Welp, folks. We did it. Another GOVTalks in the books! A total of 65 attendees from 32 agencies joined us on June 3 for GOVTalks: Content.
This time, we spent the day discussing content best practices for your website, learning from the public and private sectors. GeorgiaGov team members presented about everything from cleaning up your website to accessibility to search engine optimization (SEO). We also had a great content strategy panel with industry experts.
My favorite part about GOVTalks is that it merges people from the IT/technical side of an agency with the communications/public affairs side of an agency. Both sectors contribute and deal with an agency's website, so both sectors should be familiar with web best practices!
If you weren't able to attend, no worries! We have all the handouts, videos, resources, and pictures here!
If you did attend GOVTalks: Content, please take a moment to fill out our quick survey. We're always working to make these GOVTalks better, so we value your opinion! At the end of the survey is a great coupon code you can use for workshops with Content Science!
Get to the Point
Nikhil Deshpande, GeorgiaGov Director, kicked off the day by introducing us to some successful government websites, explaining what makes them successful. They handle their content well, keeping everything simple and relevant to their constituent's needs — the main point of your website.
Nikhil Deshpande - Get to the Point
Clean Up Your Content...and I Mean It (A serious talk about your content)
Next, Peter Lee, GeorgiaGov's Editorial Director, discussed the importance of cutting your content down. He told us to make it lean and mean. We learned about certain strategies and tools available to help determine what content should stay and what content should go. Again, focusing on the needs of the user.
Peter Lee - Clean Up Your Content...and I Mean It (A serious talk about your content)
Content Management Resources
- Content Vetting
- Making content mobile friendly PowerPoint
- Text is more important than images on the Web
- Content is critical for web success
Content Clean-up Tools
- GeorgiaGov Recommended Resources
- Image Optimizer
- PDF Compressor
- Content WRX
- Grammar/Spelling Mistake Checker
- Content Inventory
Content for All: Accessible Content is Better for Everyone
Kendra Skeene, GeorgiaGov's Project and Support Manager, then walked us through the importance of accessibility. In our last GOVTalks, we dove deeply into the need of having an accessible website, covering many broad and overarching concepts. Through Kendra's talk, we learned more specific details. For example, she showed us the value of accessibility and how creating a highly accessible website can increase your search engine rankings. She also explained how to make all types of content accessible and some tools offered on the GeorgiaGov platform.
Kendra Skeene - Content for All: Accessible Content is Better for Everyone
- Using clear and simple language
- Adding alternate text to images
- Using tables for tabular data only
- Using semantic markup (mark Headings in your body text, etc.)
Make Your Documents (Word, PDF) Accessible
- Converting your Documents into Web Pages
- Converting from Word to PDF
- Making your Documents Accessible
Make your Multimedia Accessible
- Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions
- Audio Transcripts, Video Captions and Transcriptions
- Webinar: Accessible Multimedia and Captioning
Then, in my opinion, one of the best parts of the day: Lunch! Siteimprove provided lunch for us and gave a short demo on their services. We use Siteimprove for Georgia.gov and we often have agencies coming to us asking for the services that Siteimprove provides. Rather than having the same conversation with every agency that approaches us, we thought it'd be best to have Siteimprove tell you about their services themselves! They provide a web governance software that can help you better manage and maintain your website through quality assurance, accessibility, web analytics, and SEO. Check in with your account manager if you want more information about Siteimprove.
After lunch, we had our Content Strategy Panel. Lisa Janak Newman from GEMA/Homeland Security, Colleen Jones from Content Science, and April O'Neal from McKesson Technology Solutions joined Peter in discussing content management in their own fields. They answered questions submitted by attendees beforehand and questions directly from the audience.
How to Make Your SEO A-OK
We ended the day with an SEO workshop lead by GeorgiaGov SEO expert, Rachael Wheeler. Rachael showed us some tips and tricks for increasing your SEO and went over some tools you can use to create an optimized website. She talked about features you can add to each page on our Drupal platform such as metadata, summaries, and alternative text. She also went over a few tricks about what NOT to do. For example, never pay for SEO. Ever.
Rachael Wheeler - How to Make Your SEO A-OK
Accessibility and SEO Resources
- How Web Accessibility Can Boost Your SEO
- Webinar: Web Accessibility Can Boost Your SEO
- State Website Accessibility Standards
- Color Contrast Checker