Have a Contest to Increase Web Traffic

Jessica Bobbitt- 08.07.09

You hear over and over again that your organization should drive more traffic to your website, but how? If you look around the web you see articles for increasing your web visibility through internal and external SEO, but there has to be an easy thing that you can do today to drive web traffic…isn’t there? There is! Plan a contest on your website.

 

 

 

 

The internet presents a great opportunity for contests and this is a very cost-effective way for nonprofit organizations to generate traffic and grow a mailing list. Contests typically involve a test of skill, this can be as simple as answering a trivia question correctly or as complicated as submitting a business plan. The options are endless. One of my favorite ideas is a scavenger hunt that takes place on your website.

 

Follow these four simple Guidelines for a successful online Contest:

 

1. Make it easy to enter the contest

Participants can easily get discouraged if there are several entrance requirements. Consider requiring that the person only sign up for your eNewsletter. You gain names and email addresses which will help meet marketing goals.

 

2. Prizes should be relevant

Gather relevant prizes that will be valuable to your audience. The goal is to have the prize be worth the effort and remind people of your organization’s mission. The prizes should also match the effort that participants put into the contest in order to make the effort worthwhile. You may be able to secure prizes from local businesses or organizations in return for some advertising during the contest.

 

3. Get the word out – use the contest as a PR tool

The idea is to drive traffic to the website so be sure to publicize the contest before, during and after it is held. 

o   Promote the contest in your eNewsletter. Throughout the contest provide statistics on number of entrants and remind your audience of the available prizes

o   Create a blog entry about the contest

o   Invite contest sponsors to promote the contest on their website

o   Promote the contest on social networking websites or in forums

o   Get the contestants involved in promoting the idea by providing spread the word options such as email a friend, or social networking hooks on the contest page of the website.

 

4. Allow sufficient time for the contest

Allow enough time for the contest to run without having it last too long. People will respond sooner if there is a need. By limiting the time of the contest you are more likely to get people to respond quickly which will help you meet your goals and satisfy participants desire to see results. One – two months is typically a good time frame for a contest

 

Here's some examples to get the creative juices flowing;

National Parkinson Foundation is looking for photographs that highlight their mission.
WWF-Canada is opening their contest to members only, giving people a reason to join.
While Habitat for Humanity has created this clever memory game, it is not a contest. However, this is a great example of something that could easily become a contest by asking for some basic information at the end of the game which enters the person into a contest.

Get creative and encourage your constituents to get involved with a contest that supports your cause.  Have you created a contest that got people engaged?  Tell us about it in the comments!

 

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