2023 Categories

The Search Engine Land Awards celebrate individuals, agencies, and internal teams within the search marketing community who have demonstrated excellence in executing organic and paid search marketing campaigns. 

This year’s program features 18 unique categories... explore them all below! Have any questions? Email reg@thirddoormedia.atlassian.net

Recognizes successful efforts by internal teams, agencies or consultants running paid search campaigns across one or more search-based advertising platforms, demonstrating improvement and a positive return on investment.

Entrants must demonstrate success in paid search advertising efforts to improve visibility within paid results to attract and/or convert new customers on major search platforms.

What qualifies as a “small business initiative?” As a rough guideline, judges will take into consideration a) company size (<100 employees) and/or b) total ad spend is less than $10,000 during the specified campaign(s) period. (Judges reserve the right to move submissions to an alternate category.)

Entry criteria: 

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by running optimized paid search campaigns.
  • Summary of all paid search tactics and initiatives employed.
  • Summary of details of campaign creative and A/B testing as relevant.
  • List any ad platform features used and what, if any, third-party/automated scripts, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized.

Recognizes successful efforts by internal teams, agencies or consultants running paid search campaigns across one or more search-based advertising platforms, demonstrating improvement and a positive return on investment.

Entrants must demonstrate success in paid search advertising efforts to improve visibility within paid results to attract and/or convert new customers on major search platforms.

What qualifies as an “enterprise initiative?” As a rough guideline, judges will take into consideration a) company size (>100 employees) and/or b) total ad spend is more than $10,000 during the specified campaign(s) period. (Judges reserve the right to move submissions to an alternate category.)

Entries may be submitted to the overall PPC Enterprise category for any industry or target market focus, whether B2C, B2C or both/general audience.

Submissions may also be considered (copied) for a secondary award under these specific sub-categories for B2B, industry verticals, Commerce or Local PPC with payment of additional entry fee.

  • Best B2B PPC initiative - enterprise
  • Best commerce search marketing initiative - PPC

Entry criteria: 

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by running an optimized paid search campaign.
  • Summary of all paid search tactics and initiatives employed.
  • Summary of details of campaign creative and A/B testing as relevant.
  • List of any ad platform features used and what, if any, third-party/automated scripts, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized.

Recognizes successful and/or innovative campaigns for paid search advertising in commerce (retail/e-commerce).

Entrants must demonstrate success in product search-focused advertising efforts, including but not limited to: the use of product listing ads, retargeting and other commerce search marketing tactics to improve online/offline sales as a direct result of paid search channels.

Entry criteria:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing a commerce PPC campaign.
  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to product ads, ad extensions, targeting, etc.
  • Summary of resources required for execution - budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized.

Recognizes search marketing efforts utilizing paid search advertising campaigns for increased visibility, online traffic, offline impact on in-store visits/purchases and/or direct sales/leads from local search ads. Open to campaigns for either individual (single location) or multi-location businesses.

Entry criteria:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing a local PPC campaign.
  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to local ad targeting, call extensions, local inventory ads, etc.
  • Summary of resources required for execution - budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized.
  • Summary of offline results of efforts, if applicable: increase in call volume, local appointments set, foot traffic to physical locations or related metrics.

Recognizes successful efforts by internal teams, agencies or consultants running paid search campaigns across one or more search-based advertising platforms, demonstrating continuous improvement and a positive return on investment.

Entrants must demonstrate success in paid search advertising efforts to improve visibility within paid results to drive sales, generate leads and/or convert new customers on major search platforms.

IMPORTANT: Entries submitted to this category must focus primarily on search advertising for a B2B audience. Submissions may also be considered (copied) under Overall Small Business, Enterprise, industry verticals, Commerce or Local PPC categories with payment of additional entry fee. 

Entry criteria:

  • Executive summary of industry or marketplace challenges, goals & business objectives, KPIs achieved by implementing a targeted B2B PPC campaign.
  • Summary of all paid search tactics and initiatives employed.
  • Summary of details of campaign creative and A/B testing as relevant.
  • List of any ad platform features used and what, if any, third-party/automated scripts, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized.

