10 Ways You Can Improve Your Website Content Right Now

10 Ways You Can Improve Your Website Content Right Now
Posted on 05/21/2018
CivicLive Blog - 10 Ways You Can Improve Your Website Content Right Now

Website content—it’s just as important as navigation and usability because it’s what informs your users. It’s the reason they visit your site. While it’s vital your content is accurate and timely, it’s also important that it’s compelling and varied. You should think of your website content as needing regular care and feeding to ensure it is evolving with the needs and interests of your audience.

Here are ten ways to improve your website content:

1. Incorporate More Images

Use images to creatively showcase your city. Any pictures you place on your website should be of a high resolution and of a professional nature. Keep in mind, images aren’t limited to traditional photography. Vary the type of images you include on your site by incorporating:

  • Infographics
  • Drawings
  • Memes (When used judiciously, these are great for sharing in a newsletter or even via social media for a bit of fun.)

2. Embrace Digital Media

Visuals don’t have to be static. Digital media is everywhere you look on the Internet, so why not incorporate it in your content? Stats show that on average, video content on a website retains around 37% of viewers all the way through a video. Digital media doesn’t stop at videos. You can also incorporate soundbites, podcasts and GIFs to make content more active. Just be sure to stay on top of your website accessibility by providing transcripts for all recordings you upload.

3. Write Compelling CTAs

Fostering civic engagement is an ongoing process for local governments. Calls-to-Action or CTAs are the best way to encourage further engagement from your citizens. Using phrases or buttons that encourage additional action such as signing up for activities or a monthly newsletter inspire users to continue to engage.

4. Be a Storyteller

Rather than writing perfunctory blog posts bogged down with information, tell your readers a story. Storytelling is a compelling way to share news and information. When we tell stories rather than simply state facts we engage our audience on a more creative level, allowing us to connect with them personally and even emotionally. Your city, town or village has many stories to tell. So find those stories and share them with your residents and visitors.

5. Offer Value

People visit your website for information, updates and news. The content you provide must offer value. It should be meaningful, organized, easy-to-understand and useful. Remove or update any outdated content to reflect current standards.

6. Mix it Up

Variety is the spice of life, and dynamic content comes in many forms. Your website content should include:

  • Long and short-form blogs.
  • Interviews with experts, business owners, local politicians, etc.
  • Testimonials and reviews—this might include reviews for local theater productions, new restaurants and businesses or kids day camps and local activities.
  • Gated content—use this to encourage sign-ups and to gather emails you can use to share future news and updates. Be certain any gated content is useful, well thought-out and helpful. Gated content can also include downloads for applications.
  • Social media links (for your main municipal accounts).
  • Content from other sources—don't be afraid to share content from other local sources, just make sure the content is accurate and the source is trustworthy.

7. Keep Things Consistent

Do your headings match in size? How about font? Are your pages laid out in similar, cohesive ways? If not, spend some time adjusting your pages so that they have a consistent look and feel. Ideally your website should be designed to incorporate a theme—one that reflects your municipality.

8. Include Headings

Are they snappy? Concise? Do they clearly explain the content on the page? Headings matter, search engines use them when users search online, they also help navigate users to the information they need. Use headings to break up large pieces of information into smaller, organized chunks. Users can then scan a page’s headings to quickly find the information they need.

9. Write Simply

Plain language in government communication is the law. Writing plainly takes practice, but it's a must for any website that wants to offer superior content.

10. Stay Current

Old and outdated content is the bane of every website user’s online existence. For local governments, obsolete website content can negatively impact how residents, business owners and visitors view your government’s trustworthiness. Spending time updating content. Ensuring it’s relevant, timely and accurate makes it easy for users to find what they need.

Discover smart websites—learn more about West's CivicLive solutions.

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