Having worked on a large number of campaign websites over the years, we’ve found that the same problems tend to crop up again and again. If you are creating or maintaining a political campaign website, be sure to avoid these screwups.
1) Missing Critical Information - This includes the candidate’s name, elected position, election date and so on… You would be surprised how often this information is left out of a website – even on the contact page. And if you want people to vote for you, please, please tell them the election date.
2) Not Enough Quality Content – You may not be running for the biggest position in the land, but you still need to convince enough 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.
3) 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-department-vetted press release. Personal quotes and stories can help voters get to know and like a candidate.
4) 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. Have an unaffiliated outsider read your material in order to provide an unbiased opinion.
5) 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.
6) Not Linking Out – Websites are not islands unto themselves. If you are engaged in social media, be sure to link out to your profiles. Embed widgets into your site to show online social activity. Cite and link to outside resources and make your site a hub of all your online activity.
7) Spelling and Grammar Errors – This is pretty basic, but pretty important. Would U vot for somone who spell like this? Always have your campaign material double and triple-checked by outsiders for spelling and grammar.
A campaign website should not be a static thing. A site should grow and evolve along with the campaign. If you make your site interesting and informative, you will create more traffic, more interest and more support that will carry through to Election Day.