Recognizes most successful and creative integration of search (organic and/or paid) executed by internal and/or external resources, including agency or consultant services as part of a larger (corporate/brand) marketing campaign, including but not limited to: social media, email marketing, digital video to offline advertising such as print, outdoor and television.

Entry criteria:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by integrating SEO and paid search advertising into omnichannel marketing campaigns.
  • List of all other marketing channels used and description of search’s role in the mix.
  • Details of all campaign creative (text and/or display), targeting and optimization efforts used for search marketing activities.
  • Summary of resources required for execution - budget, time frame/project hours, coordination of internal resources and external vendors, tools and platforms utilized to audit, manage and measure efforts.
  • Summary of results, including attribution modeling, if appropriate (may include charts and/or graphs to help illustrate achievement).
  • May include impact on specific objectives (e.g., see brand lift of X%, increase ROAS, increase AOV by X%, etc.).

Recognizes the best program by internal and/or external resources, including agency or consultant services to improve organic SEO efforts for small to medium-sized organizations/websites by improving technical elements, on-page content and off-page factors.

Examples of successful programs and specific SEO initiatives may include case studies of improved results after completed technical audits, recovery from manual action or algorithmic demotion, content marketing strategies resulting in improved visibility and qualified traffic from (unpaid) search results.

Entries should demonstrate quantitative and qualitative improvement from organic SEO efforts either in general (Web) search or specialty categories such as news results, video and/or image search, multi-lingual results from top-tier search engines and secondary search-driven platforms.

What qualifies as a “small business initiative?” As a rough guideline, judges will take into consideration a) company size (<100 employees) and/or b) total resources allocated during the specified campaign(s) period. (Judges reserve the right to move submissions to an alternate category.)

Entry criteria:

  • Guidelines for small businesses - Fewer than 100 employees and/or budget of less than $5,000 per month/$60,000 annually for organic SEO resources, including the cost of external talent, tools and platforms. (Judges reserve the right to move submissions to an alternate category.)
  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing an effective low-budget SEO campaign.
  • Summary of all SEO tactics and initiatives employed.
  • Summary of resources required for execution - budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized to audit, manage and measure efforts.

Recognizes the best program by internal and/or external resources, including agency or consultant services to improve organic SEO efforts for large organizations/websites through technical elements, on-page content and off-page factors.

Examples of successful programs and specific SEO initiatives may include case studies of improved results after completed technical audits, recovery from manual action or algorithmic downgrade, content marketing strategies resulting in improved visibility and qualified traffic from (unpaid) search results.

Entries should demonstrate quantitative and qualitative improvement due to organic SEO efforts either in general (web) search or specialty categories such as news results, video and/or image search, multilingual results from top-tier search engines and secondary search-driven platforms.

What qualifies as an “enterprise initiative?” As a rough guideline, judges will take into consideration a) company size (>100 employees) and/or b) total resources allocated during the specified campaign(s) period. (Judges reserve the right to move submissions to an alternate category.)

Entry criteria:

  • Guidelines for larger businesses - More than 100 employees and/or budget of more than $5,000 per month/$60,000 annually for organic SEO initiatives, including the cost of external talent, tools and platforms. (Judges reserve the right to move submissions to an alternate category.)
  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing an effective enterprise SEO campaign.
  • Summary of all SEO tactics and initiatives employed.
  • Summary of resources required for execution - budget, time frame/project hours, internal team resources, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized to audit, manage and measure efforts.

Recognizes successful search marketing efforts by commerce (retailers/e-commerce) to increase organic search visibility and traffic, and demonstrated an increase in online/offline sales through organic search engine optimization efforts.

Entry criteria:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by organic SEO efforts implemented.
  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to: catalog site architecture improvements, product schema markup, optimizing page speed/product image delivery via CDNs, product copywriting for SEO, content marketing and/or link acquisition efforts.
  • Summary of resources required for implementation - budget, project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized.
  • Demonstrated increase in sales (or other sales-related conversion metrics) as a direct result of organic search marketing (SEO) effort.

