Government Website KPIs: How to Choose the Right KPIs for Your Site

Government Website KPIs: How to Choose the Right KPIs for Your Site

May 2, 2023
by jessicadunbar

Government websites play a crucial role in delivering information and services to citizens. Ensuring these websites are well-optimized, user-friendly, and meet the needs of their target audience is of utmost importance. This post aims to provide valuable insights into choosing the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), to ensure continued success.

We will focus on selecting the most suitable KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your website, recognizing that government websites have unique objectives and considerations compared to other industries.

Define Your Objectives

Before you can choose the right KPIs, it is essential to define the primary objectives of your website. Unlike other industries, governments focus on enabling users to complete tasks, find information, access phone numbers, get directions, and download forms. Example objectives:

Objective Description
Providing information about programs and services The website aims to inform citizens about various programs and services available, such as recreational activities, sports, IRS tools, travel, and family support programs.
Informing the public Providing accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information about government programs, services, policies, and initiatives to keep the public informed.
Facilitating access to resources The website provides access to essential resources, such as program descriptions, event calendars, contact information, and facility locations. This objective focuses on making it easy for users to find and utilize resources.
Encouraging community engagement The website also aims to foster a sense of community by promoting events, activities, and news related to programs. Ensuring that users engage with the website's content, interact with its features, and spend time exploring its resources.
Ensuring accessibility for all users The website should be accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities, in compliance with accessibility guidelines and regulations.
Promoting transparency and accountability Sharing government data, reports, and decision-making processes to promote transparency and hold public officials accountable.
Facilitating access to government services Allowing users to easily access and complete essential tasks online, such as applying for benefits, downloading forms, or searching for resources.
Improving user experience (UX) Creating a user-friendly website with intuitive navigation, clear content, and a visually appealing design that meets the needs of diverse users.
Driving website traffic and conversions Attracting more users to the website, increasing pageviews and unique visitors, and encouraging users to take desired actions, such as signing up for newsletters or registering for events.

Choose Relevant KPIs

Once you have identified your objectives, you can select KPIs that directly align with them. A combination of quantitative and qualitative KPIs can be used to evaluate the website's performance and effectiveness in meeting the needs of users. Here are some examples of both types of KPIs:

Common quantitative KPIs for websites include:

  1. User engagement: Measure how engaged users are with the website content, using metrics such as views, average time on site, and engagement rate. This can help determine if visitors are finding the information they need and interacting with the site's resources.
  2. Task completion rate: Track the rate at which users are able to complete specific tasks on the website, such as signing up for events, finding facility locations, or accessing contact information. This KPI can provide insights into the effectiveness of the website's design and functionality.
  3. Event participation and registration: Measure the number of users who register for events and activities through the website. This can indicate the success of the website in promoting and facilitating participation in programs.
  4. Website traffic: Monitor the number of unique visitors, pageviews, and average time spent on the website. These metrics can help determine if the website is reaching its intended audience and if users are finding the information they need.
  5. Accessibility compliance score: Evaluate the website's compliance with accessibility guidelines and regulations, ensuring that it is accessible to all users regardless of their abilities. For more information checkout our post Lesser Known Requirements and Free Tools for Federal Websites, which provides useful information on how to ensure your website is compliant with accessibility regulations.
  6. Social media engagement: Track engagement of social media profiles linked from the website, including the number of followers, likes, shares, and comments. This KPI can help assess the success of the website in promoting community engagement and fostering a sense of connection.

Common qualitative KPIs for websites include:

  1. User surveys and feedback: Collect feedback from users through surveys, ratings, or comments to gauge their satisfaction with the website. This can help identify areas for improvement and ensure the website is meeting the needs of its target audience. Municipal Web Design that Engages and Informs, provides valuable insights on how to engage citizens through your website.
  2. Usability testing: Conduct usability testing sessions with representative users to evaluate how easily they can navigate and interact with the website. This can provide insights into potential improvements in website design, layout, or content organization.

In summary, by using both quantitative and qualitative KPIs, web administrators can better understand how well the website is serving users, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize the website's performance.

