Writing readable website content for your customers

In fact, the recent Local Authorities Website Clarity Index II suggests only 18% of the 191 authority websites examined are written in plain English.

Whilst interesting, what reports like this don’t do is help councils to identify and implement the steps required to produce a modern online experience.

The sort of experience residents will find both useful and easy to understand. An experience that supports an authority’s ambition for channel shift and increased self-service.

Online content should always be succinct, accurate and actionable. It should also be easy to update.  To achieve this, content needs to be produced, managed and surfaced in a different way and this means taking a different approach to web development and management.

Website re-development projects are only truly successful when an organisation chooses the right content management tools and has a good understanding of how to write and deploy best quality content.

This may involve moving away from devolved authoring and creating a dedicated team responsible for managing, monitoring and editing content. The same team might also provide ongoing advice and training to departments to help them achieve not only the organisation’s online content goals, but also a vastly improved online experience for the communities and customers they serve.

Andy McLauchlan is a principle digital transformation consultant at Agilisys.

Andy leads the team at Agilisys responsible for delivering website solutions to organisations such as the City of Edinburgh Council and North Somerset Council, focusing on website redevelopment, and customer usability and accessibility.

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