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Articles - Promotion and credibility - Awards.

You've submitted to search engines, drawn up numerous press releases and hunted down reciprocal links.. want another strategy in the never ending battle for attracting new visitors?

Consider applying for Web awards....

Web site awards are a good way of gaining traffic and increasing credibility for your site. A quality award can also boost your confidence and desire to continue developing your site's look and content. Even if an awards submission is not successful, many of the top awards sites will give you feedback on what they believe you need to refine.

Okay, so where can you apply for a web site award?

In plenty of places, in fact way too many! Any web destination can offer an award; and I've seen some strange ones over the past weeks while researching for this article.... and some that you would never display... On the web, you can gain an award for breathing (and you don't even have to be good at it!) or for pronouncing the word "hyperlink" properly - correct spelling for bonus points.

If you are going to submit your site for awards reviews, investigate the organisation offering them. If it's Joe Bloggs offering awards from his GeoCities page... probably better off not wasting your time in applying. No offense intended towards GeoCities users by the way, Taming the Beast was hosted by them a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away ;0). Check out the award logo, if it doesn't look good and will not fit in with your site design, it's probably best not to apply for it. You may win, but where will you put it? If the logo flashes, run like hell before it induces an epileptic seizure! The last thing you want is to win the award, place the logo on your site and then be sued by one of your visitors for causing them to go into convulsions....

The top awards for Web design and content are extremely lucrative and highly competitive, more for the realms of the million dollar sites with plenty of staffing and resources. Some of the most coveted are:

Australian Internet Awards 
World Best Websites 
Gold Perfect Vision Award 
Surfers Choice Internet Awards 
Chicago Internet Review 
International Web Page Awards 
The Webby Awards 
Web Marketing Association award 

But there are many other quality awards programs that are more suited to the smaller web development companies, which are distributed by credible associations; such as the International Association of Web Masters and Designers, who have members in over 130 countries. Submissions are free.

The IAWMD have been issuing the "Golden Web Award" since 1996. If you are unsuccessful in your submission, they will provide you with feedback as to how you can improve your site. You can read more about them here:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/articles /iawmd.htm

A great resource for researching awards sites can be found at:

http://websiteawards.xe.net/

Web Site Awards.xe.net  reviews a number of sites around the globe and also contains a ratings worksheet of over 600 awards sites that you can download to make your submissions easier.

Before submitting for review, ensure that your site is in good health as some awards reviewers will be fairly harsh. Review the submission guidelines and criteria. There's not much point in applying for an award for content, if your focus is on site aesthetics. Be patient, although your submission form may state seven days as the review time expect a wait of a couple of months.

Winning an award usually doesn't incorporate winning large amounts of cash (Damn!), but the privilege of displaying the award logo and the kudos attached can not only increase your traffic, but increase your bottom line by accelerating sales.

....just one final tip - if you have a kick butt site and you are awarded; don't bog your pages down too much with a excessive number of awards logos... while your visitors may recognise that your achievement is a good thing, too much of a good thing devalues it......

Further related learning resources:

Your visitors: know them, love them!
http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles/visitorfeedback.htm
 

Internet marketing: the common courtesy strategy:
http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles2/internet-marketing-etiquette.htm

Viral marketing: an overview
http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles/viralmarketing.htm 

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
http://www.tamingthebeast.net 
Tutorials, web content, tools and software.
Web Marketing, Internet Development & Ecommerce Resources
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