08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis


Since I work in web marketing and development, I thought I would do a quick analysis of the Democratic 2008 Presidential Website Campaigns.

Notably Richardson, Vilsack, Kucinich and Clark all do not own their own .com name and should considering buying theirownname.com name even if the current owners want tens of thousands of dollars, because type in traffic is real.  If Clark launches his campaign he should permanently redirect clark04.com to his new campaign site to hopefully make the new site rank more quickly in the search results.  Edwards and Kucinich have the only 2 current democratic campaign websites opting not to use www in front of the domain name.  

Richardson may have the worst search rankings, with Wikipedia dominating [Bill Richardson] in Google, and a broken DeanForAmerica.com site outranking his campaign website for his own name.  Your search results may differ slightly from what Google just served me.  I think candidates should strive for their campaign site to outrank the website for their current office.

Many websites are now using 3rd party javascript for analytics and goal tracking.  If a site doesn't use JS analytics, it may still use server logs for some web stats.  It does not appear that any of the campaign websites are paying for web analytics, and Google Analytics is popular choice.  I have not looked at Sitemeter.com in a while, but I imagine that Google Analytics is  much more full featured, and the campaigns using sitemeter should consider switching.  

Hillary is the only one using MS Win/IIS.  I only identified one content-management system in my research, Kucinich.us uses drupal.  If you know what open source or proprietary publishing systems other campaigns are using please let me know.  

I may look at the campaign's Google Adwords and other PPC marketing in the near future.  EmergencyCheese on Youtube has some cool videos tracking each candidate's YouTube campaigns.

Hillary Clinton

Owns HillaryClinton.com uses domain for Presidential Campaign

[Hillary Clinton] Google Search
    Presidential Site Ranks 1-2
    Senate Website Ranks #3

Web Platform:
    www.hillaryclinton.com Windows Server 2003 / Microsoft-IIS/6.0

Runs Google Analytics

Barack Obama

    Owns BarackObama.com uses domain for Presidential Campaign

    [Barack Obama] Google Search
        President Site Ranks 1-2
        Senate Website Ranks 3-4

    Web Platform
        www.barackobama.com Linux / SWS Web Server
        my.barackobama.com Linux / Apache Web Server

    Runs Google Analytics

John Edwards

    Owns JohnEdwards.com and uses domain for Campaign

    [John Edwards] Google Search
        President Site Ranks 1
        Generates Split Display Search

    Web Platform
        johnedwards.com Linux / Apache

    Runs Google Analytics

Bill Richardson

    Does not own BillRichardson.com, uses www.RichardsonForPresident.com for Campaign

    [Bill Richardson] Google Search
        Presidential site ranks 7
        New Mexico Governor Site ranks 3

    Web Platform  
        www.richardsonforpresident.com Linux / Apache

        Google Analytics

Tom Vilsack

    Does not own TomVilsack.com uses www.TimVilsack08.com for Campaign

    [Tom Vilsack] Google Search
        Presidential site ranks 4
        Governor of Iowa site ranks 1

    Web Platform
        www.tomvilsack08.com Linux / Apache  

        Google Analytics

Joe Biden

    Owns JoeBiden.com and uses www.joebiden.com for campaign

    [Joe Biden] Google Search
        Presidential site ranks 3
        Senate site ranks 1-2

    Web Platform
        www.joebiden.com  Linux / Zope ZServer


Chris Dodd

    Owns chrisdodd.com uses www.chrisdodd.com for campaign

    [Chris Dodd]
        Senate site ranks 1-2
        Presidential Site ranks 3-4

        www.chrisdodd.com FreeBSD / Apache


Dennis Kucinich

    Does not own denniskucinich.com uses kucinich.us for campaign

    [Dennis Kucinich]
        Presidential Site ranks 1-2
        House site ranks 3-4

        kucinich.us Linux / Apache / Drupal content management

        No Javascript Analytics

Wesley Clark

    Does not own wesclark.com or wesleyclark.com, has no official campaign website

    [Wes Clark]
        SecuringAmerica.com 1-2
        Clark04.com 3-4
    [Wesley Clark]
        SecuringAmerica.com 5-6
        Clark04.com 3-4

