GOV.UK is now into its second day as the new place to find government services and information, and I’d like to share some highlights from our first 24 hours.
In our first day (Wednesday 17th Oct) we had 1,129,578 visits from 909,706 unique users. This is about the same as the traffic that Directgov and Business Link had on Monday, and a slight increase on Tuesday, which suggests all the hard work done to ensure users were redirected from the old sites to the new has paid off.
Not every redirect was perfect though, so one of the things we’ve been focusing on is fixing or improving any mappings that were sending people to the wrong place. In a few cases we’ll also update the mappings when new or amended content is published, but everything should now be pointing to something useful.
As expected, the majority of our visitors came via search engines and we’re pleased that GOV.UK is already the top search term for tax disc in Google as it’s one of the most common reasons that people come to the site. Unsurprisingly the high volume search terms were all very similar to the things people looked for on Directgov and Businesslink – mainly relating to jobs and the minimum wage, student finance, car tax and the DVLA.
Reassuringly, the people looking for these things seem to be finding them, as the most visited content on day one included the Jobcentre plus start page, car tax start page, benefits adviser, Jobseeker’s Allowance, national minimum wage rates, and other things relating to driving and job seeking. I was also pleased to see the When do the clocks change? page in the top 20, having decided to promote it on the home page as a helpful seasonal tip!
With the help of the Data Insight team we’ll be looking at this data, and more, every day to make sure we’re focusing on improving the most used content and tools, and also to spot any anomalies or journeys that might not be working for users. James Thornett will be blogging about our data and sharing more about this next week.
However, in these first few days what we’re really focused on is listening to feedback from users, and from our colleagues in departments. Our front line support team processed hundreds of contacts yesterday that have helped us find and fix various broken links and bugs in different browsers. We’ve also fixed a problem with postcode lookup in some areas and sorted out a problem with the display of search results on small screens.
Our colleagues across government have been helping us to amend and update content by letting us know where things are missing or not quite right, and this has been the top priority of our content team.
Once we’re confident that all the user needs we’ve picked up from Directgov and Business Link have been accurately met on GOV.UK we can move on to improving the overall user experience, as well as using our data to optimise high demand content and tools. And as we do all of that, we’ll tell you about it here.