Couple using a laptop on the couchJCPenney made the news earlier this year when it announced that it is resurrecting its print catalog, the “big book,” which had been discontinued in 2010. The reason? The retail giant’s online sales had dropped since the print catalog went out of production.

Catalogs provide an important source of inspiration to the people who receive them. Some catalogs, like IKEA or Williams-Sonoma, present tableaus that show how their products can be used to create a whole lifestyle. Customers pore over these popular catalogs and sometimes bring them into the store when they’re ready to make a purchase.

But, as JCPenney’s example shows, catalogs don’t just bring people to your store — they boost online sales and are helpful for SEO.

How print helps web sales

Internet sales spike 10% or more when a new catalog is delivered. That might seem surprising in this digital age, but not so much when you consider this: In an era when print catalogs are not as plentiful as they used to be and your inbox is overflowing with ads and special offers, catalogs get companies noticed.

How print helps your SEO campaign

A print catalog mailed to your customers helps increase sales all by itself. But if you convert your print catalog to a digital version, you can drive even more sales — and give your website a boost in the search engine rankings as well.

As long as you use a search engine-compatible format for your online catalog, search engine spiders will be able to see it as a content-rich addition to your website, and will index it accordingly.

Optimizing your content for best SEO

To ensure that the online version of your catalog delivers the best search engine rankings, make it fully searchable. Be sure to optimize content in all forms:

  • product images
  • product descriptions (on product pages or in your catalog)
  • other sources of product information, such as captions
  • videos
  • press releases
  • blog posts
  • social media entries

Basically, review anything that could conceivably be searched for and found by potential customers.

Print provides a tangible source of ideas that customers can curl up with and really interact with by circling products and dog-earing pages. Digital makes that catalog searchable, bringing you even more customers.

Print and digital catalogs working together can add up to increased sales and market share for your business.

Do you have an idea about something you’d like to try in your next catalog mailing? Contact your Dingley Press representative to explore your options, and how we can use new technology and postal promotions to make your catalogs work harder (and smarter) for you.