... flowing → systems. When I search that exact string, it appears as the first result. However, once I search just for flowing systems, it is nowhere to be found.
My first intuition was that the two keywords were simply too generic, but I realized that pages which link to my blog appear in the search result before the actual website.
Sometimes you'll have to treat a robot as a robot and you'll have to pretend to be in your customer's position. They will more likely look for "flowing systems". Not many people will enter the arrow character in their search query (what's the ascii key code for that arrow again?).
If you need to use the arrow, then I'd suggest creating a small logo for your site with the arrow in it and display it in your web page.
Is it recommended not to use symbols like the right arrow to get a higher rank in search results?
I did mention that most (innocent) people won't type in symbols for their search query (unless someone was trying to do some hacking). By eliminating symbols from your most important phrase, people will have a much easier time finding your website which COULD increase your ranking.
To further improve chances of a ranking increase, make sure your website has quality content (a.k.a. paragraphs of text) that well fit in within the subject of your site. In your case, make sure your paragraphs of text are about flowing systems and that it makes readers interested. Also, follow Google's (and other search engine's) webmaster guidelines to ensure your website doesn't do any shady tactics such as making pop-ups in the middle of the screen while the user is reading the paragraphs.