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 services provided by the government of British Columbia.
Why Writing for Services?
A structured layout makes services more likely to appear in commercial search results as a featured snippet, a summary that shows the steps someone can take access, renew, or register for a service.
Writing for Services Guidelines
Follow the guidelines below to write clear, consistent service content.
1. 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 needs to add clarity to the service, and should never be promotional or persuasive.
2. 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
3. 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 easy to do, and only takes a few minutes.
4. Introduce instructions with an action phrase
A short, clear action phrase helps people and search engines.
Follow these steps to renew your Sample Licence
5. List step-by-step instructions
Place a numbered list below the action phrase.
- Gather all necessary documents
- Complete the application form
- Attach a recent photo
- Submit your renewal
6. 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.
7. Follow B.C. government web content standards
Follow B.C. government standards for style, plain language, graphics, and accessibility.
- Content Development Guide
- Plain Language Guide
- Web Style Guide
- Accessibility Standards
- Visual Design Guide
See a sample of a formatted service page.