Link Building for Election Campaigns

Should you entice partisanship or personal adherence from the public to your campaign?

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In a multiparty system, such as see in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, and Brazil, to build partisanship helps with raising identity and relationship with voters, maybe more than issues and ideology [resource 1].

Our specialty is to build a buzz around a subject online and each candidate can create a different campaign, from raising awareness to social issue to build loyalty to a certain party (partisanship).

** Check out out Content Management and Link Build System

There is an amazing paper that I recommend you to read, it was written by Larrondo, A. called “Regional parties’ web strategies in the age of virtual dialogue and closeness.”

In it, Larrondo mentions the importance of having an inclusive website can be as powerful as any social media when you are promoting an electoral campaign or running a political marketing campaign.

Why Electoral Candidates Need Link Building

1. Monitor: The most important element to work with is to monitor backlinks. Backlinks are exactly what link builders like us 🙂 are after. However, you need to setup paid applications (that I won’t promote here for free but if you send me a message I will send you a list of the ones we use). When you monitor the backlinks you will be able to list every single website in the world that is mentioning you, your blog posts and your website as a whole.

2. Build links: Make a list of blog and sites you want to have links pointing back to your’s and we will run an outreach campaign to get those links the best way possible (white-hat techniques)

3. Search engine: According to Journalist Resource, online services, like Yahoo, Bing, and Google, are considered important tools for voters to find information on political candidates and parties. This makes sense. When it comes to finding information on a topic, there is no better medium for it than online search engines. This is where link building shines the most. It’s a great way to rank well in organic search results and reach potential voters.

Consider the example of guest posting – a typical link building strategy. Publishing companies are always looking for new content. A guest post with a link to a candidate’s own website might trigger the publisher’s audience to know more about this candidate.

How Link Building Can Improve Web Visibility

Keep in mind, link building is not only about social media campaigns. It covers the collective effort of a large variety of online marketing strategies with a single aim – to improve web visibility. This can be done by publishing blogs, commenting on forums or other blogs, giving feedback, listing a website on directories, and so on.

To illustrate how this SEO strategy can be valuable in a race to become the next senator or president, consider these stats:

  • 70 to 80% of users focus on organic results – Source
  • Websites with blogs tend to have 434% more indexed pages – Source
  • 91% of Internet users use search – Source
  • Companies that blog receive 97% more traffic to their websites – Source

However, while SEO is all about looking good for search engines, link building is all about creating the right buzz for your website.

How Does Link Building Work? To give you an idea, here is how link building typically works:

Article Marketing or Guest Posting

Guest blogging works – there is no doubting it. However, it will only work if the posts you are putting up are actually insightful. If you manage to write a high-quality post, you can expect traffic to come in. Additionally, guest posting can stimulate social media shares. For instance, if a quality guest post is published on a blog with a lot of social media activity, there is a high chance that a large number of the readers will be willing to share it.

To make a guest-posting strategy work for an election campaign, use these tips:

  • Link to landing pages: A landing page has a specific purpose – it can be promoting an election campaign showcasing candidate promises and more.
  • Using shortened and branded URLs: A branded and shortened link for social media posting ensures that your website is always in full view of your audience. It’s a way to passively promote yourself. You can always track clicks on these links with the right tools.

Influencer Marketing

You ask famous personalities to promote your campaign. In the context of link building, you can get influential publishers to syndicate your content and potentially highlight your name to thousands of voters.

An influencer marketing campaign can have a huge impact on voters for two reasons:

  1. Its helps candidates reach voters other than those they target
  2. People are likely to listen if a candidate is backed by an influencer

Have a look at the example of influence, a millennial-focused YouTube influencer channel that publishes content on brands and politics.

Social Media

If Barrack Obama has taught us anything from his election campaigns, it’s that smart use of digital media can pay off greatly in an election cycle. The former president managed to rally younger voters through campaigns on social media, like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

This just goes to show how important social media can be for reaching out to specific target audiences.

Improve the Efficiency of Your Link Building Campaign

The value of any link building campaign depends on the effort you put into it. Sure, you can use videos, articles and press releases to get your links out there, but their success depends on consistency.

