Medical Web Sites Benchmarked in New Internet Study; Score Highest in Copywriting, Content and Ease of Use

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According to the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association, medical Web sites have been inconsistent in terms of Web development, performing below the overall ISAR Index in five of the eight years they have been included in the WebAwards. Medical Web sites are strongest in copywriting, content and ease of use, but low on innovation.

According to the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association, medical Web sites have been inconsistent in terms of Web development, performing below the overall ISAR Index in five of the eight years they have been included in the WebAwards. Medical Web sites are strongest in copywriting, content and ease of use, but low on innovation.

The ISAR study provides industry benchmarks for Web site development and is based on data collected from nearly 10,000 Web site evaluations in more than 80 industries over the past decade. A copy of the full report can be downloaded at http://www.webaward.org/isar_report.asp.

“Medical Web sites, and the search capabilities many offer, have helped make patients better consumers by demystifing medicine and making it less overwhelming,” said William Rice, president of the Web Marketing Association. “The industry’s use of the Web as a communication tool has resulted in a better educated consumer of medical services and in turn allows medical professionals to be more effective in their treatment and prevention efforts. ”

Since 1997, the Web Marketing Association has been conducting its annual WebAward Competition for Web site development. The Internet Standards Assessment Report is the result of nearly a decade of independent evaluations of Web site development based on seven categories: design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use. The medical industry is represented in the WebAwards with several categories, including medical, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals. Healthcare providers and medical equipment categories were added to the WebAwards as their own categories in 2005 and will only be represented separately in the 2007 ISAR Index.

Only medical Web sites were above average for 2005 compared to the ISAR Index, receiving an overall average score of 53.2 (out of a possible 70 points) verses 52.2 for the Index. Pharmaceutical and health care Web sites both received an average score of 51.6 while biotechnology was the lowest in the group with an average score of 48.7.

Previous “Best of Industry” WebAward winners in medical-related categories.

Best Medical Web site

2005 Mojo Interactive for LocateADoc.com

2004 Roche Diagnostics for ACCU-CHEK Web Site

2003 ASCO for ASCO.org

Best Health Care Web site

2005 DLC Solutions & Siteworx for Cochlear Website

2004 Roche Diagnostics for Diabetes Assistant

2003 Columbus Children’s Hospital for Columbus Children’s Hospital Web site

Best Pharmaceutical Website

2005 SimStar for BotoxCosmetic.com

2004 MagiClick Digital Solutions for Abdi Ibrahim Pharma Healthcare Portal Morning After Pill

2003 Insight Interactive Group for CrohnsResource.com Website

A complete list of past winners can be found at http://medical.webaward.org

Medical-related organizations wishing to have their Web sites evaluated against the ISAR Index and be considered for a WebAward -- a way to boost a Web site’s credibility and marketing efforts -- can nominate their site at http://www.webawards2006.org.

“Of course, as in every industry, there are medical Web sites that stand out and others that don’t make the grade,” concluded Rice. “Our goal has always been to be more than just a popularity or beauty contest that rewards brand names and good design. Instead, this ISAR study is designed to return some value to every entrant with input as to what Internet professionals should strive for in their Web site development efforts in an objective, empirical and constructive way.”

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. For more information, visit http://www.webawards2006.org.

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive a chart comparing two or more of the industries within the medical and healthcare-related categories within the 2006 ISAR Study, please contact William Rice at wrice@webaward.org

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William Rice