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February 05, 2008

Republican Mitt Romney: 2008 Presidential Candidates & Online Marketing Strategies

By Li Evans

It's "Super Tuesday", if you didn't know.  Most of the polls are now starting to close and count their votes, so I thought I'd get a review out for this evening, since I've only got two left to do.  I had been alternating parties with each review, but I really wanted to highlight Mitt Romney tonight since it's been quite a tight race between him and John McCain so far.

Mitt Romney's put millions of his own money into his campaign. Independently wealthy and a rather successful business man, it befuddles me why this candidate really hasn't invested in an online marketing strategy.  If he has, it just really doesn't create that "pow" hitting on all cylinders or even near all cylinders like Barack Obama's and former candidate John Edwards' website do.

Mitt Romney's site is an odd mix of happenstance really.  There's social media, but yet not a lot.  There's a blog and it's got posts and comments.  Mitt Romney's presidential campaign site actually ranks for "Republican for President", but yet there's no pay per click advertising.  It's just probably the oddest mix I've seen yet (next to Kucinich).  So let us now take a deeper look at Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's online marketing strategies.

Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign Site: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategies

Mitt Romney for President - Mitt Romney If one were to look at just the main page of the Mitt Romney for President website, you might get the inkling that these folks understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Sadly, the optimization just doesn't follow through, throughout the remainder of the site.  The main page uses the alt attribute on images, they use h1, h2 and h3 tags with great keywords.  There's actually a decent amount of text on here and they use Mitt & Romney together, along with "Republican" and "Governor".  The use of "Republican" with in the content whenever you come to this page, is a big reason why he ranks for "Republican for President", none of the other candidates are using that word on the main page of their website.

Unfortunately that's where the "good" stuff ends.  They change title tags, but the tags "All the News", "Photo Album", "Global Economic Condition" and so on, really do not tell a whole lot about how these pages relate to Mitt Romney and is candidacy for president.  There's also no real meta description (just the title tag repeated) and no keywords tag being utilized.  The use of optimized header tags disappears after the first page, too.

Mitt Romney for President - Splash PageIf you happened to catch NPR last week, you'll know that I've got a pet peeve with the candidates' and their websites, it's Splash Pages. Now I get why they think they need them, and I'm actually quite happy if once I go there and click into the site, I never see the Splash page again (since they control this with a cookie), however this isn't the case with the Romney website.  Every single time, I get this annoying splash page. 

While the pages are filled with a lot of content, it's actually disappointing to know that none of it is really optimized to bring in more searches to the pages so chalk full of information about this candidate.  If there's a positive thing, his site isn't over run totally with flash and images.
SEO Grade: C-

Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign Site: Social Media Strategies

Mitt Romney - Social Media Connections The social media strategies that are being promoted by this campaign's presidential website are limited to 4.  Flickr, YouTube, MySpace & Facebook are all the icons that Mitt Romney's site is promoting to connect with this candidate.  However, unlike most of the other candidates, Romney's only got profiles there and isn't really integrating these sites into his.

Romney's got a pretty active Flickr account, but he doesn't integrate it into his site.  The same with his YouTube channel - he's got over 700 videos out there, but instead of using the YouTube as part of his MittTV, he uses PermissionTV.  They do integrate the YouTube videos into Facebook, and videos they have on YouTube are also in MySpace.  So they are using it, but it just seems like they don't know how to "really" use social media.
Social Media Grade:  B-

Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign Site: PPC Strategies

The PPC Strategies for this site are non-existent. There's no PPC campaigns for his name, "Mitt Romney". There are two campaign that is taking advantage of this, John McCain's and Mike Huckabee's.  I found both campaigns are purchasing "Mitt Romney".  Like John Edwards though John McCain's campaign buys on Ask (which I'm taking as they are buying on Google, but, again like Edwards, it didn't come up when I searched on Google). Romney's campaign is also doing nothing PPC-wise on Yahoo or Live either.
PPC Grade: F

Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign Site: Blogging Strategies

Mitt Romney For President - BlogMitt's campaign has an interesting blog, not only does he blog, but his wife does and his 5 sons do as well, thus the name "5 Brothers Blog".  You can subscribe to each of these author's writings, and you can comment on the blog.  Like most of the other blogs out there for the candidates, it's pretty active.

They do integrate YouTube videos and pictures into blog posts, but that's the limit of the social media integration into the blog.  Again, I think that points back to not really understanding how to use social media, it's more like the "I'm suppose to have it" syndrome.

The last thing I'd like to point out is how Romney highlights some of his supporters.  Like Mike Huckabee, Romney has a blog roll that highlights his supporters.  This is a really nice thing to do, highlighting other bloggers that write about you on your national site. What great way to empower your supporters.
Blogging Strategies:  B

Overall it's a lot of "happenstance" when it comes to the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign site's online marketing strategies.  It doesn't look like a lot of strategy really went into what they are doing online, beyond some thought into their blog.  Unlike the other front runners I've reviewed, this campaign needs a lot more help than just a few tweaks.
Overall Grade: C

Interested in seeing the other reviews done by Search Marketing Gurus?  Check out the online marketing strategy reviews for Republicans John McCain, Rudy GiulianiMike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson & Duncan Hunter, and Democrats Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich.

We've also done reviews on both the Democrat's online strategies for their debate in Nevada and the Republican's debate in South Carolina.


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» SearchCap: The Day In Search, February 6, 2008 from Search Engine Land: News About Search Engines & Search Marketing
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.... [Read More]


If anyone use their keyword in h1, h2 or h3 then they will get great value from any search engine.

Maybe his lack of SEO prowess cost him the campaign. He just dropped out of the race:

But if I use h1, h2, h3 in all the places, does my site not look ugly????

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