Website Writing Guide

Writing for government websites

Increasing audience reach

Do most users stumble on your information or do they find it as a result of a deliberate search for government information?

Deliberate and informed inquirers: Some people get online with the deliberate intention of seeking government information or services via a search engine. They know the government offers a service or product so they use department names, bureaucratic terms, the names of programs, schemes and initiatives and some will restrict search results to .gov URLs.

Accidental inquirers: Some people get online looking for information or services without any idea that the government provides them. Their queries do not include government jargon or the titles of programs and grant schemes. Their queries and expectations are geared towards finding websites that offer the information or service.

What does this mean for writers?

Compose content so it is found by accidental visitors as well as deliberate, informed seekers. If your Web pages are not Google-friendly for everyone for whom your service or information is relevant, the accidental inquirers may never see your Web pages.

The deliberate inquirers are the easy ones to cater for - but that’s rather like preaching to the converted. It restricts your audience to those who already know your website or information or service exists. If you ensure that your Web pages are Google-friendly for accidental inquirers, your Web page ranking will improve and your audience reach will improve.


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