Writing for Services

Follow these guidelines to make services easy to understand and access online.

Who Should Use This Guide?

Anyone who writes web content for the B.C. Public Service.

Why Writing for Services?

Services that can be accessed online need to be easy to find, understand, and use. A standard web page layout makes services more likely to appear in search pages, and can result in featured snippets in commercial search websites. 

A featured snippet is a summary at the top of a search result page. It shows the steps someone can take to accomplish a task, such as renewing a driver's licence.

Service Writing Guidelines

Follow the guidelines below to write clear, consistent service content.

Separate services from supporting content

Place concise, step-by-step service details at the top of the page. 

Place supporting content below, or on separate pages. Supporting content must add value and clarity to the service. 

Write short service headings and titles

Introduce the service in five words or less in headings, three words or less in navigation.

  • Renew your Sample Licence online

Describe the service in one or two sentences

Place a short description of the service outcome at the top of the page.

  • Renew your Sample Licence. It’s simple and easy, and only takes a few minutes.

Introduce a list of instructions with a short action phrase

A short, clear action phrase helps people and search engines.

  • Follow these steps to renew your Sample Licence

List step-by-step instructions

Place a numbered list below the action phrase. 

  1. Gather all necessary documents
  2. Complete the application form
  3. Attach a recent photo
  4. Submit your renewal

Include a relevant graphic, if applicable

A relevant graphic can help readers understand the service, and can improve search results. Insert a graphic in the main content well, rather than in the right column. 

Follow B.C. government web content standards

All web content must follow B.C. government standards for style, plain language, graphics, and accessibility.

Sample Service

See a sample of a correctly formatted service page.