ROYAL OAK, Mich. — In 2015, Sterling Oil and Chemical was awarded the opportunity to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program in Detroit, Mich. The program was hosted by Wayne State University in Midtown Detroit and offered by Goldman Sachs. After the program was finished, the small businesses continued to network through alumni events in the Metro Detroit area.

Participating in the program reaffirmed the fact that updating their website to generate new business was a necessity. Sterling Oil revamped their website in late 2015, using a grant from the State of Michigan to employ Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC). The website was designed to adhere to SEO standards to improve their search rankings within Google, differentiating them from their direct and indirect competition with the focus on potential prospects ability to find them through online search engines, specifically Google.

To continue the work they have put into the backend on their webpage, Sterling worked with fellow 10K Small Business alum Thomas Lawrence of Lawrence Technology Services who offered suggestions to them regarding SEO and keywords for their site. Lawrence was able to create keyword content that would adhere to Google’s algorithm by adding specific keywords to their homepage. Sterling continues to monitor their keywords as the Google algorithms are constantly changing.  After implementing the suggested changes by Lawrence to the website including keyword additions to the homepage, the results were noticeable.

That led to Sterling Oil participating in the latest program to continue learning best practices regarding SEO and search rankings. The alumni program hired a professional to come and talk and focus on SEO and content including online business directories. The program consisted of former Detroit 10K Small Business participants and the group was split into teams of four. On the first day, the main group met for an introductory meeting followed by breaking out into teams of four that worked together to peer review each other’s website and offer feedback, both positive and critical, to help the business grow their digital presence.

Sterling Oil worked with Total Packaging Solutions Liz Dzuris, Detroit Soul’s Jerome Brown, and Loretta Dubray of Global Clinical Connections. The group broke-out into teams of two to work together on reviewing each other’s website. Sterling worked with Dzuris and Total Packaging Solutions and they learned that they were doing things well but suggested that they increase endorsements, testimonials, and reviews which leads to trustworthiness within Google’s algorithm. Dzuris said those techniques worked well for their company and believes it would be great way for Sterling to continue to rise in the search rankings.

Other areas where improvement could be made is with their keywords. As trends change and their business changes, they are long to incorporate best services of what we can offer. Getting keywords into their copy so the algorithm of the search engine can show the relevancy is particularly important aspect of their marketing strategy. Many traditional businesses can use different techniques looking for new clients, but when a company needs to create new leads in a non-traditional marketplace, their website is the gateway to those potential connections.

After the one-on-one sessions, the teams of four would get back together to discuss what each team of two did and to share more knowledge and advice. At the end of the week-long program, the entire group of business leaders reconvened to discuss what they learned throughout the week.

“The alumni programs that Goldman Sacks 10K Small Business offer are great tools to any business,” Jason Eddleston, VP of Operations at Sterling Oil said. “I really enjoy what they offer as they are hyper focused on certain aspects of the business and those turn into action items that we can implement at a low cost that would be substantive to our business. It also gives us the opportunity to expand our network with other small business owners in the region, which in turn could lead to potential business opportunities or partnerships.”

Sterling continues to grow their online presence through digital marketing and online campaigns. They are always looking at ways to gain an edge on the competition in the marketplace and in learning new trends to stay relevant in Google’s search algorithm. These mechanisms increase their lead opportunities for potential new business. This program has made them knowledgeable of what areas to focus on for maximum return as they work to keep their online presence current.