U.S.
Presidential
Elections
July - September 2015 Insights Report
2016
2/14
Table
of Contents
03 04
05 08
11 14
Introduction
Where is traffic coming from? Search traffic
Social Media traffic Co...
3/14
U.S. Presidential Elections
July - September 2015
The campaign for the U.S. presidential elections is in full swing, ...
4/14
Traffic volume
‘Bernie’ has more traffic than all the candidates combined
Bernie Sanders is well ahead of all candida...
5/14
Where is traffic
coming from?
Sanders’ brand is on the rise
Direct traffic is the sign of a strong brand, and so it s...
6/14
Check your spam folder
Mail is a crucial part of any election campaign, both as a fundraising and an
engagement tool....
7/14
Referral traffic to all candidates’ websites comes from news sources and news
aggregators. In referral, as in email, ...
8/14
Search traffic
Searching for Fiorina
Carly Fiorina, the most recent candidate to join the campaign, gets almost
half ...
9/14
Shrinking ROI from paid search
The share of traffic coming from paid search has decreased for every
candidate, with t...
10/14
Do we really care about the issues?
Issue-related keywords drive little traffic to candidates’ websites as a whole.
...
11/14
Social Media traffic
Age doesn't matter when it comes to social media
Ben Carson led the share of traffic from socia...
12/14
Standouts in other media include Marco Rubio who is a leader in YouTube
traffic (although it amounts to only about 4...
13/14
14/14
Conclusion and
recommendation
Campaigns and related super PACs need to strategically grow their social
media presenc...
of 14

Presidential elections - October 2015

In an increasingly populated race and a rigorous 24 hour news cycle candidates struggle to stand out, and online presence is a crucial battlefield. The SimilarWeb data team is closely following shifting trends as reflected in online traffic and engagement on the candidates’ websites. This report reveals (insights into the top 10 candidates’ websites (ranked by the number of visits and how their online strategies have changed over time and circumstances.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: News & Politics      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Presidential elections - October 2015

