Government Web Sites Benchmarked in New Internet Study

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According to the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association, government Web sites, including federal, state, and municipal agencies, generally met or outperformed the ISAR Index up until 2002, but have fallen below the average for the past three years. Because of this disappointing recent performance, government sites also lag the 3-year averages for each of the individual judging criteria.

According to the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association, government Web sites, including federal, state, and municipal agencies, generally met or outperformed the ISAR Index up until 2002, but have fallen below the average for the past three years. Because of this disappointing recent performance, government sites also lag the 3-year averages for each of the individual judging criteria. The ISAR study provides industry benchmarks for Web site development and is based on data collected from 9,748 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.

“There Government Web sites generally score well for content, copywriting, and ease of use and like many industries fall short on innovation,” said William Rice, president of the Web Marketing Association. “While all web sites receive input from many sources, very few have to endure the development by committee approach found in many government efforts. There are certainly exceptions to the general lack of innovation, most notably the 2002 Best of Show - Accelerate Your Life, NAVY.”

Since 1997, the Web Marketing Association has been conducting its annual WebAward Competition for Web site development. The Internet Standards Assessment Report is the results 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.

Here are some of the past WebAwards Best Government Web site winners.

2005 Postage Rate Calculator

2004 Drive Clean

2003 United States Naval Reserve

2002 Accelerate Your Life, NAVY (Winner 2002 Best of Show)

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

State and local governments and Federal agencies wishing to have their Web sites evaluated against the ISAR Index and be considered for a WebAward, which can help 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 government 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 2006 ISAR Study, please contact William Rice

For additional information contact:

William Rice

President, Web Marketing Association, Inc.

(860) 558-5423

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