Politics is a battlefield increasingly being fought online. As more and more of the digital world embraces SEO and SEM, political campaigners are getting more keen to get in on the action. Considering how effective quality search engine optimisation can be, it isn’t hard to see why.
Politicians compete to top the polls so that they can eventually top the ballot results, but to do that, they may need to top the search engine results pages first. Not surprisingly, nationwide election SEO campaigns are not unlike small business SEO campaigns (Politicians; they’re just like us!). Let’s take a look at how SEO has affected political campaigns.
Political buzzwords as keywords
Positions on key issues and the core positions of politician’s campaigns are generally boiled down to slogans and buzzwords. These can be regurgitated quickly and remembered easily (think “Make America Great Again”). Furthermore, these slogans help voters identify them quickly as they create a brand synonymous with the buzzwords they most want to be associated with. Sound familiar?
Savvy politicians are using SEO to rank for the keywords they most want to be associated with their positions. Keywords include the candidate’s name and party, as well as the office they are running for, and issues they most want to be associated with.
Increasing engagement with digital content
Political campaigns are rife with material for engaging content. News articles on a candidate’s campaigns and policy whitepapers are being used to greatly expand the candidate’s online link profile. Content from a candidate can also quickly go viral on social media during campaigns, greatly boosting their profile.
Campaigns are no different from any other business in that they need to continually pump out new or updated content into the Google index in order to maintain their rankings.
For example, New Zealand’s political parties have both started blogging in recent years to compete in the online marketplace of ideas. Labour began blogging in the lead-up to the 2014 elections, and National three years later for the next.
Online reputation management
Even successful politicians are opposed by nearly as many people as who support them. Due to this push and pull, there is a constant struggle within politics to control the news cycle. The same struggle exists for the SERPs as well. Politicians must always deal with the opposition’s efforts to sully their good name by outranking negative stories on Google.
Politicians who invest in SEO understand that for every positive story about themselves that ranks atop the search engine results, there are ten negative stories that didn’t. According to a recent study the click-through rate (CTR) for fifth position in a search results page is a full 25% lower than first place. Politicians who own the top spot with their own, positive content are therefore giving themselves a massive advantage in terms of controlling the narrative.
Cast your vote for SEO!
Whether your running for MP or just trying to sell more cupcakes, the laws of SEO are the same. But so too are the potential rewards. Invest in SEO so that your customers make the right choice when it comes to vote with their wallets. Contact Pure SEO today to learn more about the wide-ranging benefits of search engine optimisation in New Zealand.
Rollan Schott is a copywriter with Pure SEO. Rollan was born and raised in the United States, having moved to New Zealand after 4 years teaching and writing in Asia. When he's not churning out quality content at breakneck speed, Rollan is probably busy writing the next great American novel. He may also be idly watching true crime documentaries in his Auckland Central apartment with his wife, Lauren. The latter is more likely than the former.
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