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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Make sure people can find your site via search

Updated over a week ago

Search engines have their own secretive algorithms for calculating search position, but there are some basic things you can do to get your site ranked higher and more effectively. Many campaigns will be able to get to the top of search engines fairly quickly by following a few simple rules. That said, be patient - search engines take some time to update their indexes and your site is unlikely to rank highly the day you launch. If you don't see results within 2 or 3 weeks, you may want to adjust your strategy.

If it's important that your site have good SEO on the day you announce, you may want to launch your site a few weeks before your initial announcement to give it time to be indexed by Google and other search engines.

Make sure Google knows you even exist

Make sure your site is "indexed" on Google to start, which means make sure Google knows you exist.

First, go to Google and search for "". If Google knows your site exists it will show up with that search. If it does not know your site exists, then you'll want to ask Google to index your site.

You can ask Google to index your site by registering your domain with Google Search Console. This requires DNS verification that's beyond the scope of this article, but you can read more about it from Google's own docs.

Make sure people who are looking for you can find you

Terms like Mike for Mayor won't help you very much given the number of Mikes and mayors out there. Instead, try using specific terms like Mike Mansing for Mayor of Richardson, Texas which are more specific and easily findable. For candidate campaigns, the strategy of using your full name, office, and location, can generally get you to the top of the rankings without any additional effort.

For candidate campaigns, if that alone doesn't get you as high as you'd like, you can try repeating the candidate's name more throughout the site, especially in headlines. The bigger and higher up it's used (especially on the home page) the more impact it will have.

Keywords for attracting traffic from a broader audience

If you want to reach a wider audience, choose keywords that are broad enough that a good number of people are searching them, but narrow enough that you don't have too much competition. Using the example of the Run - we don't target "website builders" generally because we couldn't compete against the bigger names in that business. But by targeting "political website builders" we're able to rise to the top of the rankings for a term that's still broad enough to attract clicks.

Where to put your keywords on Run

SEO & Social Sharing section

The SEO & Social Sharing section on the Site Settings is the most important section on your site for SEO. The title and description you input here, especially the title, are the primary keywords Google will consider, when trying to figure out how and when to show your website.

The information you input here also determines what people see when your site is shared on social media or messaged to someone.

Technical: the information inputted here feeds into both Meta and OG tags, the Title and Description for both.

Headlines and body copy

Peppering your keywords throughout your site (especially your home page) can also help. Headlines pack a lot more punch for SEO than body copy.

Technical: Run's headlines are generally wrapped in HTML headline tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.).

Image names

When you upload images to your Run site, give them file names with relevant keywords, such as "jane-smith-for-congress.jpg"

Page Settings

You can also set SEO keywords on a page by page basis, to target other keywords or phrases. Simply click Page Settings when on any given page, and fill out the SEO and Social Sharing section.

Backlinks from other sites

If you're really committed to SEO as a campaign strategy, you can also put work into getting other sites, especially prominent sites, to link to your site, which will improve your rankings.

Ask Google to recrawl your site

After you make and publish edits to your site to improve SEO, it may still take some time for Google to notice those changes. So if you want to speed up the process you can request Google recrawl your site.


Use Google Search Console to get information on how your site is doing from a search perspective

Google Search Console can help you see how your site ranks on particular search terms and how often people are clicking through. You will be asked during the registration process to add a snippet of Javascript to your site which can be added at the bottom of your Run site's Site Settings page in the Analytics/Tracking Scripts section.

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