SOASTA, the leader in performance analytics, announced the results of its Presidential Candidate Online Performance Study. Using its Consumer Performance Index (CPI), which measures website performance and user engagement, SOASTA found that Donald Trump’s website is leading the pack, followed by Bernie Sanders’ and John Kasich of Ohio. Hillary Clinton’s website ranked 4, and Carly Fiorina’s website ranked 7. Jeb Bush’s website ranked last. Rick Santorum’s site, meanwhile, is not receiving enough traffic for an assessment of its performance. This CPI ranking provides a directional view of how presidential candidates’ websites engage potential voters.
This is important since SOASTA gauged the extent to which the strength of presidential candidates’ websites affects voter opinion. The answer is: quite a bit. More than 3 in 5 (63 percent specifically) of Americans said that, when visiting campaign sites, their support for presidential candidates would be negatively impacted by too many requests for information and/or donations, and an equal number (63 percent) would be put off by website issues. Only 35 percent said they’d be put off if a candidate wasn’t speaking to their particular needs and concerns. The online survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA among more than 2,000 adults age 18+.
Trump’s website trumps the competition
Using CPI estimates, SOASTA determined that Donald Trump’s website was the highest performing, with a rating of 88. Bernie Sanders’ website followed with a rating of 87. Hillary Clinton’s website ranking came in fourth place with a score of 85.5, behind John Kasich (86.8). Despite her background as a tech CEO, Carly Fiorina’s website came in seventh with a ranking of 85.1. Jeb Bush’s website came in last, with a performance ranking of 77.
|Presidential Candidate||Website URL||CPI Rating|
|John Kasich (Ohio)||86.8|
|Dr. Ben Carson (Florida)||85.2|
|Chris Christie (New Jersey)||85.2|
|Martin O’Malley (Maryland)||85|
|Jim Webb (Virginia)||85|
|Bobby Jindal (Louisiana)||85|
|Mike Huckabee (Florida)||84.5|
|Rand Paul (Kentucky)||83.6|
|Lawrence Lessig (Massachusetts)||81.8|
Meanwhile, Rick Santorum’s website didn’t generate enough traffic to be ranked in the top 500,000 global sites, and, therefore, its performance rating could not be assessed. That was also true of the websites of Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island) and Republican candidates Jim Gilmore (Virginia), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and George Pataki (New York).
Form over function
When asked which things would negatively impact their support for a presidential candidate if visiting their campaign website, Americans listed their top turn-off as too many requests (63 percent), either for personal information (53%) or for donations (52%). Three in five Millennial women age 18-34 (60 percent) are turned off by requests for personal information, and seven in ten senior women age 65+ are put off by too many donation requests (70 percent).
Sixty-three percent of Americans would be put off by website issues, including the website not having the information they’re looking for (42 percent), the website being difficult to navigate (42 percent), and the website crashing (38 percent). Twenty-eight percent would be put off by a website that looks outdated, except for Millennials, of whom 40 percent say this would negatively affect their support for a presidential hopeful. Fifty-two percent of Americans say they’d be put off if the content of the website is not clear, while only 35 percent say they’d be put off if they didn’t feel the candidate was speaking to their particular needs and concerns.
“People often underestimate the value of an orderly, well-functioning website,” said Tom Lounibos, CEO and Co-Founder of SOASTA. “These results speak to that. When people visit a website and have a negative experience, it affects how they perceive the brand or, in this case, the candidate. Web and mobile app performance matters now more than ever before, and it’s critical that sites have real-time visibility into the user experience.”
This was particularly true of Millennials, 71 percent of whom say they would be put off by issues with a candidate’s website – twice as many as would be put off by a candidate not understanding their needs and concerns (35 percent).
They may or may not disagree about politics, but they agree about website functionality
While Millennials’ politics may or may not differ from those of their elders, there was consensus about the importance of campaign website functionality:
Which of the following would negatively affect your support for a presidential candidate if you were visiting their campaign website? Please select all that apply.
|Too many requests for personal information||53 percent||54 percent|
|Too many requests for donations||52 percent||47 percent|
|The website doesn’t give you the information you’re looking for||42 percent||49 percent|
|The website is difficult to navigate||42 percent||44 percent|
|The website crashes||38 percent||43 percent|
*Not all response items are shown
Of those who have an opinion, nearly three in five (68 percent) of students say they relied on an online site to follow unfolding dramatic moments. Among those who have an opinion:
|During which of the following moments in the 2016 presidential race did you rely on an online site? Please select all that apply.|
|During a GOP debate||10 percent||31 percent|
|Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly media war||10 percent||30 percent|
|Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly media war||17 percent||29 percent|
|When Hillary Clinton apologized for use of private email||16 percent||29 percent|
|When Donald Trump questioned John McCain’s war hero status||13 percent||23 percent|
*Not all response items are shown
Americans from the Northeast were also following online coverage of some of these moments with more interest than the rest of the country, particularly the Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly media war (20 percent versus 12% in the south, 11% in the Midwest and 14% in the West), when Hillary Clinton apologized for use of private email (17 percent versus 10 percent in the Midwest and 11 percent in the West), and when Donald Trump questioned John McCain’s war hero status (15 percent versus 8 percent in the Midwest and 9 percent in the West).
To find out more about SOASTA CPI, visit this site: www.soasta.com/cpi.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from September 23-25, 2015, among 2,044 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Gaby Perez-Silva: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOASTA is the leader in performance analytics. The SOASTA platform enables digital business owners to gain unprecedented and continuous performance insights into their real user experience on mobile and web devices in real time and at scale. With more than 3 billion user experiences monitored, measured, tested and optimized every week, SOASTA is the digital performance expert trusted by industry-leading brands, including 41 of the Top 100 Internet Retailers, such as Target, Nordstrom, Staples, Sears, Walmart, Etsy, Nike, Best Buy, Adobe, Intuit, Microsoft, DirectTV, Netflix and BBC. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, visit http://www.soasta.com.