In this article:
- What are Google Alerts?
- How to set up Google Alerts for your business
- Reasons why you should be using Google Alerts
Google Alerts can be a powerful tool to help you grow your business and online visibility. It may not be the most effective tool out there, but it’s a surprisingly useful, free tool to get you started in tracking brand mentions, competitor reputations, (some) reviews, and keywords.
Throughout this article, we’ll guide you through the best uses of Google Alerts for your small business, how to get it set up, and how to create specific alerts for your business needs.
What are Google Alerts?
Google created a free system, Google Alerts, that allows you to set up notifications for specific mentions of phrases online. When Google Alerts find a mention of the phrases you set up, you’ll receive an email notification to let you know where that mention was found.
Google Alerts can help your business in several different capacities, from tracking competitor activity online, to notifying you of negative reviews, to finding more link opportunities for your business.
We’ll guide you through these applications in a little more detail below. But first let’s go over how to get set up to use Google Alerts.
How to set up Google Alerts for your business
First, we want to show you how to set up Google Alerts. As long as you have a Google account, you can sign in and use Google Alerts.
If you don’t already have an account, simply go to Google.com and click “Sign in” to create a new account.
Step 1: Sign in to Google Alerts
Go to google.com/alerts and click “Sign in.” If you already have a Google account, it may already have you signed in. If that’s the case, move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Create an Alert
Once you’re signed in, you can easily start creating Alerts for your business. On the main page, Google will provide you with several suggestions, including “Me on the web.” These will be your personal or business name and email (depending on which Google account you are logged in with).
It’s always a good idea to see where your business is showing up on the web, so feel free to click the + icon next to your business name if it shows up.
To create your own alert, simply type something into the search bar that says “Create an alert about…”
Several of the most recent search results with your phrase will be displayed below the search box, similar to a normal Google search.
Click “Show options” to select the following options:
- How often to receive notifications
- How many results
- Which email to deliver to
Once you’ve filled all of that out, click “‘Create Alert.” And you’re done!
Reasons why you should be using Google Alerts
Now that you know how to set up Google Alerts for your business, let’s talk about some of the reasons why you should and how Google Alerts can benefit your online growth.
Monitor new content
If you are involved with content marketing (which you should be), then you are likely producing new content on your website on a regular basis. This could be blog articles, infographics, videos, etc.
As you create new content, set up a Google Alert with the name of your new page or article to see when other websites share or republish your content.
Check to see that these websites are giving you proper credit as the originator of the content and linking back to you. If not, you can ask them to properly credit you and insert valuable links to your site.
Track mentions and reviews of your brand and get more links
Beyond new content that you post, you can track mentions of your brand/company name and specific branded services or products. Check these mentions regularly and see if they are being linked back to relevant pages on your website.
This will help provide more value to the places that are mentioning your brand so that their readers can follow the link to learn more about you. It also helps increase your search engine visibility.
You can also create a search string like “[your brand or product] + review” to get alerts when blogs or websites post articles containing your company or product and “review” in the title or content.
Track your competitors to find new citation opportunities
See where your competitors are showing up online. You can create alerts for your competitors’ name, phone number, and address to find new opportunities for ideas for citations and listings to help improve your local SEO.
Quick guide: Local SEO: 15 free tips for better search rankings
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Searching for your competitors could also help you find other link opportunities. Chances are if someone is linking to a related competitor they’d be willing to link to your website as well.
Find new guest post opportunities
Google Alerts can help you find new guest-posting opportunities for your business.
Guest posting is a great link-building and content-marketing strategy that can help improve your online reputation.
Create an alert for phrases like “[insert topic] + write for us” or “[insert topic] + become a contributor.” Most websites that accept guest posts will have some kind of “write for us” page, so keep an eye out for those kinds of opportunities within your industry.
Monitor your keywords
And finally, you can and should be monitoring your own keywords that you want to be showing up for on Google. This will show you the places that are likely showing up well for these phrases and what kind of content they are producing.
Use that to guide your content strategy and help your website rank better for specific phrases.
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