Search engine optimization (SEO) for politicians is a relatively new campaign strategy, but it’s a necessity today.
While online marketing is important for any candidate, it’s crucial for those running on a tight budget. Air time and print advertising can be cost-prohibitive for many political hopefuls, but online strategies can achieve greater reach with a much smaller investment.
If you’re planning to run for office, whether it’s president of the United States or treasurer of your homeowners association, trust these proven strategies to give you the advantage over your opponents.
Political SEO Strategies Are Unique: Here’s Why
Improving online search results is typically of interest to businesses, and those are the strategies most people tend to know best. However, while businesses look to the future and steady, measured growth, political candidates require a much more concentrated burst of interest. Campaign issues pop up in moments, thanks to sound bites and stump speeches.
Consequently, your approach to SEO must involve intense, upfront efforts to ramp up voter interest. You also must be ready in a moment’s notice to change direction, in pursuit of a hot topic that engages voter conversation.
Components of Campaign Marketing and SEO
Political campaigns use many of the same online marketing components as business interests. You need effective branding, including a unique and recognizable logo. Of course you need a great website and good-quality landing pages, with content that will inform and engage voters while ranking highly with Google on your important platform issues.
Social media is your lifeline to the voters, and the most effective way to engage them in meaningful dialogue. Done correctly, your supporters will aggregate your message for you and help spread the word on a viral platform. Social media will also drive traffic to your website and landing pages, where you must engage the undecided voter and turn his or her opinion in your direction. You accomplish that goal by providing fresh, relevant content created to appeal specifically to your customers — the voters.
The Voter Is Your Customer
The first rule of SEO strategy is to know your customer.
To craft an effective marketing strategy, businesses must identify their ideal customers, targets and prospects. A political candidate must do the same, but now the customers are voters, constituents and stakeholders.
It’s not enough to say you want to target all of the Republicans or Democrats in your county; you must identify all of the relevant demographics and characteristics of the voters you need to persuade. When you identify this information in detail, you can target your messages with pinpoint accuracy, based on what’s important to them.
Is your ideal voter concerned more about job creation or environmental issues? The answer to this might depend on the socioeconomic status of your constituents, or their feelings about a proposed new interstate that will bisect their community and disrupt wildlife. The more you can get inside their heads and connect with their biggest concerns, the more effective your message becomes.
What You Don’t Rank Highly for Is as Important as What You Do
In any political SEO campaign, the goal is to rank well for your key platform issues and concepts, while disengaging yourself from any red-flag words and phrases. Your opponents, meanwhile, will work just as hard to link your name with unfortunate or untrue information. Your team must be hard at work around the clock, especially in the late stages of the campaign, to be sure voters find the right message when they search for you.
Running a search engine optimization campaign of this nature requires advanced knowledge and skills. Unless you’re prepared to engage (and pay for) the services of a full-time SEO expert, it may make sense to use an online marketing firm that knows political campaign strategies inside and out.
At Be Locally, we offer an exclusive political SEO package designed to provide exactly the services and responsiveness candidates require to win elections, no matter what office they seek. If you’re serious about winning your election or sharing important issues with constituents, contact us today to learn more about this exciting SEO for Politicians package.
Want more? Our expert recommends: