Understanding SEO Keyword Research from Steve Harvey’s Family Feud by@asherumerie

Understanding SEO Keyword Research from Steve Harvey’s Family Feud

May 6th 2022 536 reads
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Keyword Research is the process of predicting, finding, and analyzing search terms that everyday users are likely to enter into search engines for a range of purposes. Family Feud's gameplay requires some level of keyword research and it has some helpful tips that can Improve your approach to Search Engine Optimization.
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Asher Umerie

Content writer and Editorial Intern at HackerNoon.

If you have a thing for iconic mustaches or clean-cut and stylish middle-aged men, then ‘Survey says there’s a strong chance that you know who Steve Harvey is. And If you do, there’s an even better chance that you have watched Family Feud, or at least heard of it.

This article draws some parallels between keyword research for good SEO and some of the skills you would need to make a killer team on one of America’s top-three most popular syndicated shows. 

If you’re unfamiliar with any of this, stay with me!

Table of Contents

  1. What is family feud?
  2. What is Keyword research?
  3. All the ways family feud and keyword research are alike and not 
  4. Keyword tips from a family feud episode.

Keyword research and Family feud are guessing games, both of which are powered by the innate similarities present in human experiences.

After all….

We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike

What is Family Feud? 

Typically, the game features two teams made up of 5 members each. Every round begins with a ‘face-off’ question, which is basically an elaborate coin flip to decide what team goes first. 

Going into each game, a survey is conducted with 100 people of varying ages, races, and so forth. The top answers from the survey are put on a board and the families take turns guessing what they imagine most people in the survey said.  For the face-off, the host, announces a category (by way of a question e.g ‘what are the things a man would buy his new wife to piss off his ex) and a race for the buzzer ensues. 

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The family that wins the face-off can decide to play or pass the round (depending on how they feel about the question’s difficulty level). The team answering the question for that round then plays to guess the remaining items on the board.  A wrong guess attracts a strike and after three strikes, the other team can ‘steal’ an opportunity to guess the remaining points on the board and potentially win all the points attainable for that round. This goes on for 4 rounds as the families race to a 300-point maximum.

The winning family- after four rounds- gets an opportunity to play the game’s bonus round, where instead of a 100-person survey, you’re trying to replicate 5 rapid-fire answers that your teammate supplied while you were handicapped with noise-canceling headphones backstage. 

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What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of predicting, finding, and analyzing search terms that everyday users are likely to enter into search engines for a range of purposes. The goal of keyword research is, very often, search engine optimization; however, it can offer considerable value to general marketing efforts. 

Essentially, successful keyword research can do one of two things:

  • Connect you to a healthy market that’s already looking for the service you offer.
  • Improve the search engine rankings of your page for select keywords. 

As the world gravitates toward increased digital integration. More people are looking for ‘something’ on the internet. An analysis of the 1000 most searched pages on the internet demonstrated a 22% increase in search traffic in 2020 when compared to 2018 and 2019 trends.  

Summarily more people are on the internet looking for an answer that you have,  but if you don’t know how they are looking, then your starcrossed business relationship that was written in the skies and ordained by a dozen honey-covered angels might never see the light of day.

All the ways family feud and keyword research are alike and not

With Keyword research you’re trying to guess what questions people would ask in their search for an answer that you already have, or are, or are building (I mean this in the context of your personal or company brand’s value proposition). 

With family feud on the other hand you’re doing the reverse: you're trying to guess what answers people have given to a question that you’re currently faced with. 

Whatever the case is, the first step to succeeding is to put yourself in other people’s shoes – For keyword research, this is done to establish user intent, and this is arguably one of the most important aspects of the keyword research process. If you don’t know why people are asking certain questions, chances are that you will give wrong replies. 

For family feud this helps you understand that the ‘Survey’ was filled by people who are just like you, people with similar emotions, interests, and most importantly – habits. 

Keyword Research Tips from a Family Feud Episode

In this video, the Beard Family face-off take on the Taylor family in a special family feud episode with extra high stakes - the winners could potentially go home with a brand new SUV in addition to the prize money.

In exploring the motivation behind their answers, good and bad alike, we start to recognize some important factors to consider while keyword researching. 

The show opens with its first question: If Steve Harvey were your neighbor what would you ask to borrow?

In response to this- after getting to the buzzer faster- the Taylor family’s representative said “His Car”, the second player followed by saying “His wallet”, both of which were correct and represented on the board. 

Why were these answers correct? 

Lesson 1 - Context is King

If you already know who Steve Harvey is or have paid some level of attention to this article, then I bet you can already tell that he is quite wealthy - by most definitions of the word - with a net worth of many million dollars (the exact figure is immaterial to this piece).

However, knowledge of his wealth played an important role in the answers that the Taylor family offered. (His Car and His wallet). With a survey made up of average income earners, it makes sense that most of the answers on the board bordered on Mr. Harvey’s wealth. 

If we edit the question a little bit and it becomes: If your crush were your neighbor what is something you would ask to borrow? 

The answers on the board would change significantly. I imagine ‘pots and pans’ would be a popular answer, because in that case, wealth isn’t a major consideration,  interest in communicating with this ‘crush’ is. It takes priority. 

The success of any and every SEO campaign rests on a brand’s ability to understand its target market and of course the different ways that this market perceives the brand.

Lesson 2 - Pesky Competition

While your brand might be exceptional in building a product or a service. It is very possible, likely even, that yours isn’t the only brand that offers such value. Also likely, is the chance that those other brands understand the importance of SEO and ranking (to be fair it's kind of a no-brainer) and have answered some of the questions that your target market asks.. What then?

Back to the Taylor family

After two correct answers (Car and Wallet), the next two Taylor family reps missed the mark with “His Pool” and “His Yacht”, overplaying the wealth angle perhaps. With Four concealed answers still on the board and the risk of having the round stolen by the beard family, Miss Lanita (the oldest of the group, but the coolest in my opinion) decided to take a different approach.

Rather than focus on his wealth, she focused on something else that he is well known for, an alternative ranking factor if you will - His style. Her answer “His fancy clothes cause he be dressing” was the second most popular answer on the board.

As you build your SEO strategy and explore the SERPs (search engine result pages) that touch on your brand’s values, you might fight that it is already saturated by big brands with influence and mammoth market shares. Your best bet in this scenario would be to refine your approach. Unless the big brands were churning out low-quality content, then you might be able to outrank them with the quality you put out, regardless of their large marketing budgets.

In conclusion, Search Engine Optimization is often a marathon. It requires a carefully structured approach to ensure long-term success. Do not be intimated by the influence and reach of already existing brands, take your time. Be like miss Lanita - address style while others are focused on wealth.

If you enjoyed this piece, disagree with anything in it, or have any context-relevant tips that you’d like to add, please do so in the comments.

Good day and Good Luck! 

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