I always love a presidential voting year in Ohio. The Buckeye State, as the pundits like to call it, is a swing state that every president wants to win. So we get a lot of action around here.
I thought it might be fun to spend this week evaluating my county’s candidates in the Democratic party from a Web marketing perspective.
It’s a small way I can donate some time to local candidates.
You have a Web site, right?
Today I’m going to start with the websites of the Summit County Ohio Democratic candidates.
In 2012 there is absolutely no reason why you can’t have a website. There are countless free solutions out there. Here are some:
- SageRock Places – Websites and Blogs Made Super Easy
- WordPress.com — Get a Free Blog Here
- Blogger: Create your free Blog
Don’t over think this. Your website doesn’t have to be some massive monstrosity. It just should have a picture of you and should tell your story. Why should people elect you?
All the tools I listed above are blogging platforms. They are completely fine for making a website. On top of that, they’re also great to keep the public updated regularly on what you are doing and how the election is unfolding. For a political candidate, a blogging platform is actually more ideal than a static, hard to update, website. The political conversation changes fast.
With one of these tools you can embed YouTube videos that you have created, write stories of you on the political trail, and capture images of you talking to people. A blog is a great way to humanize you and show your connection with your County.
Your official biography on the county website doesn’t count, either. You can’t campaign on those websites.
Your Domain Name – Make It Last
My recommendation is to get the domain that will last your entire life. Your name is great. If you can get that, do it. Do not put the year (SageLewis2012.com) in your domain. I’m okay with having “vote for” in the domain because that will probably last you a long time. But you never know. Maybe there will be another chapter in your life when you want the domain for something other than politics.
I’m not a big fan of putting your sought after position in your domain either. SageLewisforJudge.com is shortsighted. Sure, you want to be judged this year. But maybe you want to be something else the next time. You never know. That said, don’t change now. None of you. My recommendation is to get your name as a domain name and hold on to it. Let it age. If you need it down the road you’ll have it.
The age of the domain matters. An older domain will rank better in the search engines than a newer domain. That’s why you want to pick a domain that will last over time. The easiest and best approach is to get YourName.com.
Titles – They REALLY Matter.
The next thing I want you to look at is your homepage title. Each title of every page of your website plays a very important role in telling search engines and visitors what they are about to see. You can have the biggest impact on search engine results by creating a descriptive title on every page of your site.
Here is a screen capture of Sandra Kurt’s home page title:
This is a pretty good title.
That said, I think all Summit County candidates should probably use the word Ohio in their content and titles. The reason is because there are Summit counties all over this country. They do very well in the search engines. And sometimes it’s very difficult to know which Summit County people are talking about. Including the word Ohio instantly solve that problem.
Here are the titles of all of your websites:
Summit County Democratic Party – Candidates (This page is the page where I found all the web links for Summit County Democratic Candidates. If I’m missing any just let me know.)
Let me ask you this, how descriptive are these? If you were a search engine or person who saw just those titles, what would they tell you? What is the page they are about to see? What is the purpose of the website?
And this is your homework for the day. You all have work to do on your titles.
Titles should be 7 to 9 words. They should be very descriptive with no superlatives. Just tell the story of the page.
The titles I like the best are:
- Re-Elect Judge Teodosio | Summit County Common Pleas Court
- Sandra Kurt | Summit County Council At-Large
But even these can be better. All of you need to use the phrase “Summit County Ohio”in your titles. They should then include the position you’re running for. And then include your first and last name.
If those three components go over nine words so be it. They need to be there. I do kind of like the word “re-elect”. That seems to be powerful.
If you get your homepage title done, then start working on your other pages. Each page’s title should be descriptive of that page. You should be able to look at the title and know what the page is about.
I’ll spend all week talking about Summit County Ohio candidates. If any of you have any questions or would like to do an interview on how to make your Web marketing better, let me know. If I can use the interview for this series I will give you free Web marketing consultation. Just contact me from the contact button at the top navigation.