Once you’ve invested in FixMyStreet Pro, then of course you’ll want to ensure that your residents can find it easily. Here are a few ideas for making sure everyone knows where to make those street reports.
It sounds pretty obvious, but if FixMyStreet Pro is replacing a previous service, make sure you search your entire site to check that all your links are pointing at the right place. It’s always surprising to find just how many forgotten pages can be found in this way, taking users to retired parts of your site, or dead links.
While you’re at it, are there any automated emails or printed materials that might still include out of date URLs?
By default, we place FixMyStreet as a prefix to the council’s URL, like this: fixmystreet.eastherts.gov.uk.
If you prefer, we can go for something shorter, like Bromley did: fix.bromley.gov.uk.
Once you’ve got a nice memorable URL, it’s easier to put on leaflets, posters and in newsletters and emails.
Consider adding a link directly to your FixMyStreet Pro service on your website’s homepage, at least for a while until your users get to know where it is.
If you have a budget for marketing, you can see very good returns for a small investment on social media and search engine marketing.
You might like to run ads for a limited time on Facebook or Twitter, where just a few pounds can bring you both brand recognition and multiple click-throughs; or on Google Ads where you can bid on keywords such as ‘report potholes in [the name of your council]’.
If money is tight, see our recent post on low-cost ways to promote your FixMyStreet Pro service.
Your web editors are probably already au fait on how to optimise web pages to ensure they rank highly on search engines for relevant phrases. Make extra sure they’re putting their best SEO efforts into your report gateway page for maximum benefits all round.
One nice thing about FixMyStreet is that users don’t have to come via the council website to make a report: if they go via the national FixMyStreet.com website or app, and their report is within your council boundaries, it’ll come to you anyway. It’ll also appear on the council’s FixMyStreet Pro installation.
That happens the other way round too, so the national site also displays reports made through your website. The upshot is, if your residents can remember FixMyStreet.com, they can make a report directly to you.