Jo is a digital producer at Pattern. Jo has a background in communication, and has worked as a producer and editor for organisations such as Les Mills International, Tailor, Auckland Libraries and XtraMSN/Telecom. From 2007-2009, Jo was the web editor for Taste and Metro magazines.
Useful tips for ranking well in ALGIM's web audit
Each year in June/July, the Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) conducts a survey of council websites throughout New Zealand to determine their effectiveness from a technical and content standpoint.
Each website is audited using the below criteria:
- Accessibility (30%)
- Content provision and presentation best practice (30%)
- Website functionality and online services (25%)
- Usability standards (15%)
If your business website can rank highly in the ALGIM audit at any given time, it is probably awesome!
While the following factors are important for ALGIM, they are best incorporated into your website when you’re in the new build or redevelopment phase:
- Ensuring your site is mobile responsive
- Complying with web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1
- Adding engagement tools that support your business priorities e.g. regular surveys, online voting and discussion forums.
Luckily though, it’s not too difficult to get your website up to a good standard to pass ALGIM’s test.
Here are some ideas you can incorporate into your site reasonably swiftly.
Follow SEO best practice at all times. All the meta tags you add are vital for those with vision, hearing and/or physical impairments using your website.
Adding search functionality is pretty standard on a content-heavy site, but we also recommend:
- Adding an A-Z directory
- Ensuring logical content structure (sitemap) to make your site is easy to navigate around, and content quick to find.
Allow for two-way communication on your site.
- Add links to your social media profiles so your customers receive regular updates, and can message you directly from these platforms.
- Do you need a chatbot? Chatbots are highly popular and can quickly engage site visitors. Benefits for business include lower operational costs and hours spent on customer support - see more insighs here.
Online forms are more efficient than publishing email addresses on a webpage, especially if you need to capture specific information from customers or enquirers.
Digitise priority services
If your customers need to pay for services online, ensure you integrate payment systems. Replace paper forms with online forms - this is important for government, as well as insurance and financial sectors.
Ensure the basics are covered, such as printability of web pages and file downloads.