Top Five Reasons Citizens Use Their City Website

Top Five Reasons Citizens Use Their City Website
Posted on 04/02/2018
CivicLive Blog - Top Five Reasons Citizens Use Their City's Website

Digital government is quickly becoming the new norm. Local governments are working to update their websites so they can offer faster, more efficient and easier access to the services that citizens need. As more governments turn their platforms into fully-functional eGov solutions, one question they often ask is, “What are citizens using our website for?” It’s a good question to ask because knowing what your audience is using your site for helps you to identify and understand their unique needs.

Let’s take a look at the top five reasons citizens are using their municipality’s website.

1. Online Access to Services

This is undoubtedly the number one reason citizens are using their government website. As governments modernize and digitize, more services are moving online. This move online is making life easier for citizens and staff. Residents can now access government services, such as permits, paying bills and tickets, and even register for services by simply going online. And they are. 46% of American adults have researched what services a government agency offers and 33% have registered for license renewal online. When governments use their website as a fully-functional digital space equipped with streamlined processes, they see the results. Citizens are eager to take advantage of online services. Bonus points if your site is mobile-friendly.

2. Efficiency

Easy access to online services saves your residents time and money. Before the rise of the digital government, residents were often required to call or physically go to their local state departments in order to pay bills, apply for permits, or even to find answers to questions. Since most government agencies operate on a 9-5 schedule, this meant that a person had to find time during their work hours to accomplish a necessary task, resulting in lost wages. These tasks also meant having to stand in line. A simple task like paying a bill could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or two depending on the time of day and size of the line! But now, government websites are capable of streamlining processes that make it easy for residents to do what they need, quickly and efficiently.

3. Easy Communication

Citizens want to be heard by their governments whether it’s to make a complaint, voice concerns or share ideas—and so they turn to their municipal website in order to engage. Through your website, citizens are able to contact different departments. If you’re using a dedicated eGov solution then you should also be able to run polls and surveys through your site, opening up ongoing conversations to the public, giving them ample opportunity to share their thoughts on new developments, changing school zones and even public celebrations.

4. News and Information

The modern citizen expects their municipal website to act as an information hub. Who better to provide news and information about your city or town than your own government? For many citizens your website is a go-to source for updates on roads and construction, power outages, major changes to laws, and more. As an extension to this, residents will also look to your social media accounts, which should be accessible through your website, likewise your website should be accessible via your social media accounts.

5. Tourism and Recreation

Where better to find things to do in your city or town than going online? Many government websites now separate departments and agencies, including Tourism and Recreation, often providing them with their own individual pages wherein interested parties can find all the information they need about local events. These pages inform potential visitors of city highlights, what kind of activities and events they can expect—including outdoor activities, free events, arts and music—and activities unique to your municipality.

Improved Access to Government

A well designed, modern website makes accessing government simple. Citizens use your website in order to gain that access. The ease with which residents can now complete necessary tasks, find information, and explore what their city has to offer means digital governments equipped with contemporary websites are not only working hard to meet their citizens’ needs, they’re succeeding in doing so.

To learn more about how the CivicLive solution can help you meet your citizens' needs, contact us today.

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