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Small Businesses Benefit From Web Competition

While word of mouth attracted new users, it was not until it won Best Family Web site in last year's WebAward competition that things took off for the Family Cookbook Project. With its Web site, Family Cookbook Project, the small business helps families and groups create and print personalized cookbooks to share and treasure. The simple-to-use site automates the process of gathering and formatting recipes into a family heirloom. "We were very excited to win a WebAward from the Web Marketing Association, but we had no idea the visibility it would create for our site," said publisher Richard Lowell. "All of a sudden we went from being a good, useful Web site that people talked about to their friends to having the credibility of being an award-winning Web site." The international WebAward 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 factors the Web Marketing Association says are critical to a site's success are: design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use. The goal of the Web Marketing Association 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 that go along with an award-winning Web site. "As a small-business owner, I need to leverage every marketing dollar I have," Lowell said. "Participating in an award program like the WebAwards not only created a wonderful marketing opportunity, but we received valuable feedback that will help us make our Web site even better.


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