3 Ways a Contest Can Give Your SEO a Boost

Posted by Alicia Doiron

No doubt you want to improve your Google ranking. All companies do. That means you need to make sure your SEO practices are credible and up to date. And since Google is constantly updating their algorithm to bring their searchers better and more relevant results, the days of dark SEO tactics––keyword stuffing anyone?––are behind us.

Some of the factors that Google now looks at to determine your website ranking are:

  • Total number of backlinks
  • Social media activity - Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc.
  • Relevant keywords on the page
  • Search volume of domain name
  • Domain SEO visibility (how strong the domain is in terms of links and authority)
  • Keywords in internal links
  • Total number of referring domains
  • Regularly published unique content

If everyone is doing this though, it’s important that your optimization efforts are especially on-point. One brilliant way to increase your search ranking is through a contest. While there are many advantages in doing so, we’ve put together 3 benefits of running a contest that are specific to SEO.

1. Increase Social Activity

Running a social media contest will increase social signals, a factor that Google most definitely takes into consideration. Social signals refer to the likes, shares, views, followers and pins on your social media accounts, basically all the social media activity that happens on your social channels. This allows search engines to determine how strong of a brand following you have.

While there’s been much debate about the weight that Google places on social signals, many SEO experts have found that page-level social metrics are one of the top ranking factors used by Google. This was brought to light in a recent survey from SEO software gurus, Moz.

In addition, Google Certified professional Adam Clarke stated the following in his book, SEO 2016, “…disagreements aside, I can tell from my own experience, sites with large social followings consistently get higher rankings in a shorter timeframe.”

2. Build Brand Awareness

For companies that are just starting out that don’t yet have a good (or any) ranking on Google, this is a great way to start building a great reputation.

For instance, social media contests can spread like wildfire if the prize is something of real value and if the contest rules state participants must get their family and friends involved. This puts your brand in front of a new audience that now knows your name. In return leading to

more branded searches of your company on Google, which can have a positive effect on improving search rankings.

3. Improve Website Traffic and Engagement

At Strutta, we’ve seen the website traffic of our clients skyrocket while running a contest, and even for months after. For example, our client, Frameri, ran a contest and went from receiving 500-600 visitors a week to over 5,000 per week.

While traffic is an area that Google looks at, it’s quite small. This being said, metrics such as CTR, bounce rate, and time on site are much more relevant factors. They give a good indication to Google about the quality of your website.

Think of it this way; a contest acts like a gateway to a bigger opportunity. Once you’ve got a visitor on your site, you have the opportunity to provide links to related products or blog posts.

In addition, backlinks are an extremely important metric that Google takes into consideration when ranking your site. Asking participants to share your contest on their site––if they have one––would help drive traffic to your contest and give your search engine ranking a boost.


Building your search engine rankings and getting found in Google takes time. But by performing the right marketing initiative, like a contest, you’ll be able to start ranking faster!