Choosing Your Awards and Submitting to Win

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There are different levels of prestige associated with different award sites. Some are an honor to receive and some are highly competitive because of the number of submissions they receive. To find these award sites, you can do a Google
or Yahoo! search with your subject of interest plus the word awards—for example, if you have a Web site with multiple games on it, you would look for “entertainment awards.” Another option is to visit the awards page on other, related sites and follow the links to awards they have won.

Some awards are easier to receive than others, such as those from commercial sites that give out awards in an attempt to increase the traffic to their own site. They can increase their traffic because the awards they give are graphic links displayed on the winner’s site and visitors who visit the awardwinning site can follow the link back to the award giver’s site. On the other hand, there are webmasters who give out awards to anybody and everybody who makes a submission. The award is granted with the sole purpose of building traffic.

The bottom line is that awards can be valuable assets. The average Web user cannot tell which awards are the prestigious ones and which are given to anyone who submits. So, submit for any awards that you choose to, as long as your site is ready.

Where you place these awards is important. If you win many awards, consider developing an Awards page to house them with a link from your navigation bar.

Always determine if the marketing tools and techniques will increase visitors from your target market before deciding to include them in your online marketing strategy.

Getting mentioned on one of the popular Cool Sites lists is probably a way to draw a tremendous amount of traffic to your site. However, that traffic is like a flash flood—fast and furious. Be careful what you wish for—you just might get it. Be prepared! Have a plan that you can implement on a moment’s notice. If you offer something free from your site, be sure that you can access a huge volume of whatever it is and that you have a plan to distribute quickly. If you offer a free download from your site, plan to have a number of alternative file transfer protocol (FTP) sites available to your visitors.
If you have a call-in offer, make sure you have a telephone response system in place and staff to handle the huge volume of calls you might receive. You need a plan to handle a huge volume of emails as well.

Once you have decided that the type of traffic that comes along with winning awards fits with your marketing strategy, make sure your site has the makings of a winner and then submit to as many award sites as you can.

  • First, make a list of the URLs of the award sites you are interested in.
  • Understand the submission form and guidelines. Review a number of forms to determine the information commonly requested.
  • To save time, develop a document with the answers to the various questions from which you can copy and paste into the different submission forms.
  • Submission forms capture the following types of information:
    • URL
    • Title of your site
    • Contact person (name, email, phone, address)
    • Owner of the site.
  • Submission guidelines tell you what types of sites can be submitted. (Some awards do not accept personal pages; others do not include commercial sites; others are just for your social media.) The submission guidelines also tell you what meets the definition of “cool” or “new” or “award winning” and what doesn’t.
  • Some award sites require that you display their award icon on your site. Posting an award on your site can provide a number of positive results—including enhanced credibility.