Web Site Award Competition Heats Up as Industry Award Season Begins

Awards season is underway and our society is hooked on awards that recognize who is best in their field. The entertainment industry has the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Emmys. The auto world has MotorTrend Car of the Year, manufacturing has the Malcolm Baldridge Award and journalists have the Pulitzer Prize, just to name a few.

The online marketing community also has its way to recognize top performers. The Webby Awards like to call themselves the Oscars of the Internet while the Web Marketing Association’s WebAwards are likened to the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Major advertising festivals like the Clio Awards and Cannes Lion also now include interactive categories. What these awards all have in common is the desire to recognize great Web sites. It’s how the “Best Web site” winners are chosen that make the award programs different.

“The WebAwards have been so successful for the past 10 years because of our clearly defined judging process and our focus on setting industry specific standards for Web development,” said William Rice, President of the WMA. “To us, winning a Web site award is not only a great marketing opportunity, but a chance to receive quality feedback from industry professionals that help improve the overall Web experience.”

Before entering an award competition, the Web Marketing Association offers the following tips on what to look for in a quality Web site award program:

  • Feedback – Entries should receive valuable feedback from the judges through specific commentary, advice for improvement, and quantitative scoring that can be evaluated against an industry average.
  • Clear judging criteria and process – In order to make sure each entry has an equal chance to win an award, the judging process should be comprehensive, so that judges see all of Web sites entered and not just a few finalists.
  • Longevity – The awards program should have a substantial history of Web site evaluation and a roster of winners in each category that have experienced a clear value from the program.
  • Focus – The awards program should be solely focused on the evaluation of Web sites so interactive winners are not overshadowed by winners in print or broadcast as in some well respected advertising award programs.
  • Quality of judges – Award judges should be industry professionals with a solid understanding of Web site production and Internet marketing objectives, not a simply a celebrity that brings a name but little Web development experience.

“WebAward participants know that each entry will be submitted to the judges, not just a few handpicked, big-name finalists. They’re also aware of the criteria on which they will be judged, and will receive their overall scores – compared to both their industry and the overall standard of excellence,” notes Rice. “The WMA’s WebAward competition is the only major award program to provide an in-depth, quantitative analysis of results that help entrants develop standards of excellence for future innovation.”

Internet awards season is now officially underway, and the WMA is currently accepting entries for its 10th annual international WebAward competition. The deadline for entry is May 31st and entries can be submitted at www.webawards2006.org.

About the Internet Standards Assessment Report

Recently the Web Marketing Association released a study based on nearly ten thousand Web site evaluations in more than eighty industries since 1997. The Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) is the results of nearly a decade of independent evaluations of Web site development based on seven criteria critical to a successful Web site: design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use.

To receive a copy of The Internet Standards Assessment Report or to learn more about the Web Marketing Association’s WebAward program please visit: www.webawards2006.org.

About the WebAwards

The 10th annual international WebAwards competition sets the standard of excellence in 96 industry categories by evaluating Web sites and defining benchmarks based on the seven essential criteria of successful Web site development. The goal of the Web Marketing Association, sponsor of the WebAwards, is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective Web sites on the Internet today. Entrants benefit from a Web site assessment by a professional judging panel and the marketing opportunities presented to an award-winning Web site.

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