The Growing Importance of SEO for Government Agencies’ Digital Presence and Processes
Monday January 24, 2022
So much of the processes taxpayers go through now to apply for permits, certificates, and licences, or to register businesses and organizations are done online.
It is a fact that the information government organizations distribute online is essential; not just for specialists and professionals, but also for the general public. However, many government web pages have fallen into the same trap—they provide high quality content, but face little to no visibility. Some organizations have attempted to remedy this by incorporating digital marketing in the form of social media. While this can be an effective tactic, there is another method that could broaden the reach of public information.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that may sound intimidatingly technical to many people, but it is simply a set of evolving informal rules to optimize your website and pages for search engines such as Google. The reason is simple: optimizing your content will aid Google and other platforms to more effectively “crawl” your content, helping people find your page and information they need because your search engine rankings are high. With improved search engine rankings and results, comes more web traffic and visitors to your website and its specific pages. SEO also improves the functionality of your website by improving its quality and user-friendliness, making it more convenient to read and easier to navigate and use.
So why is search engine optimization so important?
Firstly, the majority of search engine users are much more likely to click on the top 10 suggestions in the search results, just like how you click on the first results on your personal Google Search results. With a higher position for a specific search term comes a higher degree of confidence in the website, and hence a higher likelihood the user will click on your link. And as a government agency that holds information, yours will get instant clicks. Users who search for content through search engines are also more likely to share the content across social media or their own platforms. This is an important fact to remember because the reach of your content can be further amplified.
When you type in a phrase on a search engine like Google, the results that are displayed are based on algorithms which only Google is privy to. However, there are certain steps SEO specialists can take to improve the chances of your content ranking higher on search engines. One of the most important factors to remember is to produce high-quality content that is valuable, containing important keywords that your visitors type in to search.
The first couple of steps above should be fairly obvious to anyone producing content. Your content should naturally come from a place of public authority.
With keyword optimization, there are tools that can help you improve your keyword research, on-page optimization, as well as the off-page optimization of your site. What do we mean by keyword research? Simply put, it is the process of identifying the words and phrases you want to target in your site’s on-page SEO strategy. The first step is identifying which keywords and phrases your site visitors or potential audience are searching for, or that you are writing about. There are a number of keyword research tools you can search for that can aid you in this process.
Once you have identified the keywords that you need to focus on, the next step is the actual on-page optimization. Again, this is a technical term that simply means producing content that will more easily be identified by search engines as the top results for the keywords you are targeting high ranking in results for. Optimizing on-page content involves several steps, most important of which is including relevant keywords and phrases in the actual written content like articles, website pages copy, and image content. The best tools will help you to create relevant keywords that improve your content score, giving your content the best chance to achieve a higher rank for a specific keyword or search phrase.
The last step in the process involves off-page optimization. Off-page optimization essentially involves gaining backlinks to your content. Search engines are more likely to rank a page highly if it has built backlinks to its content. Whenever possible, links to content across the organization’s website and other websites should be incorporated for maximum reach.
One of the best benefits of SEO is that it can save costs and may not involve paying for ad space or costly campaigns. While organizations can still pay for advertisements (some of which are often displayed with an “Ad” tag within a given search), there are many who do not pay a dime for high rankings, simply by being able to maximize SEO and optimizing their written content. While the process of learning SEO is somewhat technical, there are a lot of free online tools and information that can help instruct you further on how to improve your SEO skills, and grow the foot traffic and engagement of your organization’s content.
Partner with Social Reach
Better yet there are great teams, like us at Social Reach, who can collaborate with you, do the heavy lifting for you, optimize your website for SEO, and make your site visually more pleasing, easier to navigate and use for the public.
Social Reach will be more than glad to work with the public sector to help you with disseminating information and facilitating processes for your constituents. Helping create a more efficient governance with our local agencies for our fellow Americans would be an amazing honor for Social Reach, and one that we assure you we’ll take seriously. You can message us to book a consultation. We are looking forward to working with you. And we extend our heartfelt thanks for your hard work for our state and country.