Guide

Improving Your Christmas Catalogue Visibility in Google Search for 2021

Follow our top 5 tips to ensure your online catalogue is indexed and ranking in Google search for Christmas 2021. Helping you drive organic search traffic and generate sales over the festive period.

Written by Ed Jones
Marketing Strategist at YUDU Sentinel

04 November, 2021

Resources | Guides | Improving Your Christmas Catalogue Visibility in Google Search for 2021

As the festive period fast approaches, many of you will be working hard to put the finishing touches to your Christmas catalogue. Adding new seasonal products, checking prices, and optimising your product copy, all for the express purpose of driving sales.

Once your Winter catalogue is ready to go, you’ll accelerate through the publishing phase and into marketing direct to new prospective buyers and existing customers. As part of your overall marketing and sales strategy, the Google Search engine is a key channel.

Alongside email and social media, search engines like Google and Bing have the capacity to drive large volumes of free and targeted traffic from interested customers. You’ll want to make sure your new digital catalogue crawled, indexed, and ranking in search engines as soon as possible. Helping you drive traffic and sales from your newly released online catalogue.

To help you, we have compiled five quick and simple SEO tips to ensure your online catalogue is indexed and available in Google Search to drive sales over the festive season.

Check your digital catalogue is the Google Search index

When launching a new catalogue, you can’t begin driving organic traffic from Google until it has been crawled and indexed in their search database.

A fast and effective way to check if your new online seasonal catalogue is indexed and visible in Google is with this very simple query.

  • Find the URL(s) for your online digital catalogue
  • Go to Google
  • In the search bar type site: immediately followed by your catalogue URL, as an example it will look like this - site:https://www.your-company-url.com/christmas-catalogue-2021

This query will search the Google index for the exact URL of your festive catalogue. If you don’t return a result in the search engine, not to worry, the following steps will help fix that.

Add links to your Christmas catalogue in the sitemap

After releasing a new seasonal catalogue, it’s a common oversight for even the most accomplished digital marketing professional to forget about updating their sitemap.

Make it an established step in your launch process to update your sitemap with links to every single catalogue webpage when a new edition is released. When search engine spiders crawl your website, this is the best way for them to find and index new pages on your website.

If you publish your online catalogue with a third-party provider, make sure to check in with them and ensure this a practice they follow.

Submit your updated sitemap to the Google Search Console

Another established approach in making Google aware of your Xmas catalogue is to submit your updated sitemap direct through the Google Search Console.

The Google Search Console is a free platform for webmasters, web developers and digital marketing professionals alike. It is an incredible resource to help you improve and optimise your website for both your customers and the Google search engine. There are some powerful tools for web developers, and amazing analytics insights for marketing professionals.

One of the most useful tools is Sitemaps, a feature allowing you to submit your sitemap directly to Google. Where it can be crawled and your online catalogue URLs indexed. With any future updates automatically detected as Google regularly crawls submitted sitemaps.

Once in the Google Search Console, you can access invaluable insights into the indexation status of your sitemap URLs. Including whether they have any crawl errors, or have been excluded from the Google Search engine for a specific reason. Offering identifiable reasons that can then be troubleshot.

Advanced tips

  • While Google will crawl your sitemap regularly, it’s not daily. Depending on the urgency, it can be worth deleting and resubmitting your sitemaps to nudge Google along.
  • As you can submit multiple sitemaps to Google, it can be worth creating an individual sitemap for each seasonal catalogue. You can then prioritise submitting it to Google, while also segmenting it out for clear analysis of indexation and crawl stats.

Inspect online catalogue URLs in the Google Search Console

Another great tool from the Google Search Console is the URL inspection tool. Creating insight that can help you to improve the visibility of your digital catalogue. These include:

  • Checking the index status of your online catalogue URLs - you can discover information about the indexed versions of your digital catalogue pages. Including any information on why a specific page might not have been indexed and whether your digital catalogue is mobile friendly. A key SEO ranking factor in Google’s mobile-first indexing approach.
  • Test a live catalogue URL - this feature lets you submit a URL from your catalogue for real-time testing to see if it’s indexed, mobile friendly, and most importantly accessible.
  • Request indexing for a catalogue URL - perhaps the most valuable function, you can submit newly created digital catalogue URLs directly to Google and request their indexation. You can also use this feature to request a URL be re-crawled if you’ve updated catalogue content and want it to be reflected in the SERPs.
  • View a rendered version of your catalogue webpages - this tool lets you see how Googlebot sees your page. Including the HTML it reads, a screenshot of your online catalogue pages as seen by Google, and other information such as HTTP response codes and on-page resource errors.
  • Troubleshoot catalogue pages missing from Googles index - there are lots of reasons why a page from your digital catalogue hasn’t made it into Google’s index. This tool can help you troubleshoot some of the most common issues to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

All of these functions help speed up the indexation of new content. Not to mention troubleshooting any issues you might encounter when launching a new catalogue. Combing perfectly to improve and optimise the visibility of your Xmas catalogue in Google Search.

Build quality backlinks to your digital catalogue

Backlinks (also known as inbound links) continue to be important for SEO. They represent a ‘vote of confidence’ from one website to another, signalling to search engines about the quality of your content. Resulting in higher search rankings and the increase in organic traffic that brings.

Building and earning quality backlinks to your online digital catalogue is a proven approach to increasing rankings and traffic from Google. Below are a collection of approaches that can help you to quickly create quality backlinks:

  • Connect with product owners - when your Christmas catalogue goes live, reach out to the companies whose products you’re selling. Encourage them to share the news on their website, in a blog post, or through their social channels.
  • Release a blog post - it’s not just backlinks from external sources that count. Internal links are also a great way to improve the ranking of your content. If you have an established blog, releasing a post about your new festive catalogue is a good way to put it on the Google radar.
  • Reach out to partners - by building strong relationships with partners, you have a ready-made group who will amplify your content from their website and blog to create valuable backlinks to your digital catalogue.
  • Leverage social media - despite social shares not being an SEO ranking factor, they are an effective way to get your catalogue content noticed by search engines. Helping to distribute your content far and wide, increasing the chances of earning backlinks from your audience. A great way to do this is by including social sharing buttons directly within your digital catalogue.
  • Add a link to your website's main navigation - another internal linking strategy to improve visibility of your catalogue would be to link it directly from your main navigation. It’s also a great way to drive traffic to your catalogue if it’s your main mechanism for generating sales.
  • Build relationships with influencers - identifying and creating bonds with influential bloggers is a great way to earn valuable backlinks from their already established platforms and audience. This is not an easy task. It takes time, dedication, and a genuine connection between the influencer and your products.

Summary

If you can get your digital catalogue indexed and ranking in the Google search engine, you’re well on your way to driving traffic and generating sales.

While we’ve curated this series of tips for improving the visibility of your Christmas catalogue, they can be applied to any new or seasonal catalogue. Of course, the key to performing well in Google centres around the quality of content you are creating.

Focus on getting the foundations of your content right, and all the steps above will come a little easier. Especially when you're looking to build a healthy backlink profile to your digital catalogue.

Good luck and Happy Holidays.

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