For the small business owner, Web site promotion never stops. You’ve got to keep publicizing your business every way you can to help it stand out from the crowd. Winning Web site awards doesn’t just give you the warm fuzzies, it can be a great way to improve your business’s exposure, get quality backlinks and increase your online credibility.
Before you submit your site, make sure you’ve made it the best it can be.
- Error-free. Go over your site with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure all of your links work and that all areas of the Web site are functioning properly.
- Updated and original content. Be sure you’re putting your best (and freshest) face forward.
- User-friendly. You’ve worked hard to make your site as user-friendly as possible. Shore up any loose ends.
Not all Web site awards are worth submitting to. Anyone and their brother can set-up a Web site that offers awards; so there’s no real benefit in winning if the site giving the awards is unknown. While it might make you feel good to have a snazzy graphic to add to your site, you’re not going to reap any tangible benefits. Stick with the majors. Here are the top three Web award sites.
The Webby Awards – The Webbys are the Oscars of the Internet. Price-Waterhouse even audits the results. Winning a Webby is incredibly prestigious, and hard to do. The entry fee ranges from $295 to $495.
WebAwards – The Web Awards are put on by the Web Marketing Association, a non-profit dedicated to online marketing excellence. The entry fee is $195. You can enter your Web site into multiple categories (there are 96 to choose from), but you pay a separate entry fee for each category.
Interactive Media Awards – Created by the Interactive Media Council (another non-profit) the Interactive Media Awards have been gaining in popularity and respect. The awards are given out quarterly to different category sets. The entry fee is $125 per category.
You’ve worked hard to make your business and your Web site the best they can be. You’re proud of it, and rightly so. Give it a chance to shine. And remember, you can’t win if you don’t compete. Submitting your Web site is no guarantee of success. But, you’ll never know unless you try.