Set Benchmarks And Targets For Each KPI

Setting appropriate benchmarks and targets for each KPI is essential to monitor your government website's progress and effectiveness. Here are some examples of benchmarks and targets for the previously mentioned KPIs:

KPI Benchmark Target
User engagement Average industry engagement rate or historical data from your website. Increase the engagement rate by 10% over the next six months.
Task completion rate Industry standard task completion rate or historical data from your website. Achieve a task completion rate of 90% or higher within the next year.
Event participation & registration Average registration rate for similar events in your sector or historical data from your website. Increase event registrations by 15% over the next quarter.
Website traffic Average industry website traffic or historical data from your website. Increase unique visitors by 20% and pageviews by 15% over the next six months.
Accessibility compliance score Current website compliance score or industry standard compliance score. Achieve a compliance score of 90% or higher within the next year.
Social media engagement Average industry engagement rates on social media platforms or historical data from your website's linked social media profiles. Increase the number of followers by 25% and overall engagement (likes, shares, and comments) by 20% within the next six months.
User surveys and feedback Historical satisfaction rates from user surveys or industry standard satisfaction rates. Achieve a user satisfaction rate of 85% or higher within the next year.
Usability testing Historical usability testing results or industry standard usability scores. Improve website usability score by 10% within the next six months, based on user testing sessions.

These benchmarks and targets should be tailored to your website's unique objectives and circumstances. Review and adjust them regularly to ensure your website stays on track to meet its goals and provide an optimal experience for users. Regular monitoring of these benchmarks and targets will help you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance your website's performance.

Monitor And Adjust KPI’s

Regularly monitor your KPIs to assess your website's performance and identify areas for improvement. Be prepared to adjust your objectives, KPIs, or strategies if needed. Analyzing trends and patterns can help you identify potential issues and make data-driven decisions to optimize your website. Here are a few examples:

Monitoring Adjustment Outcome

Improving User Engagement

You notice that the user engagement rate on your website has been declining over the past three months, with lower average time on site and fewer pageviews.

To address this issue, you decide to reevaluate the website's content and layout. You conduct a content audit, identify outdated or irrelevant information, and replace it with updated and engaging content. Additionally, you improve the website's navigation and user interface to make it more user-friendly. After implementing these changes, you observe an increase in user engagement over the following months, with higher average time on site and more pageviews.

Increasing Task Completion Rate

You find that the task completion rate on your website is below the target. Users are struggling to locate essential resources, such as facility locations or contact information.

Based on this finding, you decide to reorganize the website's structure and implement a more intuitive navigation system. You also add a search functionality to help users find resources more easily. The task completion rate improves significantly after these changes, and users can now access necessary information with greater ease.

Enhancing Event Participation and Registration

Event registrations through your website have plateaued, and you want to encourage more users to participate in the programs.

You decide to create a promotional campaign that highlights upcoming events, utilizing email marketing and social media channels. Additionally, you simplify the event registration process on the website, making it more convenient for users. As a result, event registrations increase, and the website's role in promoting program participation is strengthened.

Addressing Accessibility Issues

Through monitoring your accessibility compliance score, you discover that your website is not fully compliant with accessibility guidelines and regulations.

You invest in a comprehensive accessibility audit and work on addressing the identified issues, such as adding alternative text for images, improving color contrast, and providing transcripts for multimedia content. Your website becomes more accessible to users with disabilities, and the accessibility compliance score improves, ensuring compliance with guidelines and regulation.

By regularly monitoring your KPIs and being prepared to make adjustments, you can ensure that your website remains effective and continues to meet the needs of its users. Analyzing trends and patterns will allow you to make data-driven decisions that optimize your website's performance and user experience.


Choosing the right KPIs is a crucial step in optimizing websites. By defining clear objectives, selecting relevant KPIs, and monitoring performance, you can ensure your website effectively serves its target audience and achieves its intended purpose. In the next part of this series, we will discuss the importance of website maintenance and best practices for keeping your site up-to-date.