- GIGW Manual
- 09 Website Promotion
- 9.1 Search Engine Optimisation
Web is a medium of mass information dissemination. With the exponential growth in the number of websites, which has even crossed the one billion mark, the question of visibility on the Internet/Web has assumed critical significance.
The ultimate aim of any Government website should be to provide information and services to as many citizens as possible. The existence of any Government site lying inaccessible on the web is meaningless. For this purpose a conscious and concentrated effort has to be made to increase the reach of the website.
Therefore, the importance of website promotion, especially in the context of Government websites which aim to reach the largest possible number of citizens and stakeholders cannot be overemphasised.
9.1 Search Engine Optimisation
People usually search for a website through search engines. Therefore searching for a site in a search engine by using the Department name or the services offered by it as keywords should preferably bring the website in the first five results on major search engines.
In order to achieve this, the following guidelines may be followed:
The Page Title should include useful and distinctive indication of the contents and should be self-explanatory. The HTML title should be chosen carefully considering its role in search engine indexing, query responses, window title bar and in bookmark labels. (Ref. 2.1.6)
Department name, services offered, schemes, location etc. should form a part of the Meta information (meta tags) of the HTML page. The important meta tags that MUST be included are keywords and description tag. These tags are present in the portion of the html page and while they are not displayed as part of the page content in web, search engines can read them.
Search engines often display the first few lines of a Web page to help searchers to identify the sites they want to visit. The description meta tag should be used to provide guidance to search engines on what to present to the users in the search response.
Search engines only consider limited number of keywords when indexing pages. Government websites should present keywords in the order of priority and without duplication.
The content of the web page should be in textual form as far as possible, including hyperlinks. Important points/programmes/schemes etc. should be highlighted as headings marked by HTML heading tag.
HTML links should be specific. Instead of just ‘Our Programmes’, a link saying ‘The Programmes of Department name’ will be more favourable for a search engine.
Link exchange with related Government sites increases the weightage of the site for search engines, thus improving its ranking in search results. It will also bring more visitors, who are looking for similar schemes, services or information, to the site.