Porter's Patch Farm Hitches Its Wagon to Online Ads

Porter's Patch didn't want to stay the best-kept secret in Wisconsin. This family-friendly farm thrives on visitors-people who come to pick strawberries, go on hay wagon rides and celebrate Farmtoberfest. So to reach out to new generations, Porter's Patch turned to online ads to help market itself. AdWords Search Network with Display Select allowed the farm to place its message next to Google search results and in display ads on select, highly targeted sites. As a result, the business saw an increased clickthrough rate of more than 5%, display cost-per-clicks that were 60% lower than search costs and a 20% increase in website visitors on days it advertised.


  • Reach locals looking for fresh fruit or a family outing
  • Compete with larger companies in its space


  • Ran search and display ads on the AdWords Search Network with Display Select


  • Paid 60% less per click on display ads while driving 20% more traffic to its website

When summer arrives, so do the crowds at Porter’s Patch, a 150-acre farm in Navarino, Wisconsin. Porter’s Patch invites families to come pick their own strawberries and blueberries right on the farm, and to celebrate “Farmtoberfest” in October with hay wagon rides, water pump races and a pumpkin patch. Visitors make up 80% of the farm’s income today. The future of this farm is bringing in guests who have never been here before. “If they just come once, we tend to get them back next year,” says Troy Porter, the farm’s owner. Porter tried newspaper and radio advertising when he started Porter’s Patch, but today he does very little of either. “Very seldom do I get a new customer who says ‘I saw you in the paper,’” says Porter. “People go online to do their research now.”

"With AdWords, you see the results where people are actually hitting your ad and going to the website."
—Troy Porter, Porter's Patch


This summer, Porter decided to try advertising online with an AdWords Search Network with Display Select campaign. Doing so put his message next to Google search results and also in display ads on select and highly targeted sites.


His farm caters to a local area that includes Appleton and Green Bay, both about 30 minutes away, so that’s where Porter focuses his ads. “Our biggest problem has been that we’re the best-kept secret around,” he says. “People don’t drive by here if they live in Appleton.”

His AdWords display ads get the Porter’s Patch name in front of casual browsers in his target areas, and search ads reach people looking for terms like “fresh strawberries” or “pumpkin patches.”

Porter can adjust his AdWords ads day by day and season by season if he wants to. “I have to be careful how I advertise. I can only have so many strawberry pickers,” he says. “It’s not like we can go make more fruit overnight. But in the fall, with the corn maze and the hay rides, there’s unlimited room for guests.”


Porter estimates that 80% of his online audience is female—mainly moms doing research for family outings—and AdWords allows him to speak right to that audience. “When your ads show up on the top of the Google search results page, that’s huge,” says Porter.

And the Google Display Network ads for Porter’s Patch get results. “Last year I tried putting a display ad on the website of a local TV station, and I just didn’t get a whole lot of hits at all. With AdWords, you see the results where people are actually hitting your ad and going to the website,” he says.

His clickthrough rate (CTR) for search ads is excellent: more than 5%. His CTR on display ads is lower, but so are costs: He pays about 60% less per click on display. That converts to great results, says Porter. “On the days we advertised, we saw an increase of 20% to 25% in our website visitors,” he says.

"I can spot the new people who show up at the farm, and I always ask how they hear about us. The number one thing people say is ‘we found you online!’ AdWords definitely gets your name out there."
—Troy Porter, Porter’s Patch

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