Are you a candidate for public office who is thinking about starting a political campaign website? An interesting recent article about a decline in blogging among teenagers and young adults might be a good indicator of how the average Internet user’s web browsing preferences are changing . . . and help you optimize your campaign website to raise more money and attract more volunteers.
A recent poll shows evidence that young adults are abandoning blogs for micro-blogging social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Why? These accounts are easier to set up and maintain, for one, but they also allow a much faster-paced exchange of information and require less attention.
That’s right: the average web surfer’s attention span is getting smaller. And if you are starting a political campaign website to help your election efforts, then you might want to think about optimizing your homepage to keep your visitors from bouncing.
In the past, many campaign candidate websites jammed as much information, news releases, endorsements and biographical information into the site as they could. In today’s Internet world of Facebook and Twitter, having a homepage packed with info and choices could turn people off from your campaign’s website.
Keeping things minimal on your campaign website will help it look fresh, modern and less intimidating to the average web surfer. You should consider using your homepage to focus only on the essentials that make for a successful online political campaign: fundraising, social media, email list building and volunteer recruitment.
In modern online political campaigns, the candidate websites that perfect the balance of simplicity and “voter conversion” will be the winners on election day. Consider a “conversion” on your campaign website to be any visitor who subscribes to your email list, signs up to volunteer, joins one of your social media pages, or contributes to your campaign.
That means that the most important elements of your minimal campaign website are a donation button, a Facebook (or Twitter) widget, an email subscription signup, and volunteer info. Every additional element that you add to the landing page will discourage web surfers from biting at your calls to action.
Of course, you should fill out the rest of your site with more information about your biography, your positions, your endorsements and etcetera. But giving that additional information a prominent presence on your home landing page could end up hurting you more than it will help you.
So if you want to use your political campaign website to raise more campaign money, attract more volunteers, and get more email subscribers, then consider minimizing your homepage. In a world of web surfers whose attention spans are declining rapidly, it could make a big difference in your election.