  • 1. U.S. Presidential Elections July - September 2015 Insights Report 2016
  • 2. 2/14 Table of Contents 03 04 05 08 11 14 Introduction Where is traffic coming from? Search traffic Social Media traffic Conclusion and recommendation Traffic volume // Direct traffic // Traffic from E-mail // Traffic from Referrals // Paid search // Issues-based search traffic // Facebook // Twitter // Raddit
  • 3. 3/14 U.S. Presidential Elections July - September 2015 The campaign for the U.S. presidential elections is in full swing, with just over a year left before election day. Many candidates entered the running over the summer, and some have already dropped out. In an increasingly populated race and a rigorous 24 hour news cycle, candidates struggle to stand out, and online presence is a crucial battlefield. The SimilarWeb data team is closely following shifting trends as reflected in online traffic and engagement on the candidates’ websites. This report reveals insights into the top 10 candidates’ websites (ranked by the number of visits), and how their online strategies have changed over time and circumstances.
  • 4. 4/14 Traffic volume ‘Bernie’ has more traffic than all the candidates combined Bernie Sanders is well ahead of all candidates from every party in terms of the sheer volume of traffic to his website, with over 5 million visits in September. The four leading candidates (Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Ben Carson) all experienced increased traffic during August, when the first GOP debate officially kicked off election season. However, only Sanders and Carson managed to maintain momentum and increase traffic in September as well.
  • 5. 5/14 Where is traffic coming from? Sanders’ brand is on the rise Direct traffic is the sign of a strong brand, and so it should not surprise us that Hillary Clinton is a leader in direct traffic. Clinton not only has strong name recognition (both her and the rest of her family), but she has also been a candidate for the longest time (whether officially or unofficially). It also helps that Clinton’s domain is straightforward, while donaldjtrump.com is not necessarily the first URL that comes to mind for voters. GOP candidates with simply named domains get a substantive share of their traffic from direct visits, averaging 33% versus 23% for those that have domains that are not simply their name.com. The only candidate that has seen an increase in his share of direct traffic is Bernie Sanders. His campaign website picked up steam throughout the summer, and his brand is on the rise. Approximately 40% of GOP candidate Mike Huckabee’s website visits are from direct traffic, holding steady since July.
  • 6. 6/14 Check your spam folder Mail is a crucial part of any election campaign, both as a fundraising and an engagement tool. Getting constituents’ emails is the top priority for every campaign; the first thing users see on every candidate’s website is a place to enter their email address. Looking at Sanders’ relatively massive share of email traffic, we can assume that he is doing the best in capturing supporters’ emails. Only Marco Rubio and Clinton managed to increase the share of traffic to their website from mailings.However, there is a diminishing trend, with an average of 0.7% decrease from July to September - it is possible that this represents fatigue among email subscribers to the campaign.
  • 7. 7/14 Referral traffic to all candidates’ websites comes from news sources and news aggregators. In referral, as in email, there is a clear leader, and that is Jeb Bush. All the other Republican candidates, except Carly Fiorina, experienced increased referral traffic in August, probably due to the large debates and the coverage that followed. Making news
  • 8. 8/14 Search traffic Searching for Fiorina Carly Fiorina, the most recent candidate to join the campaign, gets almost half of her traffic from search. We can also see how search traffic to Fiorina’s website jumped significantly in August, presumably a result of her stellar performance in the GOP debate and consequent rise into the GOP top 10. Fiorina and Trump are the candidates who receive the largest share of their website traffic from search. This could also be due to the fact that both domains are not immediately obvious.
  • 9. 9/14 Shrinking ROI from paid search The share of traffic coming from paid search has decreased for every candidate, with the exception of Ben Carson. This could be a sign that campaigns are spending less on paid search, probably reserving some of their channels spend for other media, or for later stages of the campaign. Noticeably, Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina have no traffic coming from paid search, an indication that their campaigns have not prioritized this as an important strategy or not matured to that stage. Fiorina is still lagging in budget, which is probably why she has not entered the PPC battle, but in Trump’s case, this may be more of a strategic decision than a financial one.
  • 10. 10/14 Do we really care about the issues? Issue-related keywords drive little traffic to candidates’ websites as a whole. However, issue-driven search traffic to the sites revealed a few interesting insights; the main issues driving search traffic to the candidates’ websites are immigration and healthcare. Immigration drives the most search traffic share to: // Donald Trump (with 2.67% of search traffic to donaldjtrump.com coming from search phrases with the word ‘immigration’ in them) // Rand Paul // Bernie Sanders Tax drives the most search traffic share to: // Rand Paul (3.7% of the search traffic to randpaul.com coming from search phrases with the word ‘tax’ in them) // Mike Huckabee // Donald Trump Interestingly, hot-button issues such as gun regulation and healthcare, which the candidates have been discussing publicly for a while, drive very little search traffic to the candidates’ websites (and in some cases none at all). This is true across the political spectrum.
  • 11. 11/14 Social Media traffic Age doesn't matter when it comes to social media Ben Carson led the share of traffic from social media over the last quarter, even though he is neither the youngest candidate, nor the most media savvy. During this period, Carson received 34.8% of his traffic from social media. By the fall, Carson was leading in social traffic share, beating out younger GOP members as well as both of his main democratic opponents. Jeb2016.com experienced the most impressive increase in share of traffic from social media, going from 12.2% in July to 26.1% in September, which in traffic volume translated to an increase from 25,620 visits to 65,250. This was probably a result of the campaign ramping up their social media strategy after a slow start (Bush had the lowest share in July compared to competitors).
  • 12. 12/14 Standouts in other media include Marco Rubio who is a leader in YouTube traffic (although it amounts to only about 4.5% on average during the quarter). Bernie Sanders is getting impressive traffic shares from Reddit, with an average of over 37% between July and September. This is not surprising for a candidate who pushes discussion on the issues at every turn. At this juncture, it appears that candidates are not spending a great deal of resources to boost traffic, relying mostly on direct traffic, traffic from social media and news-related referrals. With a year left before the elections, they are spending cautiously, and still waiting for the candidate field to shrink. However, as the competition becomes fiercer, a more orchestrated digital strategy will be crucial to candidates’ survival. Facebook still a giant for campaigns By September, Facebook drove more than 50% of social media traffic to every site. Earlier, Bush’s and Trump’s campaign websites relied more heavily on Twitter, although the trend shows increasing Facebook dominance.
  • 13. 13/14
  • 14. 14/14 Conclusion and recommendation Campaigns and related super PACs need to strategically grow their social media presence, as well as begin spending on paid search and digital advertising. Investing in growing traffic to their site will ultimately mean growing their e-mail base, which represents the most loyal constituents. Relatively speaking, spend on digital media is nowhere near as high as traditional media, but its impact can be vast. Smaller campaigns can receive a bigger bang for their buck with smart investments that drive traffic to their sites. SimilarWeb provides extremely valuable data for campaign decision makers as they evaluate the success of their own strategies and consider pivots based on how their competitors are performing. In an increasingly complex political landscape, this type of data will also help guide the work of super PACs, journalists, and others who seek to better understand the intricate relationship between digital media and politics. For more insights, please contact us at press@similarweb.com The data in this report was compiled from US Web traffic for the months of July-September 2015 using SimilarWeb PRO’s proprietary marketing intelligence platform, including market research and analysis.

Related Documents