Today we are going to talk about using Google Alerts, a simple, free, and efficient way to use the internet to find out what is being said about your company, or product, or any other topic you choose to track.
What are Google Alerts?
Google Alerts are emails that are sent to you whenever Google identifies new search results that match your requested search term. Google Alerts are used to monitor any topic, such as:
- A specific company – yours or a competitor
- A specific product or product category
- Identify industry trends
- Get the latest updates on a news story, celebrity, or sports team
- Follow what people are saying about your company in blogs or discussions
- Find potential customers
How Do You Get Started?
It’s very simple. Just go to www.google.com/alerts. Enter a search term/query that you want to follow and how often you’d like to be notified. Then enter the email address you’d like to receive the information. That’s all it takes. Whenever your topic appears in the top 20 websites or top 10 news stories, you’ll be notified by email. You can set up as many Google Alerts as you like on any subject.
How Can This Benefit Your Brand or Your Business?
There are many ways to use Google Alerts to benefit your business. Here are just a few.
- Track keywords – Keywords are a great place to start to information on any topic you might find interesting
- Track yourself or your company – You can quickly spot mentions of your brand or company, both positive and negative, and you can respond appropriately.
- Track your competitors – Learn what they are up to, what might be successful for them, and what you might be needing to do to stay competitive.
- Track links to your site – This can helpful in identifying industry newcomers, potential partners or future competitors
- Find customers – Set up alerts for questions people might ask of Q&A type sites such as Yahoo Answers. For example, say you have a great product that kills crabgrass. Set up an alert for the question “How do I get rid of crabgrass?” When the topic arises in a discussion group or other site, you can offer your solution.
- Identify a niche/product development – Google Alerts allow you to follow discussions about a niche topic. If you see a recurring theme or need, you can get to work finding or creating a product to fill it!
These are just a few of the many ways you can use Google Alerts to benefit your business. No doubt you’ll uncover many more uses for this simple, valuable tool. Does all this get you really excited – try these advanced tips from Google – if you are ready for the next level of Google Alerts.
Are you using Google Alerts? Share your ideas on how to maximize them in your business in the comments below.
Our next post will cover social share and social follow icons. See you then!