One of the easiest ways to monitor both your online business presence and updates in your industry is to use Google Alerts. While there is some conversation about whether Google will be canceling the service, using Alerts and other functions like it can help to keep you up to speed on what the Internet is saying about your business.
The first step is to set up a Google Alerts account to send you emails about the keywords you select. Having immediate, daily, or weekly updates from Google Alerts allows you track news and what people are saying about your business. You can set up a variety of Google Alerts that update you on all kinds of information about specific keywords that are emailed directly to your inbox.
Tracking Your Company and Products
I’d suggest that you set up Google Alerts for your company and any company-specific product names, so that you can see how your business and your products are faring online. While you will not receive all of the updates that occur, you will be able to access a large portion of the online content related to your alert terms. Being able to monitor how your brand or products are appearing online can help you to make positive changes for the future, and to analyze how your traffic is being affected.
Adjusting Your Search Terms
In order to make your alerts effective, you need to utilize the right search terms in the right ways. If you are setting up an alert for your company or company products that involve more than a single word term, you want to put the words in quotation marks so that the specific term is monitored. You don’t want to receive updates about people using your search terms in a sentence when it’s not directly related to your business.
If you are searching for individuals at your company, for example executives or content bloggers, you also want to ensure that their names are unique and will not generate a bunch of alerts that are about other unrelated individuals. Putting the names in your quotation marks and then a minus before the name of the institution the people you do not want to be alerted about can stop these alerts from coming through. For example, if I were searching for myself and wanted to eliminate the Corrine Collins that works in real estate, I’d do “Corrine Collins -Remax” to ensure that the alerts are about me.
Keeping Yourself Up to Date
Google Alerts’ main function for businesses is to keep you alerted as to what is going on in your industry and what people are saying about your business. Using an alert system can help you maintain your websites and social media networks and direct traffic through to your site. While there are rumors that Google might be discontinuing this service, it is still up and running right now so take the time to see if it’ll make the difference to your business.
Barone, Lisa. “How to Get More From Google Alerts.” Small Business Trends. http://smallbiztrends.com/2010/02/how-to-use-google-alerts.html. (13 May, 2013).
Chandler, Stephanie. “10 Ways to Use Google Alerts for Business and Social Media (Plus Bonus Tips to Improve Search Results.)” Authority Publishing. http://authoritypublishing.com/social-media/10-ways-to-use-google-alerts-for-business-and-social-media-plus-bonus-tips-to-improve-search-results/. (13 May, 2013).
Volpe, Mike. “How to Use Google Alerts to Monitor Your Company’s Online Presence.” HubSpot. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/4203/How-to-Use-Google-Alerts-to-Monitor-Your-Company-s-Online-Presence.aspx. (13 May, 2013).
Warren, Christina. “Are Google Alerts Dying?” Mashable. http://mashable.com/2013/03/22/google-alerts-dying/. (13 May, 2013).