Recognizes search marketing efforts utilizing local SEO for increased visibility/position in search results, online/offline traffic and direct sales/leads from organic search results. Open to campaigns for either individual (single location) or multi-location businesses.

Entry criteria:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by organic SEO efforts implemented.
  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to: catalog site architecture improvements, product schema markup, optimizing page speed/product image delivery via CDNs, product copywriting for SEO, content marketing and/or link acquisition efforts.
  • Summary of resources required for implementation - budget, project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized.
  • Demonstrated increase in sales (or other sales-related conversion metrics) as a direct result of organic search marketing (SEO) effort.

Recognizes successful search marketing efforts by B2B marketers to increase organic search visibility, while demonstrating an increase in leads generated and/or online/offline sales driven through organic search engine optimization efforts. 

IMPORTANT: Entries submitted to this category must focus primarily on SEO efforts for a B2B audience. Submissions may also be considered (copied) under Overall Small Business, Enterprise, Commerce, or Local SEO categories with payment of additional entry fee.

Entry criteria:

  • Executive summary of industry or marketplace challenges, goals & business objectives, KPIs achieved by implementing a targeted B2B SEO campaign.
  • Summary of all SEO tactics and initiatives employed, including but not limited to: content marketing initiatives that impacted search visibility. 
  • Summary of resources required for execution - budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized to audit, manage and measure efforts.

This award recognizes the best-in-class efforts of agency initiatives in paid search marketing on behalf of client(s). The winners will have demonstrated meaningful results for a client organization through implementing search-focused advertising.

Entry criteria:

  • An executive summary / case study (up to 750 words) for a single client initiative is required. The campaign must have been executed and demonstrate results generated between Summer 2022 and the present day. 
  • Supporting graphs/charts (up to 3 pages) may be submitted in PPT/PPTX, JPG or JPEG, PDF or XLS format.
  • A summary list of all platform features, third-party tools and technology used to inform and execute the campaign strategy.
  • The total number of full-time employees, part-time employees and contractors.
  • Optional: Innovation - provide a summary (250 words max) of the agency’s most innovative initiatives (technology, process or administrative) related to client services or internal improvements during the eligibility period. 
  • Optional: Client testimonials may be included, but are not required.  

This award recognizes the best-in-class efforts of agency initiatives in search engine optimization (SEO) on behalf of client(s). The winners will have demonstrated meaningful SEO results for a client organization.

Entry criteria:

  • An executive summary / case study (up to 750 words) for a single client initiative is required. The campaign must have been executed and demonstrate results generated between Summer 2022 and the present day. 
  • Supporting graphs/charts (up to 3 pages) may be submitted in PPT/PPTX, JPG or JPEG, PDF or XLS format.
  • A summary list of all platform features, third-party tools and technology used to inform and execute the campaign strategy.
  • Total number of Full-Time, Part-Time Employees and contractors.
  • Innovation - provide a summary (250 words max) of the agency’s most innovative initiatives (technology, process or administrative) related to client services or internal improvements during the eligibility period. 
  • Optional: Client testimonials may be included, but are not required. 

This award recognizes the successful efforts of in-house marketing team initiatives in paid search marketing. The winners will have demonstrated meaningful results for their organization through implementing best practices of search-focused advertising.

In addition, judges will evaluate the overall team approach to collaboration, executive communication, accountability, ongoing education/training, testing and learning initiatives.

Entry criteria:

  • An in-house team must include at least two full-time employees, working either within the same group or cross-departmentally.
  • The executive summary should include the following details:
    • Team size, structure and roles/areas of PPC expertise for each individual. Provide length of employment for each team member.
    • Regular communication and collaboration techniques.
    • Allotted non-project time spent learning via research, online training/webinars, attending conferences and events, obtaining certifications and/or related continuing education activities.
    • Provide examples of regular (weekly/monthly/quarterly) reports as appropriate and outline accountability for goals set by upper management.
    • Summarize resources used by the team to execute ongoing initiatives, including but not limited to: project or annual budget, time frame/project hours, internal resources, external vendors/agencies, tools and/or platforms utilized. 
    • Should include specific results (KPIs/business objectives) achieved as a direct result of the team’s PPC initiatives executed during the eligibility period. 

