|Web Awards - Credibility By: Dan Anderson|
I recently looked into applying for web awards. I saw them as a way to convey credibility to my customers and prospective buyers. After looking through many sites, it turns out there are an extremely large amount of award sites to choose from, but how many actually run a quality system of rating? Anyone can rate a site and hand out awards so what makes one site more credible than the other? There are a few things to consider before you apply for an award or put an award on your site.
Criteria- Do you meet it? If your looking for a focused assessment of your site look for criteria that is limited to a specialized category of sites. Criteria that any Joe can meet doesn’t mean the award is not credible, but wouldn’t you rather judges grading you against people in a similar field?
Scoring-Every award site implements a scoring system. It is usually easy to find and you should look this over. Then with this score sheet rate the web award site! If they can’t stand up to their own scoring they aren’t one to choose. Another thing to look for on a score sheet is what is being rated and how. If this award site is rating based on only a few items on a scale from one to three, there will be little accuracy in the assessment.
Judges-Look around a site for information on who is/are judging these sites. Read their bio(s), look at their site(s), and check their credentials. If you cannot locate the judges’ information who(m) are you really dealing with? It could be a robot for all you know, that just hands out awards left and right.
The Award- Look at the award itself. Is it more of an ad for their site or a certificate of achievement for you? Look for the latter. Also is the graphic of high quality? If the award is not appealing or looks unprofessional that will reflect on your site. One thing, that is an indication of a good awarder, is a site that sends a real certificate to your house or place of business as well as a graphic for your site. Now a days some award sites are just a disguised form of link exchange.
Past Winners- Review sites that have previously won the award you are interested in applying for. If these sites are all of a high standard and quality, pick one and contact the webmaster. Inquire on the response from his users, the award service, and anything else you would like to know. Usually you’ll get an informative reply.
Amount of Awards- No one appreciates going to a website an as soon as it loads they are bombarded with about twenty awards in a row. This is just plain bragging and obtrusive to the users experience. I suggest choosing one or two reputable awards and having them on a separate page or on the bottom of the site where all your other information is.
Free Applications Versus Paid- This is affected by your budget, preference, and needs. If you have the cash to apply for a paid award site do it. When your paying for the service your site will be reviewed more diligently, scored harder, and the rating will be more honest and accurate. With a paid application your site will be in the running with other quality sites because no ones going to dish out anywhere from ten to a few hundred dollars to have their poorly made site rejected.
In conclusion, there are many award sites to choose from. Choosing the right one can boost credibility, traffic, and page rank. Choosing a low quality, hand out, award could loose you customers for life and make your site look unprofessional. Do not rely on awards to make you an instant expert or “the guys to go to”, but the right one will show users that your work is appreciated and recognized as a quality site and that will reflect on your products, staff, and content.
About the Author
I, Dan Anderson, am the owner and operator of the internet store http://www.shopwithdan.com. We sell mesh hats: blank, custom, predesigned. After looking at a few awards sites I came to the above conclusions and I wanted to share them with others. To keep in touch with me check out my forum http://www.shopwithdan.com/forums/ Thank you for your time and I hope this benefits you.
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