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Guide To Creating Content For Your Local Government Website: Best Practices and Tips 

By Anna Figliola

In the digital age, local government websites serve as vital portals for residents to access information, engage with their community, and stay informed about local governance. The need for local officials to connect with residents, understand their needs, and communicate crucial information is more critical now than ever before, as the rise of digital communication has created new expectations for immediate and accessible information. 

One powerful tool in this effort is the government website, a central hub for resources and updates.  Sharing reliable and consistent posts on your local government website draws readers into your platform, and gives them a reason to regularly visit your website to check out new updates. 

Engaging with constituents on a regular basis is a multifaceted challenge for local government officials. The demands of their roles often leave little time for direct interaction with residents, yet effective governance hinges on understanding and responding to the needs of the community. Urging residents to visit the numerous resources on their local government website is vital for creating and maintaining content that encourages regular engagement from constituents. 

This article will explore the importance of regularly updating content on local government websites and provide practical tips for maintaining a dynamic and engaging online presence. By implementing these strategies, local government officials can enhance their ability to connect with constituents and provide them with the information they need to be informed and engaged members of the community. 

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What Is Considered Valuable Local Government Content?

Valuable local government content should aim to educate, inform, and engage residents on a variety of topics relevant to their lives and the community. Such content includes articles about new businesses around town, not only promoting local commerce but also helping residents discover new products and services. 

Valuable content also entails materials about how achieving higher-paying jobs can empower residents to improve their economic prospects and contribute to the local economy. By offering a mix of practical advice, community news, and insights into local government operations, local officials can create a website that is both informative and engaging, encouraging residents to visit regularly and participate more actively in local affairs.

Learn everything about Government Website Design Tips here. 

Why Publishing Content On Your Local Government Website Is Important 

Regularly updating your municipality's website is important for keeping residents informed, fostering community engagement, and building trust in the government's actions and decisions.

  • It Helps Constituents Stay Engaged 

Your local government’s website provides a centralized and accessible platform for residents to stay informed about local news, community events, and initiatives. By highlighting local businesses, community organizations, and individual residents, the website can showcase the diversity and vibrancy of the community,  encouraging residents to feel more connected to their community and more invested in local affairs.

Ensure your local government follows a strong Local Government Community Engagement Strategy here.  

  • Your Website Can Be Easily Accessed on Smartphones

With smartphones being the primary device for many people to access the internet, ensuring that local government websites are mobile-friendly is essential for reaching a wide audience and promoting engagement. This level of accessibility is particularly important during emergencies or times of crisis when residents may need immediate access to critical information. 

  • Links To Your Content Can Be Quickly Shared 

When local governments consistently publish high-quality and relevant content, they are more likely to attract attention from other websites, organizations, and individuals who may find the content valuable. Regularly posting content can help build a loyal audience of followers who regularly visit the government website for updates and are more likely to share links to the website's content. The goal of publishing information and content is to help residents see it; an easily shareable method of doing so helps citizens stay informed without hassle. 

Examples Of What To Publish on Your Local Government Website

Publishing content on your local government website is a powerful way to inform and engage residents. Here are some examples of what you can post on your website:

  • Profiles of Government Officials

Publishing profiles of government officials on local government websites can help to humanize the governing body and make officials more accessible to residents. These profiles should include information about the current leadership, helping residents understand the motivations and values of their elected representatives. Local government websites should also provide clear and up-to-date contact information for key government offices, departments, and officials. 

Consider How to Bring Digital Democracy to Government Agencies

  • Articles Regarding Available Services and Programs

Your local government website should offer published articles regarding available services and programs for constituents. These articles can provide detailed information about how to engage with various government-based services and programs, including trash collection schedules, public transportation information, utility services, and all relevant requirements and deadlines.

Learn more about How To Improve Municipal Services for Underserved Community Members with our resource. 

  • Informational Articles About Obtaining Permits and Licenses

Providing informational articles about permits and licenses on local government websites helps residents better understand the process and streamlines the work for government workers at the same time. These articles can provide step-by-step guides on how to obtain permits and licenses for various activities, including building permits, business licenses, and event permits,  including the necessary documentation and fees. 

Check out these popular permits that can be made available on your government website: 

An up-to-date government website publishes details of past events and upcoming community events as a valuable way to keep residents informed and engaged. By showcasing past successful events, local government websites can highlight the community's achievements and excite constituents about events to come.

Check out our guide on How to Manage & Improve Local Public Meetings & Events here.

  • Public Notices and Announcements

Public notices and announcements on local government websites can include information about public hearings, proposed changes to regulations, and other matters that affect the community. By providing this information in a shareable format online, local government websites make it easier for residents to stay up-to-date with current affairs, including updates about local government initiatives, projects, and policies. 

