Best Brokerage Website of 2006 to be Named by Web Marketing Association

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The Web Marketing Association will again be honoring the Best Brokerage Web site of 2006. The deadline to enter the 10th annual international WebAward Competition is May 31, 2006.

The Web Marketing Association announces the call for entries for its 10th annual international WebAward Competition at http://www.webawards2006.org. The WebAwards is the standards-defining competition that sets industry benchmarks based on the seven criteria of a successful Web site.

The brokerage industry represents an important category in the WebAward competition, and the Web Marketing Association will again be honoring the Best Brokerage Web site of 2006. The deadline for entry is May 31, 2006.

“The brokerage industry is very competitive when it comes to Web development and companies can benefit from the independent evaluation of their online efforts that the award judges provide,” said William Rice, President of the Web Marketing Association. “Added to the WebAwards in 1999, Brokerage Web sites have generally been in line with the overall ISAR Index, other than its first year and 2005 where they posted dramatic drops on overall scores. This drop off in 2005 might account for the industry underperforming each of its criteria 3-year average benchmarks, except use of technology. Like most established financial institutions, the brokerage industry had to deal with significant legacy system and “big iron focused IT” issues during its transformation to web-based platforms. This allowed nimbler start-ups to establish online footholds and brand recognition with consumers.”

Each year the Web Marketing Association names the Best Brokerage Website based on the scores submitted by the competition judges. Recent winners of the “Best Brokerage Web site” WebAwards include:

2005 Charles Schwab: A Defining Year - http://www.aboutschwab.com/ar2004
2004 Strong Financial - http://www.strong.com/
2003 Strong.com - http://www.strong.com/
2002 Strong.com - http://www.strong.com/

A complete list of past winners and the entry form for companies who wish to compete for 2006 honors can be found at http://www.webaward2006.org.

Web sites are judged on seven criteria including design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copy writing and ease of use and receive a numeric score. Each WebAward entry is judged against other entries in its industry category and then against an overall standard of excellence. Entrants also benefit from receiving valuable feedback from the WebAwards professional judging panel on their Web site development efforts.

Using the quantifiable data collected from 9,748 Web site evaluations over the past decade, the WebAwards has defined and recognized industry-specific benchmarks for successful Web sites in each of the seven judging criteria and released an Internet Standards Assessment Report to detail the findings of the study.

“Participants in the 2006 WebAwards brokerage category will receive their scores in each of the seven criteria compared to the average of the entire industry. That type of feedback and benchmarking alone in worth the price of admission,” said Rice.

A copy of the Internet Standards Assessment Report, including details regarding the brokerage industry through 2005, is available at http://www.webawards2006.org.

Judging for the 2006 WebAwards will take place in June through August, with winners announced in September. Judges will consist of a select group of Internet marketing professionals who have direct experience designing and managing Web sites with an in-depth understanding of the current state-of-the-art in Web site development and technology. Mark Kingdon, CEO of Organic, Inc. (http://www.organic.com) has been selected to lead the judging panel this year. Past judges have included top executives from leading organizations such as Ogilvy Interactive, Saatchi & Saatchi, Blattner Brunner, Comedy Central, Sun Microsystems, Refinery, Euro RSCG, EPB Interactive, New York Post Interactive, The Cincinnati Enquirer, J. Walter Thompson, Xerox, Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Modem Media, and Answerthink just to name a few.

The 2006 WebAward Competition current sponsors include Burst Media (http://www.burstmedia.com), SimpleFeed (http://www.simplefeed.com), Register.com (http://www.register.com), NewsUSA (http://www.newsusa.com), AdTools Inc(http://www.adtoolsinc.com), Small Army (http://www.smallarmy.net), Perseus Development Corp (http://www.perseus.com) and PRWeb (http://www.prweb.com). Media Sponsors include Website Services Magazine (http://www.websiteservices.com), AdRants (http://www.adrants), MarketingVox (http://www.marketingvox.com), MediaPost (http://www.wediapost.com), eComXpo (http://www.ecomxpo.com), Ad:Tech (http://www.ad-tech.com) and Macworld (http://www.macworldexpo.com). The Web Marketing Association thanks all of its sponsors for helping to make this annual competition possible.

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.

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William Rice