If the word “used baseball bat” gets around 20,000 searches every month and the word “bat swings” only gets 1,000, you know which one is better in terms of demand.
However, this is just the first element and is not exactly the best indicator of a strong keyword. One reason is the click rate. Some keywords have high demand, but people don’t really click on the pages because they already see what they need without doing so.
Traffic potential is the amount of traffic you could get if you were in the top 1 spot. You can use website explorers to see how many sites visits the current top 1 gets.
Besides the first two, you also have to look at the keyword and consider the value it brings to your business. Since you sell affordable baseball bats, you have a lot of content to play around with where you can link your products. Rank them according to the value they provide to your business.
The keywords “affordable baseball bats”, “baseball bats for beginners”, and “best baseball bats” are all good, but “best baseball players of all time” may be far from your goals.
You must also match the searchers’ intent when thinking of keywords to use. In the first example, “baseball bats” resulted in a mix of e-commerce category pages, images, news, and a Wikipedia page. Adding the word “affordable” changed the page results to just videos and e-commerce pages. The searchers’ intent is likely to shop. Therefore, if you use “affordable baseball bats” in a listicle blog, it won’t likely rank.
You can start with a bunch of keywords and filter them by checking if they pass this 4-item list. If they do, another filter to use is ranking difficulty. This is where you will have a thorough assessment of your competitors. How many backlinks do they have? What is their domain rating? How long is the content?
Search engine optimization is not an easy process. It takes months for you to see results if your strategy is working. Fortunately, there are tons of online tools to help you with each step of your SEO quest.