  • Share Public Meeting Minutes and Summaries

Public meeting minutes and summaries are documents that provide a detailed record of discussions, decisions, and actions taken during meetings, allowing residents to stay informed about the workings of their local government. By making meeting minutes and agendas for city council meetings, committee meetings, and other public gatherings easily accessible online, local government websites enable residents to review past meetings at their convenience, demonstrating a commitment to transparency and accountability. 

  • Emergency Preparedness Information

Local officials can ensure residents are informed and prepared for potential disasters by publishing emergency preparedness information on your local government website. Emergency preparedness information should provide valuable resources and articles regarding guidance on how residents can prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, severe weather, and public health crises. 

Consider these GovPilot Guides To Weather Preparedness: 

Learn How to Form a Community Emergency Response Team here.  

  • How-To Guides

Local governments can enhance their quality of services by offering step-by-step instructions and practical tips. Make sure to publish FAQs and how-to guides to address common questions and concerns from residents regarding government services, processes, and regulations to make complex procedures more manageable and help residents overcome common obstacles. 

Considerations For Government Website Content Creation

Consider these reminders when building content for your local government website pages: 

1. Ask Yourself “Will residents be interested in this?”

By publishing enticing content that is informative, relevant, and engaging, local government websites can attract a larger audience and help to humanize the government, making it more relatable to residents. Consider showcasing the people and stories behind government initiatives to help residents connect on a more personal level and build trust in their elected officials.

2. Maintain Proper Grammar

When posting content on your local government’s website, adhering to proper grammar standards is crucial for several reasons. Proper grammar helps to ensure that the information is clear, concise, and easy to understand, which is especially important when communicating complex or technical information to the public. It also shows that care and attention have been taken in crafting the content, reflecting positively on the government organization.

3. Ensure Content Is Readable and Accessible 

Readability is essential for ensuring that information is easily understood by a wide audience, including those with varying levels of literacy or language proficiency. Local government websites should adhere to accessibility standards, such as providing alt text for images, using descriptive link text, and ensuring that content is navigable using keyboard controls. 

Learn about Political & Government Agency Press Release Format & Strategy here. 

4. Share Links To Your Website On Social Media

Social media platforms offer local governments a direct and immediate way to communicate with residents, share important updates, and promote community events and initiatives. By sharing website links on social media, local governments can drive traffic to their websites, where residents can find more detailed information and resources. 

The Benefits of Regularly Posting Content On Your Website 

  • Residents Become More Involved 

Providing up-to-date information on local news, events, and initiatives on government websites can lead to increased participation in community events, public meetings, and volunteer opportunities. When residents see that their government is actively sharing information and seeking input, they are more likely to feel valued and engaged in the decision-making process. 

Check out our Constituent Engagement Software here!

  • Greater Awareness of the Local Government 

Regularly posting content on local government websites is vital to ensure that residents are informed about the work being done on their behalf. By providing regular updates on government initiatives, programs, and services, local government websites can build credibility and trust with residents.

Learn How To Combat Common Constituent Misconceptions About Local Government here. 

  • Informed Citizens 

Local officials can keep citizens informed by publishing timely and relevant information about important developments, events, and services in their community. Regularly posting content can help citizens understand how their local government makes informed decisions and stay informed about what is happening in their area.

Learn How to Embrace Citizen Feedback to Improve Government Operations here.  

  • Good Publicity Is Created For Your Local Government

By consistently sharing updates on projects, events, and services, local government websites can enhance their public image and demonstrate transparency and accountability to residents. Officials can generate interest and support for their work by highlighting success stories, community partnerships, and innovative solutions to local issues.

Prioritize Building Trust in Local Government

Start Creating Your Municipal Content Now 

It is crucial that local government officials make the necessary adjustments to encourage marketing employees to regularly update their government website with valuable content. Maintaining an enticing, up-to-date government website reaches a broader audience of residents, increases visibility and the public image of local government organizations, and ensures citizens stay informed on important updates within the community. Book a consultation with GovPilot today. 

Creating Government Content FAQs

  • Why is posting content regularly important? 

Regularly posting content on local government websites is key to keeping residents engaged and informed on local affairs and maintaining a positive public image of your municipality. The content will also be more circulated, the more you post, impacting and reaching a wider range of constituents!

  • Why is grammar and readability important for local government articles? 

Proper grammar and readability of local government articles helps to ensure that the information is comprehensible, coherent, and direct. Adequate grammar reflects the care and attention put into government articles, exemplifying professionalism and competence of your local government. Also, making your content readable ensures constituents at all reading levels can take in the information. 

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Tags: Constituent Engagement, Constituent Experience, Digital Transformation, Civic Engagement