SEO Awards Application Tips: Insights from a European Search Awards Judge


As one of the judges for the European Search Awards, I’ve had the opportunity to review countless entries from SEO professionals vying for recognition in the industry.

One thing I’ve noticed throughout my own career as a SEO professional and speaker in this industry is that the agencies and individuals that win awards are the ones that attract clients – and let me tell you, winning an award as an in-house SEO can really skyrocket your market value as well.

This means I totally get the desire to participate and be recognized.

I enjoyed being a judge this year and I saw a bunch of really good entries, but you know what? I also noticed some super avoidable mistakes. That’s why, in a recent podcast episode I was invited to, I talked about some tips for all you SEOs out there who are competing with your campaigns.

And hey, I hope some of these juicy nuggets of wisdom can help you out in the future, too!

Here we go with the 3 most useful tips for participating in SEO awards I can give you. I saw these mistakes a lot so please make sure to avoid them.

And don’t forget to check out the full podcast episode for more SEO awards tips!

SEO awards application tip #1: Don’t get lost in SEO metrics

Sometimes, SEO professionals can get too caught up in things like website traffic and rankings, while totally forgetting what really matters to their clients: making money and attracting new customers.

I see this mistake happening a lot, even outside of competitions like the European Search Awards, and it’s such a shame that many SEO professionals overlook this really important aspect. They fail to communicate in a way that clients can relate to. Instead, they tend to focus only on technical SEO stuff.

I mean, come on, we should be speaking a language that the people who pay our rent can understand, right?

No wonder many SEO contracts get cancelled early when you can’t communicate clearly about the value your work brings to the business. I mean, it’s absolutely crucial to speak the client’s language and explain the real benefits in a way that they can easily wrap their heads around.

This is a big challenge in our industry, but if we face it head-on and prioritise client-centred strategies, we can get amazing results.

The 2023 European Search Awards took place in Lisbon

SEO awards application tip #2: Work with better Target Audiences

This one’s a toughie, and I’m torn between crying and laughing about it.

Seriously, can we talk about how often I come across the phrase “our targeted audience is women between 25 and 60”? I mean, come on, that’s practically every woman on this planet.😂

Well, you know, even in industries that are mostly dominated by men, it’s important to realise that this can’t be an audience. If I had to make a wish for future entries in SEO competitions, it would definitely be for SEO professionals to work with a much more diverse range of audiences.

  • What do these women want in life?
  • Do they have kids? What type of education do they want for their kids?
  • Where do they go shopping and how much do they spend?
  • Do they watch TV or do they prefer Netflix?

If you wanted to target a male audience, you’d definitely talk about their favourite sports, income levels, and weekend activities. If you can easily create male audiences, then you can definitely come up with more specific female audiences, right? 😉

Thought so.

Hey just a quick note: if you’re struggling to come up with good questions to understand your target audience better and want to avoid those generic descriptions like “women from 25 to 60”, there’s a nifty solution – AI tools like ChatGPT! 🤖

In fact, I recently wrote an article on 5 Web3 Marketing Growth Hacks where I dive into how ChatGPT can be a game-changer in situations like this. Give it a read! 😉

SEO awards application #3: Please be more specific!

“We did on page, link building and content.”


So you practically just described what SEO is in general.

How do you want us to work with that? This isn’t going to work. You gotta be more specific when you talk about the actions you’ve taken.

Let us know what you did Onpage in detail, did you use tools and what have been the circumstances, the obstacles?

You did content, that’s great. But what did you do IN DETAIL?

Schema? Also nice. But again, WHAT DID YOU REALLY DO?

Paying attention to these details is super important for a successful campaign. Plus, if you want to get listed in the Winners Tab for competitions, you gotta be specific!


All in all, it often takes a few attempts to really get the hang of running a successful competition. By being aware and learning from the mistakes I stumbled across, you will be well on your track to success.

And now, off you go!

But if you can spare a minute, hop over to my Instagram and leave a follow! So you’ll be in the know about my upcoming podcast episode discussing these three mistakes and more in further detail. I’m also dropping some value bombs every now and then, so it’s definitely worth following me.


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