Voters are turning to search engines, like Google, for information about elections, candidates, and how to vote. One of your digital campaign’s goals is to ensure that your campaign’s website ranks highly on these searches so voters get their information from you and take additional actions, like following your social media, signing up for email, or making a donation.
But did you know that how you write your website’s content has a major impact on whether Google returns your page for a specific search result? This is a type of digital marketing called search engine optimization (SEO) and we’ll specifically discuss on-page SEO for political campaigns. In this article, we detail strategies for writing (and formatting) your web content to maximize search traffic.
Answer The Voter’s Question
It helps to work backwards from what a voter is likely to search and what you want them to find. Google’s objective is to quickly and accurately answer a user’s search query. That’s why it’s important to write from the voter’s perspective.
Google Search Console is a great place to start for ideas about what searches are happening around your website.
Incorporate Your Keyword
For the purposes of SEO, the word or phrase a user is searching for is called a “keyword” and it should appear multiple times in your web content, including the title, headings, and body paragraphs.
That keyword – what the voter is searching for – may be different from how you might normally talk about an issue. For example, a post about your candidate’s position on the second amendment would be relevant to a search keyword of “[Candidate Name] gun control,” but unless you incorporate that phrasing (gun control) into your content, it might not appear. That’s why it’s important to write dedicated content around specific keywords.
Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness
Google encourages website creators to follow the EEAT format as the best way to ensure a visitor gets reliable information. This is great for politicians who often share their personal stories about an issue, bring some professional expertise to a topic, or rely on third party studies for facts and figures.
Incorporate all of these into your website’s content using phrases like “I’ve seen,” “In 30 years in the field,” or “based on my experience.” Always link to reliable sources for studies and statistics as well.
Google is always looking at signals to determine whether a website’s content is actually answering a user’s search query or if it’s just gaming the algorithm. This has become increasingly challenging with the rise of AI tools like ChatGPT.
Google has a “helpful content system” that looks at metrics to determine whether the site a user clicked on from search results helped the user and answered their question.
One way to help a user find the information they’re looking for is formatting your web content for scanning with titles, headings, and short paragraphs. After a voter clicks through the search results, they want to find their information quickly. If it’s hidden in a wall of text and hard to find, chances are strong they’ll move on to the next result.
Combined with other strategies for ranking higher on Google, including paid ads, writing helpful content that seeks to answer thoughtfully a voter’s question will ensure that your campaign’s website becomes a trusted, easy to find source of information for voters.