Financial Services Website Trends Detailed in New Report from the Web Marketing Association

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Updated Web Marketing Association Internet Standards Assessment Report Includes Historical Data Derived from a Decade of Hosting Premier Internet Award Competition, WebAwards, Provides Best Practices for Financial Services Web Design

Financial websites going forward will need to find a balance between what the web visitor craves in terms of innovation and technology and what the industry demands in terms of regulation.

webaward.org - The Web Marketing Association, host of leading website awards competition WebAwards - recently released the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR), which includes specific benchmarking data to help the financial services industry create more award-winning websites.

"As the standard of excellence for websites continues to increase, web visitors are increasingly picky about what they consider to be an effective website," said William Rice, president of the Web Marketing Association. "Financial websites going forward will need to find a balance between what the web visitor craves in terms of innovation and technology and what the industry demands in terms of regulation."

The WebAwards competition evaluates financial websites on seven criteria that combined create effective websites:

  • Design
  • Innovation
  • Content
  • Technology
  • Interactivity
  • Copywriting
  • Ease of use

Financial services Web sites have underperformed the ISAR index for five consecutive years until they narrowly moved over the line in 2008. Prior to 2003, they only narrowly outperformed the index for the preceding four years. The most recent underperformance resulted in the industry scoring below the 5-year criteria benchmark averages in all areas. Financial services Web sites are strongest in content, copywriting, and ease of use. They significantly lag in technology and innovation.

The 2008 WebAward for Best Financial Web site went to Organic Inc for Bank of America Fees & Processes.

Other past winners include:

  • 2007 John Hancock Funds, LLC for Financial Professional Website
  • 2006 T3 (The Think Tank) for Chase Card with Blink
  • 2005 Merrill Lynch for Merrill Lynch Gateway Website
  • 2004 Moving Minds, LLC for Trancentrix Corporate Payment Solutions Website
  • 2003 Weber Shandwick Worldwide for CNBC on MSN Money
  • 2002 GE Center for Financial Learning for GE Center for Financial Learning Website
  • 2001 PCQuote.com for Financial Website
  • 2000 Commerce One for Michigan National Bank
  • 1999 SmartMoney.com for SmartMoney.com's website
  • 1998 The Nasdaq Stock Market for the Nasdaq Stock Market' website
  • 1997 Browne Internet Solutions for Roney & Co. Web Site

Companies and organizations wishing to have their financial services Web site evaluated against the ISAR Index and be considered for a WebAward, which can help boost a Website's credibility and marketing efforts, can learn more at webaward.org.

To request your copy of the 2009 WebAward ISAR report, please visit: webaward.org.

The Internet Standards Assessment report and the 2009 WebAwards are sponsored by the following leading organizations: Burst Media, B2B Magazine, BGT Partners, PRWeb, AllBusiness, ExactTarget, ad:tech conferences, NewsUSA, Microsoft PhizzPop, Internet World, AllBusiness, Search Engine Strategies, Webmaster Radio, Rovion, and Website Magazine.

2009 WebAward Call for Entries
The Web Marketing Association will soon be accepting entries into its 13th annual international WebAward Competition. The WebAwards is the standards-defining competition that sets industry benchmarks that the Internet Standards Assessment report is based upon. The financial services industry represents an important category in the WebAward competition, and the Web Marketing Association will again be honoring the Best Financial Services Web site of 2009. Participants will receive valuable feedback and the opportunity to earn peer recognition. The deadline for entry is May 29, 2009 and the WebAward Web site is located at webaward.org.

About the WebAwards
Now in its 13th year, the 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 webaward.org.

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WILLIAM RICE
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