SEO for government agencies is one of the most complicated and challenging SEO scenarios you can face. In these situations, many of the most typical assumptions regarding the management, implementation, and measurement of an SEO project are inappropriate; thus, a new mentality is required for the project to be properly carried out.
We think that this is just too timely of a subject for there not to be a more widespread discussion about it. On the other hand, we haven’t been able to find a lot of information about how SEO might work for websites of this sort. The majority of articles reiterate the same fundamental SEO principles (such as “use keywords and create a sitemap”), but they provide very few if any, guidelines or pieces of advice to help readers comprehend what differentiates these various types of websites as well as the most typical obstacles that you will most likely encounter.
Sites of the Many Types of Government Agencies
These websites are adaptable to a variety of contexts and scales, from the national to the state and local levels. You may anticipate that there will be several websites controlled by the government in every given nation, each one serving a specific function. In the context of this article, we are explicitly referring to:
- Websites that are produced and maintained under the oversight of a state or government-level body, and do not have an emphasis on commercialization or branding. Websites that do not sell anything (products, services, or advertisement space) and are not attempting to “create a (commercial) brand” for the sake of future monetization are referred to as having “no business model.”
- Websites that are accessible to the public or have public portions. Websites or portions that purposefully avoid being accessible to users in any way, whether by requiring a login or other means, are not included in the scope of SEO.
- Websites that aim to be a “single source of truth” by giving the most recent and correct information to the general audience are included in this category.
- A top-level domain of any kind. The “.gov” suffix is almost always associated with official government websites. Nevertheless, they are free to use any top-level domain or subdomain they like. Even the.gov extension is not often used in a lot of different nations.
- There is also the possibility of including international organizations, such as those affiliated with the United Nations.
Where Do We Even Begin?
Now that we have some background information, we can provide some context on what search engine optimization SEO for government agencies is, the breadth of those websites, and the reach such websites have. Now, let’s get into some crucial factors that your SEO strategy for these kinds of sites absolutely has to take into account if you want your residents to discover the correct information from the most trustworthy source.
- Be clear, and have a keyword strategy: As we have seen before, as almost every citizen is a potential visitor, we should write with as much clarity as we possibly can, trying to find out how people look for information, and capturing that insight to determine whether or not the government cites the answers.
- As was said before, many individuals are interested in obtaining information that is current at the moment. In an effort to garner more hits, media websites will frequently provide unofficial material that has the potential to lead to confusion about the topic at hand. Because of this, the government agency, which is the official source of information, needs to publish the information as soon as it has been validated.
- User Experience: You can’t just assume that you’re “important” users will have a certain device, operating system, or browser. This is because you can’t predict what your customers will have. The solution must include rendering that is both quick and effective (if such a thing is required), along with top-notch performance and websites that load quickly. If you care about digital inclusion, particularly for those with lower incomes, you will need to design with low-priced devices and sluggish networks in mind. This is especially important when designing for individuals with lower incomes.
- Service Continuity: You have to have the website ready for large loads at certain times by making the necessary adjustments. Certain occurrences, such as tax season, are simple to anticipate in advance, while others take place all of a sudden (such as natural disasters).
- Make Use of Frequently Asked Questions the majority of the questions that consumers have might have their answers found right on the search sites. If the official material is properly SEO optimized, it has the potential to get high ranks and be displayed both in and in the rich snippets results.