This award recognizes the successful efforts of in-house marketing team initiatives in organic SEO. The winners will have demonstrated meaningful results for their organization through implementing best practices of search engine optimization.

In addition, judges will evaluate the overall team approach to collaboration, executive communication, accountability, ongoing education/training, testing and learning initiatives. 

Entry criteria:

  • An in-house team must include at least two full-time employees, working either within the same group or cross-departmentally.
  • The executive summary should include the following details:
    • Team size, structure and roles/areas of SEO expertise for each individual. Provide length of employment for each team member.
    • Regular communication and collaboration techniques.
    • Allotted non-project time spent learning via research, online training/webinars, attending conferences and events, obtaining certifications and/or related continuing education activities.
    • Provide examples of regular (weekly/monthly/quarterly) reports as appropriate and outline accountability for goals set by upper management.
    • Summarize resources used by the team to execute ongoing initiatives, including but not limited to: project or annual budget, time frame/project hours, internal resources, external vendors/agencies, tools and/or platforms utilized. 
    • Should include specific results (KPIs/business objectives) achieved as a direct result of the team’s SEO initiatives executed during the eligibility period. 
       

This award will recognize a class of individuals who demonstrate exceptional, measurable results in search marketing via organic (and/or) paid channels. The nominees can be self-employed, freelance or part-time consultants to full-time employees in a marketing role on the client-side (in-house) or within a digital agency.

Business owners, executives and managers are encouraged to submit nominations for their key team members and/or account leaders who have produced exceptional results within their organizations. Individuals are encouraged to self-nominate as well!

The winner will have demonstrated results, demonstrated outstanding leadership, and/or made significant contributions in the search marketing industry. 

Entry criteria:

  • Submission must clearly define the nominee's role in client campaigns and/or internal SEO/PPC success.
    • For example, was the nominee solely responsible for results? To what extent did they collaborate with others internally/externally? Are they an account manager/director, team/project leader or executive management?
    • Did the nominee present an innovative approach or apply a creative solution?
  • Submission must include specific KPIs/business objectives achieved as a direct result of the nominee's contribution to a client or internal campaign initiatives executed during the eligibility period. 
  • Submit (up to three) supporting charts/graphs.
  • Summary of demonstrated thought leadership and shared knowledge through research/testing, authoritative articles/blog postings, public speaking, corporate training, teaching engagements or similar industry contributions.
    • Submit (up to five) supporting examples/links.
      • NOTE: nominees will not be judged on the quantity or reach of such efforts, but the overall quality of the contributions. Individual followers, page likes or other data will not count positively or negatively in judging.
  • Outline other professional activities, including but not limited to: ongoing education/certifications, mentoring, volunteering time or professional marketing services for industry and/or nonprofit organizations.
  • Nominees must not have won this award previously.

This award honors the PPC efforts of agency teams with 25 or fewer team members. The winners will have demonstrated innovative, creative and/or meaningful paid search results for a client

Entry criteria:

  • An executive summary / case study (up to 750 words) for a single client initiative is required. The campaign must have been executed and demonstrate results generated between Summer 2022 and the present day. 
  • Supporting graphs/charts (up to 3 pages) may be submitted in PPT/PPTX, JPG or JPEG, PDF or XLS format.
  • A summary list of all platform features, third-party tools and technology used to inform and execute the campaign strategy.
  • The total number of full-time employees, part-time employees and contractors.
  • Optional: Client testimonials may be included, but are not required. 

This award honors the SEO efforts of agency teams that contain 25 or fewer team members. The winners will have demonstrated innovative, creative and/or meaningful SEO results for a client

Entry criteria:

  • An Executive Summary / Case Study (up to 750 words) for a single client initiative is required. The campaign must have been executed and demonstrate results generated between Summer 2022 and the present day. 
  • Supporting graphs/charts (up to 3 pages) may be submitted in PPT/PPTX, JPG or JPEG, PDF or XLS format.
  • A summary list of all platform features, third-party tools and technology used to inform and execute the campaign strategy.
  • The total number of full-time employees, part-time employees and contractors.
  • Optional: Client testimonials may be included, but are not required.