A successful website puts users first. This is true for all websites, but when it comes to governments where every point of contact with their voters is important, it is especially important to ensure that visitors have a good experience. The website may be the only interaction between the community and your office. Visitors to this website will have certain expectations for functionality and general experience based on other websites they visit regularly. A bad user experience will frustrate visitors and can have an unintended impact on your organization.
The best government websites must thus follow these simple principles to make it more user-friendly and comprehensive.
Set Clear Goals for Your Website
Planning a website project requires setting objectives and defining the purpose of the website. Before making major changes or starting to create a new website, first clearly define what you want your website to achieve. Without a clear goal, the content will not be able to focus and can lead to a poor user experience. Providing information to visitors, engagement of visitors with your content, are some of the goals you should include.
The sitemap is a list of pages that helps Google and other search engines find content on your website. It’s a quick, easy-to-understand overview of your website, provides text links to each page, and shows users and web crawlers where they can go. Sitemaps are essential for search engine optimization (SEO).
Using keyword phrases in your sitemap can help your website pages rank higher in search results. In addition to showing search engines how the website is organized, the sitemap also provides valuable “metadata” for each page, such as the frequency of page updates and changes, or how a particular page compares to other pages on your website. All of these have contributed to improving SEO.
Government websites need to be designed keeping in mind that the number of people accessing the Internet through smartphones and tablets exceeds that of desktop computers. Responsive design just means that your website should look good and work well on mobile devices.
- Responsive sites include the following features:
- All text is automatically resized and repositioned for easy viewing.
- The links and buttons are large enough to click in the content order and allow vertical scrolling of the video.
- Full screen and easy video playback.
Regardless of what you do or wherever you visit, visitors can get a consistent experience on your website with a responsive design.
Opening a data portal and using the interactive map on the website is a powerful way to inform and engage the community. This is because the public demand for information online continues to grow and you can help voters by providing interactive maps that are easy to navigate. Through the integration of data from the superior mapping platform, you can proactively provide reliable information that the community needs and needs. This removes communication barriers between the office and the public.
Generate Useful Content
A successful government website becomes the preferred source of community information and you can help the visitors by creating very useful and relevant content. Look carefully at the various information your community wants from you. For example, a community calendar that is updated daily through meetings or other related community events. Or help explain frequently asked questions about new infrastructure improvements in the community. Also, be sure to update your content regularly.
Include a Language Switch Feature
Your voters may include non-native English speakers and they may struggle with fluency. The best government websites should have a language switch enabled. This is a simple software program that can be used to access content in almost any language in the world or, if necessary, multiple languages.
These are some factors you should keep in mind when creating a government website.