Definition of “Lateral keywords”
Lateral keywords are a new way to think of keyword ideas after checking the Google Keyword Planner tool (which still plays its own role).
With the LateralKeywords tool you can examine significant keywords that appear in competitor sites, such as the top-10 ranking sites. You compare your target page with such competitor pages.
The LateralKeywords tool gives you a bucket of extracted keywords, say, 20-30 keywords to consider. You will be delighted with the gems you will see (among some other incidental words that you can ignore).
A page about life insurance was compared to well-ranking pages and one of the major findings was that it had all the usual keywords about the product, but it missed the customer context. A product will sell better when it seems relevant to the customer’s needs. In this case, the typical customer cares about their family, but the page did not mention the word “family” or any related phrase. Life insurance benefits one’s family.
A university was researching a keyword, “Bachelor of Business” and this tool was able to point out that their page did not contain some important words, such as “electives”, “credit points”, “<name of city>”, “program code”, “score” and so on. The page author might have assumed that other pages would contain information such as the campus location, but certain words are worth repeating on each page.
What LateralKeywords Is Not
LateralKeywords does not access any search engine and does not purport to reverse-engineer any search algorithms. It takes your URLs, fetches those pages and gives you an analysis.
I presented this slide deck at Pubcon 2015. It explains the concepts in detail.