On that note, here are some ways you can make your link building strategy more effective for your election campaign:

Make Your Link Sources Diverse

Linking to forum websites, like US Politics Online, is a great link building strategy, but it’s not the only source. Consider the power of diversification. When you earn a link from a new source, your website will be given a certain amount of authority from that publisher. At this point, the natural course of action would be to keep linking to the same source to get more “link juice.”

However, link building just doesn’t work that way.

When you manage to earn a second link from the same publisher, you will see a smaller return of authority, even though your referral traffic will increase. So, look for different sources to distribute your links.

Focus on Real-Time Content Creation and Management

The benefit of covering real-time events is that you know what’s likely to happen next. In the context of election campaigns, you know when a certain campaign event will take place. Make the most of this opportunity by using the time that you have to create and schedule your core content. This can help you react in real time as topics and trends are discussed.

Let Your Followers Do the Heavy Lifting

The best thing about followers is that they are likely to share your content. It’s a great way to spread your links fast. The results aren’t immediate though, as it can take several months before your links start to pay off. To make this strategy work, start your online campaign 6 months in advance.

You can get more followers to share if the social media experts in your team engage with them in the comments – brands do this all the time. In this way, each post you share on social media will have increased link earning potential from the first day.

Know Your Audience

Marketers analyze their audience before creating promotional campaigns that might appeal to them. There are two reasons for this:

  • It helps in defining the tone of a campaign.
  • It gives you focus.

Intensive audience analysis and research help in uncovering psychographic and demographic information of your target voters.

For example, an election campaign in the US might require a candidate’s digital marketing team to analyze people who have a vast variety of demographic differences, like Chinese immigrants or people from African American communities. This strategy will allow you to define who shares your beliefs and can also serve as a guide for your link building campaign.

To illustrate, let’s say that an electoral candidate focuses on the middle class. Topics like affordable college tuition, Planned Parenthood, women’s rights, and climate change would appeal the most to this demographic. So, your link building strategy can include social media posts, blogs, or videos that cover topics like these.

Web Directory Links

This is an older method for acquiring backlinks but it’s still important for a link building strategy. These directories usually have a high page rank, but your backlinks will fail if you try to link to directories that are irrelevant to your industry. In the case of election campaigns, a valuable directory can be Campaigns and Elections.

Forums and Blog Post Comments

Commenting on forums that relate to your industry is another effective link building strategy. You can use keywords and anchor texts to improve your chances for better online visibility:

  • Find quality forums: As we always say, quality is always better than quantity. The same concept applies to forums. One dofollow link on a reputable forum will get you more traffic than several links on forum websites that aren’t as popular.
  • Be Consistent: Posting comments several times in a day and stopping suddenly is a red flag for Google. To make forums work for your political campaign, keep your commenting consistent. To stay safe, you can post a few times every day before an election.

Electoral candidates, especially if they aren’t popular enough, need all the visibility they can get. Fortunately, there are forums for politics too.

Mistakes to Avoid

Improper link building techniques can conceal your SEO efforts and lead Google to penalize you, negatively impacting your campaign. To make your link building strategy work, avoid these mistakes:

High Link Velocity

To understand how link velocity works, consider what would happen if you built a website about something that you were passionate about but didn’t know anything about Search Engine Optimization. You don’t get too many links pointing to your website at first, but as your readership grows, so do get the links and your website’s ranking on SERPs. If, on the other hand, you try to manipulate search results by creating your own backlinks (e.g. through paid links), you could receive a penalty from Google.

Remember, search engines check the rate at which you earn links. For instance, receiving 1000 links in a day is a red flag for a penalty. If you get more links than you deserve, you can still be penalized even if the links are legit.

Failing to Track Link Performance

How would you know your link building strategy is working or not if you don’t track it? If you aren’t tracking your link performance, it means you are wasting your time and money on strategies that may not be working for you.

To make link tracking (amount of shares, number of click-throughs, etc.) work, choose the right tracking tools.

Wrapping Up

A link building campaign for an election isn’t just about focusing on the technical details. It takes a lot of time, effort, and consistency to make it work and gain the results you want. To get the most out of your online campaign, make sure that it targets the right voters and uses more than a few link sources. In the end, it will be well worth the effort.

Resources

  1. Huddy, L., Bankert, A., & Davies, C. (2018). Expressive Versus Instrumental Partisanship in Multiparty European Systems. Political Psychology, 39, 173-199.