Websites are a modern campaign staple, as they serve as a portal which connects voters, volunteers and contributors to the candidate. You can’t run a serious campaign without one, and they do not need to be elaborate or costly.
VE’s Director of Technology, Briana Langolis, has developed hundreds of websites for our clients. Based on her experience, she has laid out for you the dos and don’ts of website design and utility.
Accept Online Donations – As the world’s monetary delivery and exchange changes, writing checks to candidates is becoming a thing of the past. And since cash donations are strictly limited by many state campaign and election commissions, making a contribution online is the way to go. Not only is the contribution made by credit card immediately available to the candidate, most donors are learning to expect to make contributions online. We can help you set up a trusted and secure online donation profile that is publicly visible, easily accessible and user friendly.
Track Website Analytics – It’s important to know how well your page is performing, and what kind of traffic is moving to your website. It’s easy to increase website views, and we have the ability to help you establish good search engine optimization, and paid website marketing.
Keep Things Simple – No one wants to read a book when they visit your website. If viewers are doing research about why you are the best candidate for the job, keep it simple. Detail an abridged version of your biography so they know who you are, and highlight 3-5 of your top priorities or issues that you are most concerned about. That’s it!
Use Brand Consistency – You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you create something for your campaign. Find a general design and color scheme and stick with it. Your brand should be consistent throughout all of your messaging – website, print, mail, digital, and any television or online video you might do. The design repetition will help potential voters identify you, which will result in better overall recall and recognition of your message.
Use Videos – Videos and digital content are easy ways for voters to engage with you. Whether you have a professionally shot commercial or something you’ve done on the fly with your smartphone, video is a powerful way to drive engagement.
Encourage Grassroots Involvement – As a candidate, you can have the best message in your race, but with no one to help you deliver the message, it’s going to be hard to project your message. Always link to a volunteer sign-up page. Visitors will want a way to request a yard sign, or a way to offer to knock doors, make calls or host an event.
Decide On An Easy Address – Web addresses can get complicated very quickly. Try using your name as the URL. If that is taken, try adding a simple extension like, “ForAssembly,” or “ForWisconsin.”
Ignore social media – ALWAYS link to your social media pages from your campaign website. Given the number of different platforms and user names and profiles which may be similar to yours, linking to your official campaign social media pages will help supporters find you, and confirm that the content being posted is yours.
Use Stock Images – If possible, always use photos of you and your family taken by a professional. It’s more personal that way. Stock images can be useful at times, but the personal touch of a local landmark or event in your town can’t be replicated by a stock image.
Write Scrawling Content – This “don’t” is similar to the “do” previously listed where we suggested that you keep things simple. If you can avoid getting into too much detail when talking about your history or position on issues, then you should. Hit the important points and move on. You want to be clear and avoid confusing the reader.
Forget to List Your Page On Your Campaign Material – One of the most critical elements of a mailing or palm card is the contact information, and your website should be the first thing listed. People are accustomed to noting and typing in a simple web address.
If you’re looking to create a new website, or looking to update an old one, we’ve got the solutions and experience to help! Email Briana TODAY!