Last week, we examined how consumers’ search habits shine a light on the terms they’re using when it comes to gardening. This week, we continue that analysis.
As a reminder, we use Google Trends to create the graphs used in this article. If you get the chance, spend some time on the site. You can plug in any phrase you’d like, and it will let you know how it has performed as a search term since 2004. It’s a type of consumer research that involves millions of people, something small business would never have access to normally. Despite this big positive, your research is limited to search terms. There’s no motivations, income levels, or other types of demographics to glean, save for the locations the searches originated from.
Google Trends prefers to use big numbers for its graphs. That means it will return an error if you get too specific. For example, I put in the term “ideas for the garden.” While it returned a graph, all the secondary information was missing. But when I changed the search to “garden ideas,” then Google Trends was happy and shared all sorts of information with me.
One final note before looking at our findings. Each graph has steep peaks and valleys. Not surprisingly, those peaks tend to show the search terms in April or May, while the low points are December or January.
Annuals Vs. Perennials Vs. Shrubs
Annuals (the blue line) are indisputably the most popular plant category in the industry, so seeing it come in last after shrubs and perennials is a surprise at first glance. However, annuals sell so well because they are impulse buys, their vivid colors impelling shoppers to fill their carts. And, perhaps, consumers don’t worry about keeping them alive, since they are short lived.
Shrubs (the yellow line) are king when it comes to search terms, although its popularity has come down significantly since Google began keeping records in 2004. It’s interesting to note, however, that the term is on the increase since 2011 and 2012.
Perennials (the red line) are also seeing an increase in search traffic. It’s higher than it has been since 2005.
Which Types Of Outdoor Projects Are Most Searched?
When homeowners are looking for ideas for outdoor projects, which adjectives are they using in their searches?
The most popular one is “garden project,” which attracts more searches at its lowest point than the second most popular term.
“Landscape project” and “yard project” are equally popular over the past few years. Ten years ago, “landscape project” was more popular, but that evened out somewhere around 2010. “Planting project” almost doesn’t register as a search term when compared to the other three terms.
Fairy Gardens Vs. Garden Ideas Vs. Hanging Baskets
This graph has a lot to say. First, “hanging baskets,” instead of declining as a search term as baby boomers get older, is only getting more and more popular. Although “container gardens” was a competitive term in 2005, “hanging baskets” have increased in frequency while “container gardens” has declined sharply.
If you thought fairy gardens peaked in popularity somewhere around 2012, if search terms are any measure, this graph shows otherwise. “Fairy gardens” did not really begin registering as a search term until that year, and has grown every year since. It’s on track to reach its most popular level yet in 2016.