Caption: This is the kind of response that you want your website to generate
Image Credit: Cubmundo

Let’s face it: putting together a website for an elected official is hard work. Not only that, but once it’s been created, you are now on the hook to keep it up-to-date. What this means is that your list of things that you need to do just got a little bit longer. Ugg, well as long as you have to do this, it had better be worth it -- that website had better be doing its job. How can you make sure that this is happening?

What Does It Take To Make Your Website Work These Days?

I can remember back in the day when someone would say “I’ve got to look that up online” and then they would run back to their desk, fire up their desktop computer and go hunting for whatever we had been talking about. Over time this action evolved to “I have to look it up on my laptop” and they would sit down, fire up their laptop and find what we had been talking about. All of this doesn’t happen nearly so much any more.

Nowadays what happens when someone wants to find something they whip out their fancy smartphone and they start tapping away on its screen. Well guess what, your elected official’s voters do exactly the same thing: they now use their cellphones to access any website that you may have created. Now, depending on how you built that website, things are probably not looking all that good on those tiny little smartphone screens.

You might not realize it, but the monitor that is attached to your desktop computer or even the flip-up monitor that is a part of your laptop is huge in comparison to the tiny screen that is available on even the largest smartphone. If you take out your smartphone right now and visit your elected official's website, what do you see? I’m willing to bet that there is a good chance that it’s not very pretty: a mashed up screen where everything seem to be out of place because a fixed size web image is trying to be displayed on a screen that was never designed to handle that large of an image. That’s not going to go over well when voters visit your site!

What Can Snap-Screen Technology™ Do For My Website?

Clearly something is going to have to be done here. If your elected official has decided to have his or her website created using GSL Solutions’ HillTop service, then the answer is already at hand. The HillTop service uses GSL Solutions’ proprietary Snap-Screen Technology™ to create what are called responsive web designs. By using our Snap-Screen Technology, HillTop web displays automatically adjust to the screen size that the user is currently using. This can be a laptop, a tablet or even a smartphone. No matter what the device is, your elected official’s website will look perfect.

The good folks over at Google spend a lot of time studying web sites. They say that if your website is mobile-friendly then 67% of your visitors are more likely to use it. If it isn’t, then 61% of your visitors will quickly move on to another web site.

So what are the benefits of using GSL Solutions’ HillTop service with its Snap-Screen Technology? Other customers have seen amazing results. Upgrading a website from a fixed design to a responsive design has produced the following results:

  • Increased the number of mobile sessions over 34 percent
  • Increased the number of tablet sessions by 21.5 percent
  • Generated 28 percent growth in year-over-year online donations

Your elected official may not be collecting donations right now (talk to us about the GSL Solutions’ FrontRunner service when that time comes about), but you can see that transforming your static website into a responsive website can have a dramatic impact. The lesson here is clear: visitors who are seeking the information that you have on your website will come and stay if you can ensure that they’ll be able to easily find and consume what they want.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

The world that we live in is constantly changing. What this means for anyone who is in charge of creating and maintaining a website for an elected official is that you’ve got your work cut out for you. As more and more of the visitors to your website start to use their smartphones and tablets to get there, you are going to have to make sure that your website looks as good on their displays as it does on a desktop computer.

In order to ensure that no matter what size screen your website visitor is using your website will look great, you need to make sure that you’ve built your website using GSL Solutions’ HillTop service with its proprietary Snap-Screen Technology™ to create what are called responsive web designs. Once you’ve done this, you can expect that the visitors to your website will start to have a much better experience. Some sites have reported a 34% increase in mobile visitors after updating their sites to be responsive.

You wouldn’t think that making such a simple change would have such a big impact on the useage of an elected official’s website. However, making it easy for mobile users to both access and use your website is critical to do because so many of your visitors these days are mobile users. When it becomes time to update your elected official's website, be sure to check out GSL Solutions’ HillTop service in order to find out how it can help make creating your website well worth the effort!

- Dr. Jim Anderson

HillTop – Political Web Sites That Get The Vote!™

Question For You: Do you think that you need to do anything special for mobile users on your website or can you treat all visitors the same way?

GSL Solutions' HillTop service provides elected officials with a way to get voters more involved with the political process. HillTop has been designed by politicians, for politicians in order to provide easy-to-use tools that make updating a website with current and topical information easy to do. The website becomes a powerful communication tool between the politician and the voters. More information can be found at:

Tags: mobile users, responsive web design, tablet, laptop, smartphone, political web site, campaign, voters, reelected, issues