Award Categories

A new era for the Australian Web Awards

There have been some changes to the Australian Web Awards categories from previous years. We have listened to member feedback and have adjusted our categories to reflect an evolving digital landscape in Australia.

Here’s what we’ve changed:

  1. The Commercial category is now called Medium-to-Large Business 
  2. We have adjusted the requirements of the Small Business category to make it more accessible (and less opaque)
  3. We have introduced TWO NEW CATEGORIES: Shoestring Website (budget under $10,000) and SEO Effectiveness
  4. The StartUp category has been retired but startups are now eligible to enter the Small Business category
  5. We have revised the explanation of the Social Media category and renamed it Social Media Growth.

Our judging process remains the same and we’re excited to welcome new experts from emerging digital fields to help us award the very best in digital.

2020 Awards Categories

The categories for the Australian Web Awards 2020 are:

A single site can be entered in up to two (2) categories. Each category requires a separate entry.

National finalists will be chosen from entries judged in each category.

Excepting the Social Media category, websites in each category are judged according to the following six criteria:

  • User Interface Design
  • User Experience Design
  • Content
  • Development
  • Accessibility
  • Speed

Shoestring Website (budget under $10,000)

As a web professional, have you made a great digital project under $10k? You probably have. This category recognises great thinking and excellence in craft for websites, web-apps and microsites. Whether you’re part of an agency or a freelancer working on your own, impress us with how innovative and creative you have been when working within a smaller budget.

Validation Testing Guidelines

Below is the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required.

  • Markup - HTML5 with less than three (3) Unique Errors.
  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level A, as a minimum. This is dependent on the audience demographic.
  • Page Speed Testing
  • Content - spellchecked

Criteria Weighting

Social Media Growth

This category acknowledges business success and innovation in social media marketing through growth in engagement as proven by clicks, shares, likes, comments and sales metrics. Criteria includes both paid, boosted campaigns, and organic reach (as well as creative assets).

Please note: any commercial information you provide will not be publicly disclosed without the entrant's prior written agreement.

Validation Testing Guidelines

Below is the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required.

  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level AA, as a minimum.
  • Content - spellchecked

Criteria Weighting

E-commerce

This category is for websites whose primary purpose is to sell products or services online.

Validation Testing Guidelines

Below is the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required.

  • Markup - HTML5 with less than three (3) Unique Errors.
  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level A, as a minimum. This is dependent on the audience demographic.
  • Page Speed Testing
  • SSL Certificate - current
  • Content - spellchecked

Criteria Weighting

Small Business

Small Business is open to any business that has a turnover of up to $2m. We want to celebrate the diversity and excellence of small businesses Australia-wide, so be prepared – this is going to be a competitive category! Remember: websites can be entered into a maximum of two (2) categories.

Validation Testing Guidelines

Below is the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required.

  • Markup - HTML5 with less than three (3) Unique Errors.
  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level A, as a minimum. This is dependent on the audience demographic.
  • Page Speed Testing
  • Content - spellchecked

Criteria Weighting

Medium-to-Large Business (previously Commercial)

The Commercial category is suited to businesses that are more than two years old with a turnover of $2m+. This category is suited to websites that are more focused on branding, information or services. If the principal focus of your site is selling online from a catalogue of products, it should be entered in the E-commerce category.

Some sites could fit either category. In which case, choose the one you prefer (or enter both!).

Please note, individual sites can be entered into two (2) award categories.

Validation Testing Guidelines

Below is the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required.

  • Markup - HTML5 with less than three (3) Unique Errors.
  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level A, as a minimum. This is dependent on the audience demographic.
  • Page Speed Testing
  • Content - spellchecked

Criteria Weighting

Government

This category is for websites of government, government agencies or wholly government-funded programs.

Given the Australian Government's stated commitment to accessibility, government sites should aim to meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.

Validation Testing Guidelines

Below is the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required.

  • Markup - HTML5 with less than three (3) Unique Errors.
  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level AA, as a minimum.
  • Page Speed Testing
  • Content - spellchecked

Criteria Weighting

Education

The Education Award is for educational institutions such as schools (private, public, primary and secondary), Registered Training Organisations and universities.

Typically, the sites would support the ongoing business of education and recruitment of prospective students, as well as supporting current students and staff.

Validation Testing Guidelines

Below is the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required.

  • Markup - HTML5 with less than three (3) Unique Errors.
  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level A, as a minimum. Government-supported institutions should aim for WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
  • Page Speed Testing
  • Content - spellchecked

Criteria Weighting

Not for Profit

Candidate sites can be Not-For-Profit organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs) or industry associations.

Validation Testing Guidelines

Below is the recommended validation testing guidelines and evidence required.

  • Markup - HTML5 with less than three (3) Unique Errors.
  • Accessibility - WCAG 2.0 Level A, as a minimum. This is dependent on the audience demographic.
  • Page Speed Testing
  • Content - spellchecked

Criteria Weighting

SEO Effectiveness

Did your team meet or exceed the objectives of the clients goals and objectives with your SEO campaign? Explain with data to back up claims. Innovative thinking and results are the key here. Show us success within the last 18 months.

  • What were the campaign dates?
  • What were the client’s goals and objectives?
  • What is the clients product and industry?
  • What was the budget range? Select one: small ($500-$1000), mid range ($5,000) OR enterprise ($5,000+) 
  • How did the company meet / exceed those goals and objectives?
  • Does the strategy discuss onsite issues and fixes?
  • Backlink analysis
  • Content optimisation and growth 
  • Data - measuring and tracking (have they set up meaningful analytics goals? Plus extra mile analysis, using tracking to contextualise broad sweeping metrics? Eg scroll depth against bounce rate) 
  • How creative was strategy implementation to meet goals?
  • Did your team innovative a strategic approach or insight to the campaign? Innovative management, thinking, implementation and results are the key here. 
  • For the date range, what was the impact on conversions? More leads / transactions and revenue?
  • How the results met and/or exceeded expectations for business goals/objectives?

Criteria Weighting

Craft Awards

These awards proactively recognise excellence in the digital crafts:

  • Design
  • Coding
  • Content
  • UX

Our judges will select the best of the best out of all award entries, so you won’t need to do anything to be considered, other than enter the Australian Web Awards.