        SecuringAmerica.com Linux / Apache
        Clark04.com Linux / Apache

        No Javascript Analytics

Tags: 2008, campaigns, Google, websites (all tags)



Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

Do you by any chance have stats on site usage?

by PhillyGuy 2007-02-11 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

pls see my reply below, sry.

by tpiddy 2007-02-11 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

Philly I will work on a post using the publicly available data such as Alexa and Compete.com, may be few days.

by tpiddy 2007-02-11 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis


by PhillyGuy 2007-02-11 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

I don't know if this means anything...

by PsiFighter37 2007-02-11 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

Ah the Alexa daily reach. They are helpful and does show the traffic kinda. It doesn't show the numbers but it gives you a general sense of how much traffic there is.

by pierredude 2007-02-11 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis
Here's the site traffic information I got from Alexa. It's interesting to see the bumps that the websites get when candidates announce. It seems that Hillary got over 800 million unique visitors to her website when she announced. Her daily reach also seems to be higher than John Edwards, which is a bit surprising considering that Edwards has more interactive features.
by PhillyGuy 2007-02-11 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis
by PhillyGuy 2007-02-11 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

As a web analytics professional who has been following the emerging trends of political campaigns, it is great to finally see Democratic candidates using tools like Google Analytics.

That said, I would bet that most, if not all, of the candidates are not making the most of the data they get from their web measurements applications.  The data they are analyzing needs to be actionable towards the goals of their respective sites.

by ajkatz 2007-02-11 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

yeah its good to see them use real analytics.  goal tracking donations should be a no brainer to anyone who knows how to use real analytics software, but some of the campaigns dont even have any JS analytics, so who knows if the campaigns using analytics are using it to the fullest.  

by tpiddy 2007-02-11 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

Tracking donation goals, along with other significant events like "Volunteer Now!" are important piece of the puzzle and indeed should be a no-brainer.

But it goes beyond that in my opinion.  Are the email campaigns they are sending out to people converting to visitors or is the content message off? (perhaps the landing page needs to be optimized.  What keywords (paid or organic) are driving visitors to the site and what segments are more like to perform some type of action (like giving money to the campaign)?

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.  Web analytics is beyond just a bunch of reports and pretty dashboards.  It is about effectively measuring the key data that matters and driving the sites content or optimization based on that data  

by ajkatz 2007-02-12 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

I'm pretty sure they can sue and get control of their name... Celebrities and Athletes do it all the time; I don't agree with them holding it ransom, nor that the owner should have to give it away free... but precident is clearly ont he side of the celebrities.  

Of course this might take some time and cause bad will...

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-11 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: publishing systems

Blog.JohnEdwards.com, and the whole OneCorps networking suite, is by Plus Three.

My.BarackObama.com is by Blue State Digital, the same folks who built ProgressNowAction in Colorado.

by asahopkins 2007-02-12 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

Based on my experience, it looks like both Clinton and Dodd are using Drupal.  Although, it doesn't look the usual drupal layout, it fits some of the work I have seen by NGP who uses drupal and extensive tools for campaign sites.  You need to remember that Drupal is incredibly powerful, and highly customizable, see www.lullabot.com, who re-did http://www.mtv.co.uk/  entirely in Drupal.

by dailyrorschach 2007-02-12 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: 08 Democratic Campaign Web Analysis

Tpiddy - good post.  I know that Barack Obama is using some proprietary (probably combined with some open-source) grassroots tools developed by Blue State Digital - they have done work with Vilack's team and they do pretty good work.  FWIW

by jump23 2007-02-12 11:22AM | 0 recs


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