7 Reasons Why Obama’s Website Has Many More Visitors Than McCain’s


The US presidential election is coming soon and the candidates are fighting for votes for several months now.

Today I want to dissect the various reasons why Barack Obama is outperforming John McCain on the Web, especially in terms of visitors or in other words people viewing and using his website.

The SEO 2.0 blog deals with business and not politics so I will refrain from speaking out on behalf of one candidate. Those who know me do not have to be told anyway whom I support.

So what are the 7 reasons why Obama’s website has many more visitors than McCain’s? The first 3 reasons are due to demographics, the 4 ensuing are based on merit and strategy.

Note that this article is based on data provided by Compete.com a search analytics service that checks US traffic stats.

#1 Young vs Old
Obama is much younger and besides this simple fact he is targeting the younger population. On the Web the younger generations are still the most active ones. Although many people in their fifties and even sixties embrace the Web not those of Mr. McCains age (above 70).

#2 Urban vs Rural
Obama supporters are mostly better educated urban citizens, many college students but also racial minorities obviously. Two of the 3 groups are quite web-savvy or working on the web anyway. While the African American and Hispanic population catches up it still is disadvantaged due the poverty and/or language barriers.

McCain supporters are often highly religious people, farmers and people from rural or suburban areas. At least the first 2 groups are not that often on the Web due to their healthier lifestyle and physical work. Affluent suburban families are more prone to be heavy users of the Web. All in all the Obama audience outweighs McCain supporters on the Web though.

#3 New vs Old Media
McCain supporters are naturally more conservative than Obama followers so they tend to read or use more traditional media like newspapers and TV. On the other hand Obama is very strong in the new media sphere, especially blogs, social media and social networking platforms.

#4 Community vs Content
Obama relies on user participation while the McCain website focuses on consumption of information. The first thing you’ll notice when you visit barackobama.com is a form to join. Johnmccain.com offers a video instead.

While Mr. McCain catches the attention quickly with moving images Mr. Obama concentrates on user retention. You might be pretty satisfied with a one-time visit on the McCain site while you will be drawn in to be part of the community effort at the Obama site.

#5 Social Media
The Obama website is a hub connecting several platforms where his staff is actively rallying. They are very active on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc. and make people visit the homepage by sending updates. There is a whole list of social sites collected in the right bottom corner called “Obama everywhere”.

The McCain campaign does the contrary, it encourages readers to print material and share it with friends. John McCain is also on MySpace and Facebook but you won’t find a Twitter account of him in the Google.com Top 30.

#6 Blogging
The Obama blog just published a whopping 21 posts on October 16th while the McCain blog hasn’t posted a single one yet. Also it sports only one or two posts per day usually. Moreover while the Obama team is offering real content on the blog, the McCain team links out to “news releases”.

#7 News vs Beliefs
While Senator Obama offers real news, ideas and opinions we don’t know yet senator McCain concentrates on beliefs. Obama says things people don’t know yet while McCain says what is already expected of him.

Obama outlines change. What to change and how to change it (plan to end war in Iraq, tax cuts for the poor and middle class paid by the higher taxes of the hyper-rich, boosting economy by assisting those in need, universal health care).

McCain repeats what we already know (we need more oil thus more drilling, God is great and the bible very important, he was a POW and served his country, tax cuts for the rich for trickle down effect, war will go on as long as it needs).

Of course the sheer traffic of his website does not make Barack Obama a winner but it’s interesting to see from a SEO 2.0 perspective how Barack Obama uses social media, blogging and other tools to it’s full effect while John McCain focuses on old media and traditional word of mouth tactics.