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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ten Easy Ways to Promote Your Campaign Website

Here's a question from one of our customers:

What are some creative ways to get more visitors to my campaign website?

Our campaign websites are designed to be extremely search-engine friendly, but there's still a lot you can do to help drive voters to your site.

  1. It's never too early to start working on your campaign's website. Laying the groundwork for your online presence early will pay off significantly in terms of visibility and opportunities for fundraising. You want prospective voters to be able to easily find your website (and make online contributions) from the moment you announce your candidacy.  Having an established site before you announce is a great way to make that happen.
  2. Make regular updates. The more frequently your site is updated, the more that search engines will revisit your site to look for new content. If you're a Campaign Partner customer, you're already ahead of the game - every time you add news, an event, or make changes to your website, your RSS feeds will be updated, as well as a special sitemap we publish specifically for search engines.
  3. Offer to write a guest post on any friendly political blogs in your area. Many bloggers will jump at the opportunity – it’s a validation of their work and value to the community. Proceed with caution, though - unless you're already familiar with the blogger's work, you'll want to read through his or her previous posts to ensure that it's a good fit.
  4. While it may seem obvious, many candidates still miss this: Be sure to put your URL (web address) on your campaign signs, stickers and flyers. If you have a particularly long domain name (like www.eleanorwilliamsformayorofpensacolaflorida.xyz, it helps to capitalize the first letter of each word for the sake of readability on printed materials.
  5. Write an op-ed for your local paper describing your motivation for running, your goals once elected, and be sure to include your website's URL. Ask your friends and supporters to include the URL when they write letters to the editor endorsing your candidacy. Every bit helps.
  6. If you have supporters who own local businesses or run websites of their own (again, bloggers are good here), ask them to link to your site. In general, the more links you have to your site from relevant sources, the more visitors you'll have.
  7. Be sure to mention the URL whenever you do an interview or public address. This isn't just helpful when you're running for city council, state representative or mayor. Candidates on the national stage do this too.
  8. Local access radio and television are great resources, and are often under-utilized by local campaigns. Many communities have well-established talk and panel shows on these channels.
  9. Set up a campaign Facebook page. Facebook is a great way to reach new voters and drive traffic to your campaign website. Be sure to set up a separate page, rather than using your existing personal profile.
  10. Collect email addresses and send regular updates to your list. Campaign Partner sites include built-in support for collecting and managing email addresses, and can automatically add contacts to the email newsletter service MailChimp (which is free for lists of under 2000 subscribers).

Do you have a creative suggestion for promoting a campaign website? Drop us a note!