How Contests and Givaways Drive Long Tail SEO Traffic

This image depicts the life cycle of a contest/giveaway. This is from a campaign that I ran for oristruts.com. Our goal was to produce user-generated content that gave ORI lasting traffic.
SEO Long-tail traffic from contest givaway

Campaign Overview

  • Contest Prize – A sponsorship from ORIstruts
  • Rules – Contestants must submit an image and write up of their project (user-generated content)

Initial Promotion

During the first week of the contest there was a heavy emphasis on promoting the contest on industry blogs, forums and other related websites.

Behavior of the Contestants

Each contestant had to create a user profile and then submit their entry. What we saw at the beginning of the contest was that a lot of people created their user profile but didn’t actually submit their entry! We suspected that since the duration of the contest was over 3 months that people would put off actually submitting their entry.

End of Contest

At the end of the contest we had several user profiles with no entries. Since each profile was required to submit their email address we sent out a friendly reminder that the contest was closing in on the deadline. After that email was sent we got floods of entrants, and pages of great, user-generated, content!

Long-Tail Benefit

After the spike in traffic from all the people scrambling to submit their entries, traffic dropped like the continental shelf drops to the depths of the ocean. But you can see that long after the contest was over there are still visitors. The visitors are low in numbers but they are coming from the long-tail, high converting, keywords that marketers would kill for.

Free information deserves a share!

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