2024 Search Engine Land Awards judges reveal what makes an application award-worthy

search engine land awards winners

Since its inception in 2015, the Search Engine Land Awards have recognized exceptional marketers on an annual basis — showcasing outstanding work, providing well-earned exposure in coverage and interviews, and bestowing upon them the highest honor in search.

But the road between deciding to begin an application and winning the award can be a long one. Although the 2024 submission process is exceptionally streamlined — it’s never been faster or easier to apply — there’s still a story that has to be told.

The way you tell that story is entirely up to you… but why not bear in mind some first-hand advice from select 2024 judges while you’re at it?

Keep reading for a roundup of fresh insights from some of our judges… and submit your entry before the May 24 Super Early Bird deadline to save $300 off last chance rates!

“Structure your submission as a story with three main parts: ‘Before’, ‘During’, and ‘After’. Begin by outlining the initial challenges (‘Before’), then detail your marketing strategy and actions (‘During’). Finally, showcase the outcomes and improvements (‘After’). Include images and data visualizations to clearly illustrate the transformation from ‘Before’ to ‘After.’ Be specific in how your strategy and implementation solved the initial challenges and led to the results; just showing an uptick isn’t enough, we want to see the full story.”

– Amy Hebdon, Founder, Paid Search Magic

Amy HebdonAmy Hebdon

“Clearly state the objectives of the campaign, and how your work helped to achieve and exceed objectives. Include details on your strategy, out-of-the-box tactics, and any tests you tried – and the results. Visuals such as performance graphs really help your work stand out.”

– Melissa Mackey, Director of Paid Search, Compound Growth Marketing

Melissa MackeyMelissa Mackey

“Evidence; charts, analytics, screenshots.”

– Barry Schwartz, Editor, Search Engine Land

Barry SchwartzBarry Schwartz

“Sound logic/train of thoughts. Reasonable time frame (no longer than 12 months campaign). Ideally a creative approach or overcoming an obstacle of some sort (optional).”

– Sara Taher, SEO Manager, Digital Sisco

Sara TaherSara Taher

“The two main things all award-winning entries share is that they explain the whys behind the hows, and they bring receipts (data to back up claims).

“If you can’t share the data behind your entry (budgets, revenue, etc.), you are putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage and may end up wasting the entry fee.

“A lot of people submit the same practices – if you can distinguish yourself by showing innovative thinking, you’ll do well!”

– Navah Hopkins, Brand Evangelist, Optmyzr

Navah HopkinsNavah Hopkins

“When judging the Search Engine Land Awards, the best advice I can offer to applicants is to be detail-oriented. Clearly outline the specific actions you implemented to drive your results and back your success with concrete data and evidence. Make sure to showcase your achievements while also demonstrating the effective methods you used to set your application apart.”

Celeste Gonzalez, SEO Strategist at RicketyRoo

Celeste GonzalezCeleste Gonzalez

“I am looking for projects that break new ground with innovative takes on SEO, and are backed up by data and numbers-driven insights every step of the way.”

– Olya Ianovskaia, Founder and Lead Consultant, MycoMinds SEO

Olya IanovskaiaOlya Ianovskaia

“Make sure you match the metrics you quote in the premises and objective of your award entry to the results. If you mention how the aim was to improve revenue and CPA – clearly talk about how those metrics were improved in a before and after scenario. Extra points for a graph representation of that before and after testing period.”

Anu Adegbola, Paid Media Editor, Search Engine Land

Anu AdegbolaAnu Adegbola

There you have it! Remember: The Super Early Bird deadline to enter the 2024 Search Engine Land Awards is coming up fast… submit your entry by Friday, May 24 for your chance to take home the highest honor in search and save big while you’re at it!

New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Lauren DonovanLauren Donovan

Lauren Donovan has worked in online marketing since 2006, specializing in event marketing, content management, organic and paid social media, community and reputation management, and real-time journalism. She currently serves as Director of Marketing at Third Door Media — producer of the Search Marketing Expo and MarTech conference series and publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *