A lot of times you can get pretty overwhelmed with Google and all the new products and services than it offers. Google Calendar, Google Video, Google Base, Google Finance, Google Trends, Google HeHasEverythingINeedAndDontNeed… It can get incredibly hard just to remember what each one does. One of the most overlooked hidden “gems” in Google’s immense offering is Google Alerts.Within just one minute, you can be signed up for email alerts that can give you (and your business) a fantastic boost over your competition. Click To Tweet
Alerts can be used to spy on competitors (*evil laugh), keep track of what people are saying about your business (#GossipGirl), or follow an important news story.
So, how does Google Alerts work?
Google Alerts sends you an email each time a new page for your chosen phrase or keyword makes it in the top twenty results on Google’s web search. How cool is that!?Google Alerts sends you an email each time a new page for your chosen keyword is found in the top 20 results on Google Click To Tweet
To sign up for Google Alerts, all you need to do is:
- Visit Google Alerts website at https://www.google.com/alerts,
- Enter the search phrase that you want,
- Choose the source of the alert (you can choose from Blogs, News, Web, Video, Books, Discussions, and Finance),
- Frequency of emails (daily, as it happens, or weekly),
- Language and Region selection,
- How many results do you want (all of them or only the best ones)
- And finally – enter your email address where you want your alerts to come.
You can set up alerts for as many keywords as you like. But be careful, because your email can get very crowded very fast.
So, why would you even want an unlimited amount of alerts?
You can spy on Your Competitors (My absolute favorite! Yes, I’m bad, I know, hehe).With Google Alerts you can spy on Your Competitors. Click To Tweet
Every single one of you has a competitor (and if you say you don’t, you are just delusional). And what is even more likely, you have several direct competitors and several more indirect competitors.
While regularly checking out their websites is an important part of your process, it doesn’t cover the whole picture.
A competitor’s website is very much crafted to the image that they want to represent to its customers. And this is great if you want to know what their latest sale is or how much their new product costs, but it will not show you a negative review or some bad PR.
On the other hand, Google Alerts will show you just that 🙂 By simply setting up a News, Groups, or Search alert for each one of your competitors, you will know what other people think about them, both good and bad. And this is pretty valuable to you!
Keep up with the latest news and trends from your niche
Equally as important as what people are saying about your competition is what people are saying about your niche in general. Why did you ask? Because if there is a negative PR wave against using, for example, Palm Oil for cooking, and you just happen to own a food blog where you have a lot of articles where you mention the usage of Palm Oil for cooking, you will probably be affected.
By receiving alerts on important keywords and phrases related to your niche, you can be on top of every and any sudden changes and react accordingly and instantly. Isn’t this great!?
By the time your competition realizes what’s happening they will be scrambling to catch up to you (again, I have to say: “hehe”).
Spy Yourself and Your Business
It goes without saying, if it’s important to know what people are saying about your competitors, it would be reasonable that it’s important to know what people are saying about you and your business.
I have Google Alerts on both my name and my business name since they are connected. And since I know that they go hand in hand – if one is getting tarnished you can bet it will hurt the other too.
By receiving alerts, you can be on top of anything negative relating to you or your business and hopefully nip that problem right in the bud before it grows too large!By receiving Google Alerts, you can be on top of anything negative relating to you or your business! Click To Tweet
On the other side, there’s nothing better than waking up in the morning and receiving an alert where someone compliments or recommends your business (woohoo). Those are the types of things that you want to make sure are on the first page of your business website.
Get great resources for your blog
Maybe you own a website/blog where you have weekly posts about the news in your niche. Most of the time, there are tons of news to choose from, but other times it can be really hard to find anything.
So you can set up Google Alerts to be informed about anything and everything. You’d be surprised how frequently a unique story from a local newspaper pops up in Google News. Many times those stories haven’t been seen by any of your competitors and you would be able to “break” the news to your online community.
Or if you have a daily blog about being an entrepreneur, having an alert for the word “entrepreneur” can bring you various quality stories each day to help inspire fresh posts.
ConclusionGoogle Alerts can be a remarkably efficient way to track what's going on across the web. Click To Tweet
In this extremely competitive business world, you need every advantage on your competition that you can get. Used properly, Google Alerts can be a remarkably efficient way to track what’s going on across the web.
The alternative would be to search each phrase every single day for new updates. Who has time for that? I know I don’t.
Spending less time researching allows you to spend more time on the things important to your business. Or important to you. Period!
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