Vice President SEO
Publicis Health Media
Building Audience-Centric SEO from the Ground Up
By any measure, award-winning Richard Deede is a strategist extraordinaire. The indisputable proof? To exceed Publicis Health Media’s client expectations, he’s been critical in building—from the ground up—the company’s entire SEO department. He encourages team members to break away from traditional organization optimization strategies, which focused on working with brand goals and crafting a strategy to boost visibility around brand activities and objectives.
Why break tradition? If what the brand wants to achieve doesn’t resonate with their desired target audience, it will be difficult to have any real reach and impact. In contrast, Richard explains, “Publicis Health Media’s approach starts with the audience and centers on the concept of understanding who the audience is: Their habits, where they engage digitally, and what type of content will resonate with their interests.” To this end, Richard asked himself a few simple questions: “Why this content?” “Why this platform?” “Why would someone connect with this content?” He then developed processes that include the following criteria:
- Define the audience (patient, HCP, male, female, age, habits, preferences, etc.)
- Key audience(s)’s intent when searching (education, purchase, etc.)
- Context of their search (device, location, seasonality, etc.)
- Channel of engagement (website, app, social media, etc.)
He encourages the search team to think about SEO as an audience centric approach that sits within the full healthcare ecosystem—because without considering all factors at play, any strategy will be unsuccessful. Richard asks his team to step into the consumers’ shoes—and really get into their minds.
Doing this allows the team to think creatively and understand the connection between actual audience behavior and Big Data around search. It’s an innovative approach through which Richard states, “Publicis Health Media has seen increases in search visibility of over 50% for clients by guiding them to a strategy of developing optimized content that spoke directly to their target audience.”
Placing the customer first in all search conversations has helped redefine the way Publicis Health Media talks about SEO and clients find the innovative strategies are more tangible, reliable, and produce results—allowing Richard to pioneer several new business acquisitions.