Perhaps no introduction is necessary for the 44th President of the United States’ globally recognized campaign, but in the interest of consistency we’ll provide you a few details. Operating out of its headquarters in Chicago, Obama for America is the primary fundraising, organizing, and messaging vehicle responsible for the President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and serves as his complete re-election effort for the 2012 election. Each iteration of the campaign effort, which is comprised of hundreds of paid staff, as well as a grassroots volunteer movement in the thousands, has been viewed as among the most digitally advanced and technological savvy in U.S. history.
Obama for America approached Terakeet in late March of 2008, as the presumptive Democratic nominee’s victory over then-Terakeet client and President Obama’s opponent; Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign became imminent. Even as 2008 proved to be an awakening for many candidates regarding the power of search engine visibility in digital campaigns, OFA still lacked the necessary organic search traffic to put their small-donor fundraising over the top.
Recognizing that Senator Clinton’s campaign had made a last-ditch fundraising rebound due largely to Terakeet’s participation in their new media efforts, OFA was eager to learn how Terakeet could help them gain more traction in organic search. Even as it was late in the election 2008 election cycle, Terakeet’s team was able to provide OFA with the necessary on-page website recommendations to maximize the value of their content and online presence, an organizational asset that was widely heralded as the President’s decided advantage over Republican John McCain in the November general election.
In late 2011, OFA again reached out to Terakeet to enlist their services for the President’s 2012 re-election effort. With no primary cycle to complicate their focus, OFA was eager to get a head start in organic search, particularly with regards to direct response material, but they still lacked organization and cooperation between the campaign’s many disparate online properties. Complicating matters further was that even as BarackObama.com was a hugely powerful domain from a search engine perspective, off-page value accrued over the course of a half-dozen years was being inappropriately distributed throughout the domain or outright blocked.
A New Strategy for a New Campaign
After several meetings at the campaign’s Chicago headquarters in February of 2012, Terakeet again began work it did the first time around- by examining the information architecture of the site to ensure it was properly aligned for search engine visibility. After our initial review and audit of the domain, Terakeet was able to make dozens of high-level on-page recommendations to ensure the website was ready to compete with their Republican opponents for general issue content and direct response material.
Next, Terakeet worked to help OFA amplify the quality and depth of their domain by finding many overlooked back-link opportunities that were directing value either away from the campaign’s primary web property or to expired pages. A comprehensive overhaul and streamlining of the site’s backlink profile target pages allowed the site to again inherit the off-page value it had lost during the last campaign.
After another round of meetings with the campaign following Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney’s acceptance of the Republican nomination, Terakeet worked closely with the campaign over the next several weeks to ensure they had the right material to combat Romney-specific issue queries in organic search. Terakeet staff helped the campaign leverage the power of their domain, while formatting their content and information architecture appropriately to support content for these terms.
With Terakeet’s help, OFA was able to drastically improve search engine visibility for BarackObama.com, while providing the necessary outlets for direct response material to be distributed effectively. Terakeet’s comprehensive analysis of the site’s back link profile and subsequent recommendations allowed OFA to efficiently isolate and inherit off-page value opportunities they were previously unaware of, further powering the site’s search engine performance. Recognizing that elections are not solely won or lost in a voting booth and through careful alignment of content and information architecture with appropriate issue-based queries, OFA was able to effectively vie for Governor Romney’s search traffic directly in the search results.
“The Obama campaign was seeing unprecedented amounts of search traffic on a daily basis. We ranked for plenty of terms, but knew we could better leverage our long-tail organic traffic on the search engines. When we reached out to Mac and his team, we reached out to him because his team is known as the best. Traffic improved, conversion improved, and we followed every recommendation Terakeet made. I continue to recommend Terakeet to anyone ready to invest in SEO.” – Andrew Bleeker, New Media Director