Website content is one of the first things someone interacts with when learning about your government service. It should be part of your local government customer service strategy.
A service helps someone do something and an action page is like digitally holding their hand through the process.
The information in your service inventory is a great starting point for developing your content.
Make an action page for each government service
At the top of the page, start with some brief intro text that describes what the service is. This can also include who it’s for and why the service exists.
After the introduction, use a structured format for each page that includes these headings:
- Need to know
- Before you start
- What’s next
- Get help
Need to know
This section is typically a short list of bullets about:
- Processing times
Before you start
This section includes information someone needs to know before they start the task. For example, they may need to:
- Gather information they don’t know off the top of their head
- Complete another task before this one
- Read another page with more detailed information
Here is where you will list numbered steps about things like submitting an application or paying a fee. Make sure to include instructions so they know how to do each step.
Set expectations by explaining what happens after they complete the task. This might include:
- How long it will take until you contact them
- If they need to renew in a year
- What to do if something goes wrong
Always include how to ask questions or get help with the service. This typically includes an email and a phone number.
Link to related content
Some services require multiple action pages or other webpages, depending on the complexity. Make sure you link to related content or tools that support someone with accomplishing the task.
- Apply for a marriage or civil union license (Somerville, New Jersey)
- Apply for a building permit (Effingham, Illinois)
- Get a health permit to open a restaurant, bar, or other retail food location (San Francisco, California)
- Apply for the Community Service Fund grant program (Marin County, California)
Sources and acknowledgments
Get in touch
Schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you create action pages for your government services.