It’s been thirty years since Gore “took the initiative in creating the net,” twenty years since William Jefferson Clinton and Bob Dole launched the primary presidential campaign websites, a decade since Howard Dean first embraced social networking to mobilize supporters and over five years since Ron Paul raised $6 million in the future with the primary “money bomb.”
What campaigns are missing
While many candidates are setting out to make inroads within the adoption of digital strategies, most campaigns and consulting firms still neglect the bread-and-butter of online marketing: SEO.
SEO is standard practice for companies and organizations, large and tiny, attempting to drive traffic from search engines. Virtually exceptional in many communities, however, is the implementation of SEO strategies on political websites by professionals like SEO experts.
This phenomenon holds true the least bit levels, from local council elections to status, nationally recognized Presidential contenders. As well as recognizing it as a viable campaign investment, the candidates, their campaign managers, and their consultants fail to work out the total potential of political SEO.
The importance of ranking for your own name
Many political campaign websites don’t rank for the candidates’ own names – even high-profile, well-funded campaigns.
Recently, I probe for Chris Christie’s official website by keying within the phrase “Chris Christie.” The official campaign website didn’t appear anywhere within the primary ten pages of results. Instead, I found dozens of articles from Politico, The NY Times, the Huffington Post, and also the Daily Kos — several of which were critical of the Governor.
Imagine looking for your favorite brand and finding not the official website, but dozens of bad reviews of the products. A marketing professional would get to figure immediately to resolve the difficulty – no questions asked.
As individuals still intercommunicate the web to research candidates’ backgrounds and policies, it’s even more important that
candidates closely monitor their reputation online and have strategies in situ for handling potentially problematic issues. Political SEO may be a strategy that works.
Two decades of political websites and campaigns still fail to comprehend the marketing potential of the web.
Neglecting high-traffic keywords
According to Google Adwords, over 90,000 people are attempting to find the precise phrase, “Chris Christie” monthly. Larger than the population of Trenton, New Jersey is this amount of traffic. And rather than finding the official campaign website, these people are likely reading criticisms instead.
would naturally find this performance unacceptable is a campaign manager. What could have easily placed Chris Christie’s official campaign site within the highest search results is a well-tailored SEO campaign if implemented early enough.
Recent polls suggest that Chris Christie is one of the foremost popular politicians within the US. In nearly every poll, he leads gubernatorial contender Barbara Buono. While this level of neglect is evident in future campaign cycles – especially in 2016 if Christie decides to last President, It’s unlikely that his campaign team views SEO as critically important.
A campaign with a robust understanding of SEO could easily use it as a method against an unprepared candidate. A savvy campaign might launch a website the same as “MullinFacts.Com,” an internet site from the 2012 election cycle that contained negative information regarding Markwayne Mullin. Got by an opponent within the Oklahoma 2nd District election, the location was well-optimized for Mullin’s name – and contained very negative information. The positioning could be damaging if the Mullin campaign had not been prepared.
Being significant to the success of any campaign’s digital strategy, an SEO strategy allows candidates to more effectively impact voters’ first impressions online.