Word cloud of frequent topics

Part II: Local Government Websites | Who They Serve

A business typically tries to guide people to make a purchase, and it thrives on “calls to action” for a relatively small set of products or services. A business website is designed for potential customers. Business websites generally have a vertical orientation starting with broad categories of options that narrow in a funnel to a specific goal whether it is a product or service for sale or the answer to a question.

Government Websites Serve Many Kinds of People

Government websites sometimes try to do so many things that people get lost in the levels of cascading menus. A government website isn’t for customers, rather it’s for constituents wanting to know what local government is doing plus other groups

  • Industry scouts looking for places to expand
  • Businesses studying the available markets.
  • Senior citizens looking for a place to retire
  • Citizens looking for telephone numbers of elected officials
  • Citizens looking to pay fees
  • Court proceedings and crime reports
  • Builders looking for subdivision regulations and zoning information
  • People looking for “How To” information about local government requirements or services
  • Parents looking for education and health care services
  • Homeowners needing highway and road maintenance
  • ….

Government Websites Are Portals to Many Topics

Government websites also have some deep vertical dives into detailed material, but the breadth of categories is far wider than for most businesses. Why is this? Government, even at local levels, has many departments, some of which maintain separate websites. Quite often, the departments are spread out over the municipality making it difficult to engage departments into a coherent web strategy.

What do you think?

Send us feedback!