Securing endorsements is an important part of growing support for your campaign. In modern politics, there’s no endorsement more powerful than Google’s. The tech giant isn’t formally endorsing candidates, but winning over its search algorithm with search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and tactics can give your campaign a big boost.
Your campaign’s website is its homebase for everything you do online, but it only works if voters can find it. SEO is the practice of improving your website in ways that make it more friendly to search engines like Google.
In this post, we’ll demystify SEO, showing you how it can help your campaign reach more voters.
What Is SEO?
In simple terms, SEO involves changes to your website so it appears higher on results pages from search engines like Google, increasing its visibility. When voters search for topics related to your campaign, you want your website to be among the first they see.
SEO starts with understanding your audience. What are voters searching for? Which words and phrases are they using? Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Explorer can help you identify popular keywords in your area or industry.
For example, if you’re running a local campaign in Austin, Texas, keywords might include “Austin city council candidate”, “Austin political campaign”, or “Austin voting dates”. Remember, it’s about what voters are searching for—not just what we think they should search for.
Making Your Website SEO-Friendly
Once you’ve identified your keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your website. This doesn’t mean stuffing them into every sentence—that can actually harm your SEO. Instead, use them strategically in:
- Page Titles & Descriptions: These are the first things a search engine (and user) sees. Make sure they’re clear, relevant, and include your keywords.
- Headers: Break up your content with headers that include your keywords. This makes your content more readable and boosts SEO.
- Content: Your keywords should naturally fit into high-quality, original content that offers value to your audience.
Search engines like Google view backlinks (links to your site from others) as a sign of trust and authority. The more high-quality backlinks your site has, the better it’ll rank.
The best way for campaigns to build backlinks is by including your URL on social media profiles and consistently producing posts that link to your site.
SEO is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Remember, SEO takes time. You won’t see results overnight. But by consistently applying these strategies, your campaign can achieve better visibility, reach more voters, and ultimately, win more support.
Paid search ads can be a temporary fix for specific SEO challenges, like if you’ve just launched your campaign or created new content for targeted keywords.
SEO isn’t magic, so beware anyone who tells you otherwise. The only reliable way to more consistently rank higher on Google search results is by following these best practices with your website. The more helpful your campaign’s site is with relevant information and content, the more prominent it will appear in search results.