Have you heard of Google Alerts?
Are you using it?
If you have a small business you will find some great benefits by using Google Alerts.
Glad you asked :).
First of all, let me tell you what Google Alerts are in case you are not familiar.
It is a service provided by Google to detect and notify you of the word, phrases,search terms that you set it up for.
Here are a few ways you can use Google Alerts for your small business.
Protect your business and personal reputation
Set up alerts with your business name and your personal name. That way you will get notified as soon as Google finds a match and you can address it as you wish.
Blog post monitoring
You can track the title of your blog post (set up the URL) to see if anybody else publishes it online and to make sure you get the credits.
Find backlinks you can use to promote your site
Get notified of the new backlinks to your website. This way you will know who is interested in your content and you might even form some sort of partnership with them to co-promote each other or you could offer to guest blog.
Track your products and services
It’s good to know the latest news about your products or services you provide. Who else is mentioning them on Google and why.
Connect to prospects
Many times people who are looking for your services or products might go to a Question and Answer site to ask about it. If you have an alert set up you can answer their question and offer your help. You probably already know the most common questions prospects have in your industry so set up alerts for them.
By creating alerts around key industry terms you will stay on top of the latest news and also gives you an opportunity to strengthen your authority in the field by commenting on relevant blog posts or forums.
Keep an eye on your competitors
I am not much of a competitor watcher so to speak but I know a lot of people are keen to know what the competition is up to. Well, if you set up alerts with your competitors business name you will find out :). You can learn what to do or not to do by tracking their online presence.
If you set up a lot of alerts and you think they will be distracting getting them in your mailbox my suggestion is to either use a special email address or direct Google Alerts to a special folder within your email.
You most likely will have to play with your Google Alerts setting until you get exactly what you want. If you are getting irrelevant alerts then use Google search operators to refine the search. For example: using this operator (~) before a word will result in returning similar terms. Play with operators to fine tune your alerts.
Don’t use common words. For example: instead of using the search term “plumbing” use bathroom plumbing tips”
Example of how I use Google Alerts.
One of the terms I have set up a few years ago is “social media workshops”. This way I get to see what others in the field are doing, how much they are charging, what format they are using to deliver their workshop, etc.
To set up your own Google Alerts click the link.
I hope you have a better idea on how to use this free Google service and why and that you find this info useful. Feel free to leave a comment or if you have a question just ask, I will answer promptly :).
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