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See How Two Local Business Owners Got To Grow With Google

Google headquarters

Photos courtesy of Rick Berg

As much as we love our local business community, it’s always exciting when one of our own gets some love from a global brand like Google. Last month, Heat Transfer Warehouse Founder Kirk Anton and Rick Berg, the cofounder of Fargo-based digital marketing agency AdShark, which counts Heat Transfer Warehouse as one of its clients, took a trip out to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, to attend the “Grow with Google” business meetup.

It was the culmination of Heat Transfer Warehouse being selected as North Dakota’s Google Featured Business, an honor given to one e-commerce company from each state (and Washington, D.C., and over the course of the three-day trip, the pair got to meet with other featured businesses from around the country; chat with Google employees; and hear the latest on product innovation, workplace culture and other digital trends. Here are some of the highlights.

Kirk Anton from Heat Transfer Warehouse
Each year, Google publishes a collection of success stories featuring 51 businesses — one from each state and Washington, D.C., — and the purpose of the stories is to highlight businesses that are using the web and Google’s digital tools to grow. Heat Transfer Warehouse was chosen as this year’s North Dakota business.

Heat Transfer Warehouse: A Model of Growth

  • Averaged 70 percent growth over past four years
  • Gone from a two- to a 40-person team
  • Now service more than 85,000 customers across globe
  • Have locations in Florida, Kentucky, Nevada and North Dakota
Kirk Anton and Rick Berg from Heat Transfer Warehouse
“It was all a lot of fun, more fun than I expected,” says Berg (right) of the experience. “My favorite part was talking to all the businesses from across the country.”

Google’s Economic Impact in North Dakota

  • $144 million: Economic activity Google helped provide businesses, nonprofits and website publishers throughout the state in 2017.
  • $395,000: Free advertising Google provided to North Dakota nonprofits through Google Ad Grants program.
  • 1,600: North Dakota businesses, nonprofits and website publishers that use Google’s advertising tools: AdWords and AdSense.
  • 35 percent: Heat Transfer Warehouse’s sales that come through Google AdWords alone.
Kirk Anton from Heat Transfer Warehouse
Heat Transfer Warehouse Founder Kirk Anton gets in the Google spirit, as he takes a company bike for a spin.

Google’s 5 Dynamics of a Successful Team

  1. Psychological safety: Can you take risks on a team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
  2. Dependability: Can team members count on one another to do high quality work on time?
  3. Structure and clarity: Are goals, roles and execution plans on the team clear?
  4. Meaning of work: Is the team working on something that’s personally important for each member?
  5. Impact of work: Does the team fundamentally believe the work they’re doing matters?
Kirk Anton from Heat Transfer Warehouse
Google didn’t send attendees home empty-handed. The company gave everyone a gift box that included a Google Home Mini.

Rick Berg: My 8 Biggest Takeaways

  1. Nearly 90 percent of smartphone owners turn to search first in a moment of need.
  2. 30 percent of all mobile searches are related to location.
  3. Nearly 90 percent of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive experience.
  4. Mobile site speed, is extremely important. A one-second delay in mobile-page load times can decrease conversions by 20 percent.
  5. Google Attribution is a new product that will help businesses better track online conversions across different ad platforms.
  6. If you’re a local business using AdWords, if someone clicks an ad and then visits your store, you can attribute it back to the ad the consumer clicked.
  7. In some larger cities, Google is setting up a system where they’ll be able to create video for you, as long as you spend a minimum dollar amount in video ads.
  8. Google My Business has a bunch of new features. Among them is the ability to add to your listing: announcements and events, appointment-booking, and SMS messaging, which allows customers to text your business directly.
A presentation on Google's campus
AdShark Cofounder Rick Berg (not pictured) says a lot of the companies’ pain points were similar, primarily related to e-commerce platforms, internal marketing, and difficulty tracking digital marketing results.

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Written by Nate Mickelberg

Nate Mickelberg is the editor of Fargo INC! He holds his master's in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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