According to an article posted today to Gallup.com, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is now in the #1 position to win the Republican party's 2012 presidential nomination. Perry is at 29%, Mitt Romney is at 17%, and Ron Paul is at 13%.
Heardable decided to run each of the eight Republican candidates through the Heardable platform to see how they'd fare. The results are telling.
Ron Paul ranked #1, followed by Rick Perry and then Jon Huntsman. What this means is that as far as online savviness, Ron, Rick and Jon are far ahead of the pack -- and it the superb online marketing efforts of their election teams that is giving them an edge right now on the Internet.
What's really surprising is how poorly Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney are doing online.
Michele Bachmann's brand health score is measly 306 out of 1,000, 54% lower than Ron Paul's score of 661.
And Mitt Romney's brand health score is just 407 out of 1,000, 38% lower than Ron Paul.
What are the online brands of Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann doing wrong? Well, both campaign websites have 'splash pages' sitting in front of their main websites, which have a negative impact on their brand health scores. Splash pages are the website pages that the visitor sees before they actually get to a website. The visitor typically clicks "Enter Site" and from there is taken to the website. Typically, splash pages are used to gather user information or present a specific brand image, such as an animation about the company. In the case of Michelle Bachmann's splash page, their soliciting campaign contributions.
There are two big problems with putting splash pages in front of your website:
1. These are not the pages your visitor is expecting to see
2. Search engines tend to scan the splash page instead of the actual website content
Other areas where political brands typically fall short include:
1. Websites not optimized for mobile smartphone browsing
2. Poor measurement tracking and visitor optimization tools used
3. Shallow social media participation (they may be present, but only allow for a one-way conversation)
4. Low shareability (no RSS feeds, user comments, or APIs)
5. Political brands make it hard to contact the candidate (elements such as phone numbers, email & mailing addresses and live chat are buried or not found on the sites)
Rick Perry's 2nd place score of 651 out of 1,000 should make his political team very excited. He ranks just 1.5% shy of Ron Paul in the Heardable rankings. And, assuming he's more of a mainstream candidate than Ron Paul, Rick Perry is likely to become our next president.
How do we know? Because political candidates that are mainstream in popularity AND are savvy online with high brand health scores tend to have a far wider worldwide reach (and an advantage in presidential elections).
So assuming it's Rick Perry vs. Barack Obama in the upcoming 2012 presidential election -- who does Heardable think will win? At this point, we give the edge to the current POTUS, Barack Obama, by a nose. His brand health score is higher.
It's that simple.
Heardable Scoring Methodology
Our brand health scores are like FICO scores for brands. They're a simple way for a company to benchmark their performance by industry or geo-location. Low scores indicate weaknesses, which highlights areas that need improvement.
Heardable's brand health scores range from 1 to 1,000. The higher your score, the better you're doing. And yes, it really is that simple!
0-200 = Poor
201-400 = Average
401-600 = Above Average
601-800 = Category Leader
801-1000 = Global Leader
Each score is comprised of six subscores, each focusing on a unique element of a brand's online effectiveness: Portable, Searchable, Sociable, Measurable, Actionable, and Shareable.
Actionable: Do you make it easy for your site visitors to engage and transact with you? Is your website ADA compliant?
Measurable: Do you monitor your online brand using web analytics software, advertising tracking beacons, and onsite optimization tools?
Portable: Have you optimized your site experience for the major mobile web browsers so that smart phone users have an optimized online experience with your brand? Do you utilize mobile marketing campaigns to expand your brand reach?
Searchable: Is your site SEO optimized, with an emphasis on local search?
Shareable: Does your site make it easy to send and receive data feeds in multiple content formats? Are you sharing, syndicating, and embedding content?
Sociable: Does your brand actively participate in social media across a span of external social networks? Does your brand play an active role in the conversations? Are you popular?
When added together, Heardable's six subscores contribute to a brand's total brand health score. Here are the total possible points for each subscore:
1. Portable: 200 points
2. Searchable: 200 points
3. Sociable: 200 points
4. Measurable: 100 points
5. Actionable: 150 points
6. Shareable: 150 points