Think you have an exceptional online presence that’s praise worthy? Find out by entering your creation in any of the website competitions that, each year, award the internet’s most engaging, attractive, and effective sites on the web. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of awards and what you stand to gain by entering your site.
In the world of website awards, there are three basic categories into which most competitions fall: general, design, and advertising. First started in 1996, the Webby Awards is perhaps the best-known of the general contests. Webbys are bestowed by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences to sites that demonstrate excellence in the areas of content, structure, design, interactivity, functionality, and overall experience. The Awwwards is considered the most prestigious of the design-centric contests, and the organization hosts yearly conferences in forward-thinking cities around the world.
And as far as advertising is concerned, the Addy Awards are widely thought to be the premier accolade to be earned in the industry. Although Addys have been given out at ceremonies since the 1960s, the American Advertising Federation, which conducts the competition each year, now recognizes exceptional work in many digital areas, including microsites, pop-up ads, and e-newsletters. It costs between $50 and $300 to enter these contests, but the winning trophy can be worth more than $1,000, not to mention all of the intangibles.
A surprising number of benefits come along with entering a website in award competitions, even for those who don’t win. Novice designers stand to get great feedback on their work and are likely to learn a lot about their craft from fellow entrants. This can help you hone your skills and stand a better chance of winning next time around. Some obvious advantages for those who do take home a prize are recognition of your talent and increased exposure for you and your work. If properly leveraged, these perks could allow designers to attract more high-profile clients and charge more for their time.
A not-so-obvious area where your site could benefit from contests is in the realm of SEO. If you already know why backlinks matter, that shouldn’t surprise you. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of backlinks, the core concept is the more inbound links you have from reputable sources—such as organizations that administers major online awards—the higher your website will rank in search engines. So even if your site doesn’t win the top prize, by virtue of being featured on a contest’s website you could see a boost in your traffic and online visibility.
Before submitting your site to any online competition, here are a few things to keep in mind.