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Asaad Dookhy

How to Get the Most SEO Value Out of Contests

Asaad Dookhy
How to Get the Most SEO Value Out of Contests

Contests and competitions can be great ways to stimulate an interest in your brand brand. When properly used, they can also maximize your SEO value.

This article highlights the ways you should execute competitions for direct SEO benefits.

Select a Target

Before creating a contest, you need have your goals in mind and what you want to achieve. The concept needs to be built around this. 

  • Define the page or section of your site for which you want to improve organic visibility
  • List sites you'd like to link to the contest.
  • Build a list of sites which you want as entrants ideal for the competition.

From this analysis and research, you can determine the nature of the competition as well as its prize.

Create Content

Keep the assets to a minimum with the focus being clear, understandable, sharable content that can also work effectively in link bait.

Content for a competition should include three posts for the most success:

  1. First post contains the nomination form, which opens up entry for all.
  2. Nominations list post is for a chosen 5-10 and includes a voting mechanism for the final 5-10 nominees.
  3. The winners post announces the winner.

The assets:

  • The copy for the competition should be concise with an internal link back to the target page or section.
  • Use a Google Form for entry with the minimum number of details asked for.
  • Create a hashtag to accompany the competition so nominations can promote themselves socially.
  • Create a badge so nominated sites can use to host on their sites and creates link opportunity.

Ensure that all promoted posts on social adhere to the rules of the social networks upon which you are promoting them.

Decide Where to Host Your Competition

Contest

Contest

 Create the competition pages as close to your target page or section and link back from the competition to the target page or section.

Where to Host Contest

Pick a Start Time and Duration

Time the competition to run 6-8 to weeks before the peak period of interest for your target page or section so you have high quality relevant links incoming during a key period.

Primary Promotion

The initial promotion is for the nominations form post should revolve around all channels for maximum exposure:

  • Banner on the homepage
  • Social media organic and paid ads
  • Submit to competition sites
  • Create a press release
  • Use partners to promote the competition
  • Email banner to relevant segments
  • Outreach the competition to sites in your niche

Secondary Promotion

The next part of the promotion if for the final nominations post and focus becomes more targeted:

  • Ask nominations to promote themselves with the nomination badge and link back to the competition and hashtag
  • Create the second press release naming the nominations
  • Submit to competition sites
  • Spread organically on social media
  • Outreach the post to sites in your niche
  • Outreach the post to local region sites / news sites of the nominations

Final Promotion

 After the winners post is published, the interest in the competition will naturally die down but there is still opportunity for promotion:

  • Interview the winner, which again creates a link opportunity
  • Send them a winner's badge which they would use in their communication which then further promotes your brand
  • Create a press release to announce the winner
  • Spread organically on social media
  • You could use all the data gathered in the competition to create an infographic which could be used as an outreach asset

Summary

This process works well when the nominations are highly active with a large following and receptive to your brand. These kinds of competition shouldn’t be executed more than once a quarter because of all the stages required and to protect the sense of exclusivity.

How have competition helped your SEO campaigns? Would be great to hear your comments below!

Asaad Dookhy is the Search Lead and Manager at Decathlon, responsible for the entire strategy and implementation of driving qualified traffic via search to the site. He has six years of experience in digital, both the retail and agency side, as well as freelance experience. Asaad is an all-round SEO, comfortable with technical SEO as well as content marketing.

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