24 January 2009

SEO Lateral Keywords

. 24 January 2009 .

Lateral keywords can bring surprising results in your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Most good SEO professionals recognize the high importance of lateral keyword targeting, but they also want to sell you what you want to buy. In all of your excitement to reach the top of search engine results for your obvious top keywords, be sure that you do not forget about all of the many lateral keyword phrases that also apply to your industry.
What Are Lateral Keywords?

Lateral keywords are the keywords that branch out laterally from your assumed SEO target audience. These are the related keywords and keyword phrases that your competition often overlooks, and can provide great opportunities to reach your customers. An example would be that if you are trying to reach people for the keyword phrase “fishing rods”, it is simple to see why you would want to be returned in searches for “fishing lures” and a long list of other related fishing keywords. Where a lot of SEOs will stop is when it comes to other far-reaching lateral terms like “camping supplies”. This is a very sensible example, but it can be taken much further than that. These are also known as “long tail keywords”, and can cumulatively account for far more valuable Website traffic than the keyword phrases your competitors inundate. Lateral Keywords Require Lateral Thinking

“Thinking outside of the box” is a very 1980s term, but that is what I mean by lateral thinking. In order to think laterally as it applies to your SEO, you must start by thinking like your customers. We all know this is step one in defining your market, but it is always a good reminder. If you think like your customers for just a moment, you can probably come up with a dozen good lateral keyword phrases in the time it takes to finish reading this paragraph. Another quick way to research your long tail market is to review your Website statistics. Sometimes the keyword phrases where only a few Website visits were generated can be a good start. They may be great keywords, but you are just so far down the search results list that you only have a few visitors.
Top Ranking for Lateral Keywords

Ranking on the top of search engine results for your lateral keywords is extremely valuable. In fact, I will take 20 good listings for lateral keywords than one or two listings for the “important” phrases. The good news is that it is often far easier to achieve a good ranking for these keywords. It may not seem as exciting, but you will often find that you will receive a very valuable target audience that you have been overlooking.


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