Joel Lohrey, Industry Head – Education, Government and Non-Profit at Google, spoke at the launch of Agilisys Digital, a digital solutions platform for the public sector, where he gave suggestions on how councils can improve their websites and online services.
- Focus on the user and all else will follow: Connect with your citizens in a way meaningful to them – track what they do when they are on your website and see how you can improve their experience. Google Trends and Google Analytics are free tools that can help with this.
- At what point, if any, do residents give up on the website and pick up the phone? That is where the website is going wrong and that is what the council should focus on. Users shouldn’t have to pick up the phone – every phone call costs the council a considerable amount more than if citizens could have their queries answered online
- Once a service is available online it is essential that the services and the website itself is mobile compatible as more and more people want to look for information and use services while on the go
- Constantly innovate: this doesn’t mean big inventions but making small changes to the website on a regular basis
- Fix My Street, a UK website to report problems like graffiti in your local area, and Next Door, an American social networking website for local areas, are good examples to learn from
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