CU Websites Underperforming Others, Says Assn.

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When it comes to their websites, credit unions have fallen behind other providers, according to at least one analysis.

The Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association claims that credit union websites have consistently underperformed the overall ISAR Index and have not exceeded it since 1998.

"They have produced above-average scores for interactivity and ease of use," the WMA said.

The ISAR study provides industry benchmarks for website development and is based on data collected from 9,748 website evaluations in more than 80 industries over the past decade.

"No credit union sites were entered in the 2003 WebAwards," said William Rice, president of the Web Marketing Association, in a released statement. "Credit union sites have out performed the criteria averages for interactivity and ease of use. There have not been any Outstanding WebAwards issued to credit union websites to date."

Since 1997, the Web Marketing Association has been conducting its annual WebAward Competition for website development. The Internet Standards Assessment Report is the result of nearly a decade of independent evaluations of website development based on seven categories: design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use.

While credit unions have not done well recently, CUs have participated in the competition and have taken home awards. Past WebAwards Best Credit Union winners have included: 2005 America First CU; 2004 APCI FCU; 2003 U.S. Central Credit Union; 2002 Santa Clara County FCU.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded at www.webaward. org/isar-report.asp. A number of the credit union trade associations also include web marketing within their marketing competitions.

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