Best Faith-based Website Trends Detailed in New Report from Web Marketing Association

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Updated Web Marketing Association' Internet Standards Assessment Report Includes Historical Data Derived from a Decade of Hosting Internet Award Competition, WebAwards, and Provides Best Practices for Faith-based Web Design

WebAward.org - The Web Marketing Association, host of leading website awards competition WebAwards, released the 2009 Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) to help the faith-based industry learn to create more effective and engaging websites.

"As the standard of excellence for websites continues to increase, consumers (and WebAward judges) are increasingly picky about what they consider to be an effective website," said William Rice, president of the Web Marketing Association, Inc. "Faith based sites are where users turn for information about their or another's faith. In addition, it is also another example of how the Internet has built communities through online networks. Many faith-based sites are strong in social media, offering user generated content to their advantage."

The WebAwards competition judges faith based websites on seven criteria that combined create award-winning websites:

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

Faith-based Web sites are newcomers to the WebAwards joining in 2004. A stellar performance in 2004 was offset by poor performance in 2005. For the past two years, the industry has settled in with less drastic swings and has outperformed the index by a small margin until falling to 2005-like levels again in 2008. The 5-year criteria average scores are slightly above average in content, copywriting, and
interactivity. Faith-based Web sites match the average criteria scores in design and fall below average in innovation and technology. As an industry, faith-based sites are strongest in content, copywriting, and interactivity. They lag in innovation and technology.

The 2008 WebAward for Faith-based website went to Mediapulse for Park West Church.

Other past winners include:

  •     2007 Bayshore Solutions for Wycliffe Bible Translators
  •     2006 Dallas Theological Seminary for the Dallas Theological Seminary Website
  •     2005 Biola University for Talbot School of Theology website
  •     2004 PhotoMission Inc. for A Worldwide Community of Christian Photographers

Companies and organizations wishing to have their faith 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 is now 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 faith-based industry represents an important category in the WebAward competition, and the Web Marketing Association will again be honoring the Best Faith Web site of 2009. 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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