SEO, accessibility and performance as success criteria for

  • Christelle Desobry

As a website owner, search engine optimisation, accessibility, and performance are vital.

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These three elements allow you to stand out in the internet jungle and appear higher in search engine search results. For the portal, which offers simple answers in five languages to questions frequently asked to the authorities, around 90% of traffic comes from search engines.

When it was time to update the website’s CMS three years ago, the Federal Chancellery, which runs the website for the Swiss Confederation and the cantons, decided to use Google Lighthouse indicators. The objective was to achieve scores of above 90/100 for performance, accessibility and search engine optimisation (SEO) indicators., the Swiss Confederation’s first decoupled pilot project

At that time, the Confederation was considering introducing a new decoupled CMS. This could eventually become the standard tool for all websites of the federal administration. But before making this decision, a large number of CMS were evaluated for their compatibility with the needs of the federal administration. The Swiss tool Livingdocs was selected to realise two pilot projects.

As has its own design, this is the first pilot project to use Livingdocs for its backend. And the second pilot project, redesigning, will be the first to use Livingdocs as its backend and the Confederation’s new web design for presenting its frontend content.

The Federal Chancellery asked us to construct a high-performing and accessible (AA) frontend. The Chancellery is supported by the Dept agency in defining the criteria for search-engine-optimisation (SEO) as we take care of its technical aspects. We created a frontend based on vue.js with a static rendering using Nuxt.js. The templates were connected thanks to the collaboration with Swisscom (which serves as an integrator for the Confederation) and Livingdocs. We also supported Swisscom with connecting to the CMS and therefore ensured we could achieve the website's quality objectives.

Why Google Lighthouse?

Lighthouse audits are mainly based on Google’s Core Web Vitals. These are key measures that Google uses to evaluate web pages’ speed and the overall user experience (UX).

In other words, using Lighthouse allows you to see your website the same way Google does. You can use the actionable information it produces to optimise your web pages to appear higher up in search engine results.

Therefore, Google Lighthouse is a tool designed for developers and website owners wanting to know more about their websites’ performance and the specific measures they need to take to optimise them.

Positive feedback – the Confederation confirms which decoupled software it has chosen

The website has been online for a year and has achieved its Lighthouse indicators objectives. Its content editing, and publication processes are now different and require users to adapt to them. However, a decoupled tool has numerous advantages, notably in terms of architecture (monolithic systems vs microservices), structure and re-using data. In August, the Confederation confirmed that they had decided to use the decoupled software Livingdocs as its standard tool for managing their web content. This opened the doors to many potential improvements in how information from the Federal Administration will be published in 2023.

On 17 October 2022, the platform dedicated to the federal elections in 2023 was added to the site. As the next step, cantons could take information from for their websites directly from the API. To be continued.

We are delighted to be able to be part of digital transformation projects such as this one. And we cannot wait to help tackle the next challenges that come our way.

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