The Biggest Political Campaign Website Screwups

 

Just by the nature of our business, we’re involved with a lot of political campaigns. After we set up campaign sites and turn them over the clients, they add content and build them out. Sometimes we’re asked for our opinion on certain things, but usually we’re not. Below are some of the biggest website blunders we often see.

Missing Critical Information – We’ve been through this previously, but it still stands. That includes the candidate’s name, elected position, election date and so on… You would be surprised how often this information is left out for some reason. If you want people to vote for you, please, please tell them the election date.

This information is critical for search engines to find your campaign website.

Not Enough Quality Content – You may not be running for the biggest position in the land, but you still need to convince voters to support you. At a minimum, a candidate should include a bio, reasons why they are qualified for the position, and a request for support.

Not Adding Personality – You want your site to be professional, but that doesn’t mean that each page of your website copy needs to read like a marketing-approved press release. Personal quotes and stories can help voters get to know and like you.

Adding Too MUCH Personality – On the other hand, providing too much character can turn off voters. Being too personal or colloquial can be a negative.

Not Making the ‘Ask’ – Every page should have some call to action. Usually, it’s a request for a vote on a certain date. On a donation page, it’s a request for money. On a volunteer page, it’s a request for support. Don’t assume people know what you want them to do. Tell them! Also, don’t be afraid to ask people to Like your Facebook page or Follow your campaign via Twitter. This can help increase your social activity.

Not Linking Out – Websites are not islands unto themselves. If you are engaged in social media, link out to your profiles. Embed widgets into your site to show outside activity. Cite and link to outside resources and make your site a hub of all your online activity.

Spelling and Grammar Errors – This is pretty basic, but pretty important. Would U vot for somone who spell liek this? Always  have your campaign material double and triple-checked by outsiders for spelling and grammar.

Your campaign website should not be static. It should grow and evolve with the campaign. If you make your site interesting and informative, you will create more traffic, more interest and more support.

Online Candidate Websites allow for easy integration of social media and fundraising widgets, and the system has built-in buttons for your profiles. For information about online campaign strategies, visit OnlineCandidateResources.com.

 


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Our first campaign website was built for a local candidate in 2003. The site was successful and had a huge impact on the election. It helped raise issue awareness, and it forced the opponent to spend (lots of) money on a competing site. In the end, our candidate won! The success with that campaign gave us the idea of using our web skills to help other local candidates.

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