Search engines favor government websites because of their authoritative nature, while offering the most useful and reliable answers to important search queries. However, the right government website that provides the definitive answers could still rank low. That is if the site’s web pages are not enhanced with SEO elements that can bring it to the top pages of search engine page results (SERPs).
Unlike commercial, personal and social websites, government sites are not indexed and ranked by search engines as responses to queries about products, brands, lifestyles, remedies and similar topics. More often than not, government websites provide information needed not only by the local general public but specifically by professionals, specialists and researchers coming from other geographical locations.
Yet most government web pages have little visibility or even no visibility at all, if web administrators and content creators think SEO is just for marketing and selling purposes. The thing is, as a government website, you can help search engines like Google, effectively crawl and index pages that provide the best answers. While it benefits a government website to have higher SERP ranking, it also improves the site’s ability to provide useful information as a service to those who need them the most.
Essential Features of a Functional Government Website
It’s essential therefore to produce high-quality content that presents consistent information contributed by an authority on the subject matter.
Web pages and their content must be consistent and easy to navigate. The theme and design used should be browser-friendly regardless of the type of device used by a browser-user. The elements of a page can easily adjust to the size of the device screen as a way to create a satisfactory user experience for all types of search engine users.
Keyword Research is Still Important
Keyword research still reigns supreme since the only way to lead search engines to a site’s data is through the keywords appearing in the content of web pages. Keywords must include the specific geographic location in which a government exists and what most people want to know about your geographic location: e.g. travel advisories, vacation destinations, employment or business opportunities, schools, cost of living, real estate properties and other topics of particular interest to most people.
Keyword research used to be regarded as highly technical and something that if performed by a non-techie individual cannot be readily deemed as search engine responsive. Nowadays, however, there are online tools designed to help those with fewer experience or knowhow about keyword research. Use an online tool to rank check the keywords identified as the most potential search words or phrases that visitors will use to reach one’s government website.
Do On-Page and Off-Page Optimization
Once the keywords or phrases have been identified and ascertained, it is best to ensure on-page optimization. This technical aspect is not as difficult to accomplish because it’s only a matter of making sure the high-ranking keywords constantly appear in the site’s web pages, either as headings, titles or sub captions.
Off-page optimization, on the other hand, involves exactly what the process means — optimize using other web pages by linking content to internal pages of the government website; or to quality external content of other authoritative sites. .
It’s also important to review and edit the content for information updates to keep the site highly useful to readers. Make every visit a satisfactory experience for readers by using only words that are easily understood by the general public, and not to impress professionals and experts.