As a plant breeder, grower, or garden center owner, you may be wondering how you can get your gorgeous products in front of consumers. After all, you work so hard day in and day out to perfect your plants, surely you want to share the fruits of your labor with as many people as possible. And in today’s modern era of consumers turning to the internet to research and buy a majority of goods, it’s only natural for those in the horticulture industry to seek a better online presence.
Geranium Rozanne, an outstanding perennial plant from Must Have Perennials®, is a great example of how you can elevate your online visibility. Since introduction, Geranium Rozanne has sold more than 20 million plants to date. In 2014, the team behind this purple variety contacted a marketing agency to start work on bringing awareness to this plant and publicizing it to consumers. A consumer-focused website and social media campaign were launched. Since that time, Rozanne has become the most popular flower on Facebook with over 107,000 followers!
Building on this success, the Must Have Perennials team decided to take it to the next step. By revamping the Geranium Rozanne brand to include “Rozanne and Friends” on the new rozanneandfriends.com website and refocusing on the power of digital marketing for the horticulture industry, their positive results have multiplied!
In the scope of just one year, website traffic increased by more than 500%. That’s five times the amount of web visitors the site was getting just a year ago! Through a variety of technical, design-focused, and content marketing efforts, the brand focus now is on how Rozanne (as a personified flower) shares news about her “friends”—other perennials with great garden performance.
Because of the brand awareness Rozanne has gained through this process, Must Have Perennials has also benefitted greatly through association. Which means if you are a breeder, and your flower is one of Rozanne’s friends, you’ll receive much of the same brand recognition. Similarly, growers can get in on the action by becoming a partner with Must Have Perennials. Everyone in the perennial flower supply chain can reach new heights with the right online strategy, and ours is most definitely working.
To help you understand a bit more about website traffic and how this supports you as a breeder, grower, or garden center, we’re happy to share the data for you to peruse.
Why Website Traffic is Important
Website traffic is identified as one of the key performance indicators for the Rozanne and Friends™ brand. By tracking and increasing visits to the website, we can increase overall brand awareness in the public – especially for Geranium Rozanne herself. It also helps move the website up the list in rankings on search engines such as Google, thereby establishing more authority for the site and the brand.
In addition, it helps us gauge the interest of the audience. We can easily see which pages are the most popular on the site, where people are spending the most time, and where we can capitalize on their interest to bring them the perennial varieties they love (like ours!). Having your varieties or company name linked on the Rozanne and Friends™ or Must Have Perennials® websites means you are being directly associated with our already-successful, trusted brands. Our smart content marketing process pulls people through the various website pages, giving you tons of time in the limelight.
Now, in case you’re curious, here’s a breakdown of how we increased the website traffic.
How Geranium Rozanne Increased Website Traffic by 500%
Let’s take a look at some of the fast facts. You will see how these facts are supported by the internal website tracking graphs included as well.
- Total website sessions, or individual visits to site, have increased by 502% compared to the same period last year (August 2016 to August 2017).
- In 2017, Rozanne averaged almost 10,000 page views a month, compared to just over 2000 page views a month in 2016. Page views have increased 285% in one year (January-September 2016 vs January-September 2017).
- The website now ranks for over 500 important keywords on search engines. This is more than any keyword competitors in the market. Keywords are very important, as they drive targeted traffic to our Rozanne and Friends™ website. They are the words or phrases web users enter into Google, for example, to find websites that match what they are searching for.
- Geranium Rozanne is now ranking #1 on search engines for many targeted consumer keywords, which means it appears at the top of web page search results and drives traffic to rozanneandfriends.com.
So, how did we do it?
If these results made your eyes widen, you’re probably ready to hear how this immense website growth was achieved. Here are the most important factors in Rozanne’s success.
- Brand Strength: By building up quality content and a strong brand presence through social media (Facebook in particular) for Rozanne in a period of a few years, this social presence and engagement gave the brand a very strong base.
- Using social media was crucial in “breaking Rozanne out of horticulture” so we could spread her popularity to those who love gardens and growing but are not interested in the hobby of gardening. Many of these people are unlikely to frequent garden centers and retail nurseries and are, therefore, equally unlikely to know about Rozanne’s easy-to-grow attributes—so, with social media, we focused on making her as lovable as possible to all types of consumers.
- Website Redesign: In February 2017, our team redesigned and revamped the website to shift focus on Rozanne and her friends. The brand name subsequently changed to “Rozanne and Friends” with a more modern look, dynamic interface, and mobile-first design elements to accommodate the majority of website visitors who view from their smartphones and mobile devices (see pie chart below—only 30% of visitors are not on a mobile/smart device).
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Most importantly, and with the greatest impact, Must Have Perennials, with the help of our SEO experts, ran a full website audit and overhauled the site for improved search engine optimization. Here are some of the steps taken:
- Migrated the website to the safer, more SEO-friendly HTTPs
- Performed keyword research and made metadata optimizations
- Delivered a comprehensive Technical Audit highlighting all website issues
- Crawled and mapped the website to find any underlying issues
- Made website updates to fix issues found during the audit
- Performed On Page optimizations to boost speed and user experience
- Tracked improvements in keyword rankings and reported wins
- Provided in-depth SEO reports each month to continue to optimize based on results
Of course, to get even better results, the goal is for the Rozanne and Friends website to keep improving. Not only will the team continue the momentum producing and promoting quality content, but they will also be adding many sophisticated search engine marketing techniques.
If you’re a grower who produces finished plants for retail, get listed as a source of supply for retailers here. And if you’re a retailer who already sells any of the Rozanne and Friends varieties, make sure you’re listed as a supply source on rozanneandfriends.com.
For breeders, contact us if you’re interested in having your plant variety considered as one of Rozanne’s “friends.”