clearwater Compliance — (Clean water technologies for industrial use)
  • Dial Discoveries — (Turbines for hydroelectric power and other uses)
  • Dr. Dan’s Biodiesel — (Biodiesel fueling stations)
  • Earth Class Mail — (Recycling of postage mail)
  • Ecohaus — (Environmental home products and building materials)
  • EnerG2 — (Nanomaterials for energy storage)
  • General Biodiesel — (Biodiesel producer)
  • Gen-X Energy — (Biofuels)
  • Goose Networks — (Car sharing and car pooling technologies)
  • Greenwood Technologies — (Energy efficient wood furnances)
  • Halosource — (Water purifiers for developing countries)
  • Hydrogen Power — (Hydrogen power generation)
  • HydroVolts — (Clean energy from tidal, river and canal currents)
  • Imperium Renewables –(Biodiesel producer)
  • Infinia — (Solar technology)
  • Inventure Chemical — (Algae to biofuel)
  • JX Crystals (Photovoltaics)
  • Optimum Energy — (Reducing power consumption in office buildings)
  • Powerit Holdings — (Energy control and consumption technology for industrial)
  • Prometheus Energy — (Liquid natural gas production from landfill waste gasses)
  • Propel Biofuels — (Biodiesel fuel stations)
  • Reklaim Technologies (Tire recycling)
  • ReliOn — (Hydrogen fuel cells for backup power)
  • Standard Biodiesel — (Waste vegetable oil for biodiesel)
  • Stecher Proprietary — (Clean energy research and chemistry)
  • Targeted Growth — (Agricultural technologies to increase crop yields for biofuels)
  • V2Green — (Power management solutions for plug-in vehicles)
  • Verdiem — (Software to power down computers when they are not in use)

*Listed in the Seattle PI in 2008.

Obviously, they have more focused efforts on specific aspects of being “green,” but they definitely consider search engine optimization a low priority.

Case Study: Altarock Energy

Monthly, their brand is searched about 10 times or so here in Seattle, according to google.

There are some easy on page changes they could make, but again, they must not think it’s important.  However, when looking at their main products:

  • geothermal technology – 8th page or worse at #79
  • geothermal power – not even in the top 10 pages (top 100)
  • geothermal renewable energy – not even in the top 10 pages (top 100)

Fortunately, when adding “seattle” to these phrases, they do have a (small) chance to be seen (because there’s no competition).  They rank #8, #12, and #9 for the aforementioned respectively when localizing the search.  Nevertheless, having 7 or more others above organically these days basically prevents you from being seen.

 

We clicked on the “sustainable companies seattle” link and found google’s local businesses section to the SERP and found 3 companies listed.  However, how many times are people searching for the 3 word phrase?  Actually, in our initial findings, we found they were searching simply “sustainable companies” locally approximately 20 times a month.   This is different from the phrase adding “seattle” which shows the local results:

But again, is it “green?”

It appears people associate “sustainability” = “green.”

At the same time, there is much more to this simple issue and that’s why it’s important to examine the behavior a bit more in depth.

*Searches are estimated by Google’s Keyword tool targeting the Seattle-Tacoma WA, Washington, United States – Nielsen® DMA® region.