After reading yesterday about how savvy both US presidential campaigns seem to think they are about search marketing, I decided I’m going to take a closer look at watching them. In particular, I noticed yesterday that both seemed pretty lame when it came to tapping into rising queries that you can spot on Google Trends. That’s what I’m going to be watching in particular over the coming weeks — and today’s a good start. Google Trends is lighting up with searches for McCain’s vice presidential pick, Alaska governor Sarah Palin. How are the campaigns responding? Not so well.
First, here are some of the many searches for her happening now:
- sarah palin
- alaska gov. sarah palin
- governor of alaska
- governor palin
- sarah palin vice president
- mccain vp
- mccain running mate
- mccain palin
- palin for vp
And there are many more!
Ooops! Neither campaign appears to have bought her name!
But I still give it a fail. Consider the landing page I get:
All these searches by people clearly trying to learn more about this largely unexpected candidate, and McCain’s site gives me no information about her when I click directly on his ad in search of that? An ad that expressly tells me “Learn More About Sarah Palin.” Nor does the Obama camp even run an ad, much less directly me to a page with their response about the choice?
Yes, the campaigns in 2008 seem to understand more about search than in 2004. Certainly they know about placing the ads, but they seem to have much more to learn about the other key aspect of search marketing — converting people by showing them what they wanted, when they arrive.