Get Found with Political Web Design
In today's digital age, having a strong virtual presence in any kind of a political campaign is as important (and in some cases more important, depending on the audience) as a strong personal image from making physical appearances and public outreach.
Having just any old website unfortunately won't provide you with the edge you need. That's a common mistake made by commercial businesses over the years and it's one that you need to avoid. You can't simply throw something up to act as a placeholder. In the current age, people demand a lot more from a website whether it's political, person, commercial, etc. Regardless of your agenda or political position, you need to consider the importance of political web design to help solidify your position with your target audience.
Here are some tips to consider with political web design.
Make Your Identity & Mission Clear
Who you are and what you do are readily apparent to you and direct supporters. It's also easy to find on your site because you designed it. Newcomers however may need a bit more direction. It's amazing how many groups and politicians make assumptions that visitors will understand the message and the website. Truth be told, many potential voters don't know much about candidates, groups, political affairs and trending topics. Your political web design should be done in a way that people can clearly see who you are, what you do, and easily lock onto the hot topics that are being debated.
It feels a bit like mind reading but your political web design should reflect what people are expecting when they come to your site. You won't know everything they're looking for but you can meet their expectations. Part of your campaign will involve a lot of research to discover what people what to know about, hear about and questions that need to be answered. Take care of these questions, provide answers and additional pertinent information on your website to give people information relating to their expectation.
User Friendly Political Web Design
Make the site user friendly. People expect navigation to run along the top and perhaps down the left. Small print at the bottom, a clear headline, simple layout. Complicated political web design to add flashy effects or style can confuse voters of certain demographics and make your site unfriendly. You don't need to reinvent the wheel to gain support.
Savvy Political Web Design – Minimize the Funnel or Clickstream
More than 80% of the users on your website are going to ditch – even if they're strong supporters – if they can't find what they're looking for in about 4 seconds. If you get past this hurdle, than you have about another 3-4 seconds. If you have kept their attention, than they should be able to navigate through the site in just a few clicks. Most users are in a hurry and they scan content looking for their info, goal, destinations, etc. If it's difficult to find they won't stick around. Make navigation as easy and as clear as possible to reduce your bounce rate and keep people engaged within your community site.
Shine the Light on Yourself through Political Web Design
Credibility as a key usability issue. If you want to rally support, gain donation, get media attention for your campaign or for your organization then you need to make sure people believe in you and they feel you actually exist. Giving people personal information about the organization, the group, the leaders, the candidate, etc helps to build up credibility strategically without any direct interaction. Good political web design becomes your branding agent.
Speedy Political Web Design is an Issue
Google has made changes that put some emphasis on load time when it comes to determining site rank, but optimization is the least of your worries. There is however a good reason why Google places emphasis on load time – they don't want long-loading website gumming up the search results. Studies have shown that site visitors will wait around 7 seconds for a page to load. After that, the bounce rate jumps to near 100%.
To avoid slow load times, make smart choices when it comes to political web design and keep your site as trim and fit as possible. When you strip out excess code and bandwidth hungry graphics (or multimedia) you can get a faster load time during peak traffic times (such as right after an ad campaign).
The Importance of Optimization with Political Web Design
While you may think SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about making your site attractive to the search engines, SEO has a primary focus of making a site more user friendly. This is due to the fact that the basis of SEO naturally focuses on making the relevancy of a site match more closely to related search terms and supporting content. Beyond the content itself, site maps, breadcrumb links, descriptive text links, alt text on images, captions and more all help to improve the user experience while optimizing your site for targeted phrases.
The bonus here is twofold. Not only do you increase functionality and engagement with the user but you improve your search relevancy as well.
Testing your Political Web Design
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Even when you work closely with one of a few respected political consultant firms or political web design company, there's a good chance you're going to have things in your site that just don't jive with your target audience. The best way to correct issues is to pay attention, listen and poll your supporters or visitors. Find out what they like and what they don't like in terms of your website. You don't even need to do large scale polls or focus groups – just provide a method for feedback and ask small handfuls of visitors or supports for their input. You can then use this information to improve and update your political web design so that it's more likely to convert visitors into supports.