Common Content, Terminology, and Placement
What It Is
Using common content, terminology, and placement is a best practice for managing your agency’s website. When government websites present similar content in standard ways, it helps the public easily find information and services across government.
Why It's Important
- Citizens need basic information about your agency, including organizational or contact info such as addresses, phone numbers or email addresses, and quick answers to common questions.
- Providing consistent content and terminology across government websites - such as "About Us" pages – helps the public easily find what they need. They’ll know what labels to look for, and will be confident they’ll get the same basic content when they get there.
- Usability studies have shown that people who go to multiple websites can find information more quickly and easily if similar content is put in the same location and is called the same thing on each website.
- Laws and regulations place a number of requirements on all federal public websites, including privacy policies, links to FOIA pages, accessibility policies, "NO FEAR" data, and more. Using common terminology and placement of this information will help citizens find it on each federal public website.
While many of these common elements are best practices, some are required by law or policy. See the list of required content and links.
How to Implement
Below is a list of common content for government websites, recommended by the Federal Web Managers Council:
- Contact Information ("Contact us" page)
- Organizational Information ("About us" page)
- Site Map or A–Z Index
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Online Services
- Forms and Publications
- Jobs and Employment Information
- Information about Regulations
- Information about Grants and Contracts
- Site Policies and Notices