Bow House Blog

Google alerts for business

by Beth Ellin

Have you set up Google alerts for your business?  If not, you could be missing out on vital information about your market and industry. 

In this blog, we’re going to give you an overview of what Google alerts are, why they’re a really useful tool for your business, and give you some tips for setting up your own alerts. 

What are Google alerts?

Google alerts are a free tool that you can use to get a better understanding of the conversations that are happening about your business online. 

All you have to do is fill out a few fields letting Google know what terms you’re interested in, and they’ll send you an email every time those specific words appear on a new page on the internet. You can get updates weekly, daily or as they happen to make sure you’re always in the know about your business online. 

It’s also really handy for letting you know when your new website pages have been indexed by Google after you’ve uploaded them, which is great for those of you who blog regularly. You can keep accurate tabs on your blog posts, and see where else on the internet that content is being posted.

How Google alerts can be invaluable for business 

There’s no doubt about it, having Google tracking mentions of your business can provide you with invaluable information. But what are you looking for and how can you use it to your advantage? 

Monitor your mentions 

This is the simplest way of extracting info from Google alerts. Track your brand name and you’ll know whenever someone mentions you online. You’ll get a good understanding of what your customers are saying about you and use that to tailor your business strategy. 

For example, if you’re getting lots of alerts about people posting questions about a particular product, you’ll know something’s not quite right. You can create a blog post that explains or resolves the issue that keeps cropping up and, if necessary, make a few tweaks. 

Track your marketing 

If you’re pushing a particular piece of content, Google alerts can help you keep track of them. You want to know where they’re being shared so you know where your best lead generation opportunities are for the future. 

Keep an eye on plagiarism 

You create content at some effort and cost, so you don’t want people on the internet taking your work for their own websites. You can use Google alerts to monitor your content and make sure you’re getting valuable back links from other places online, not having your content reproduced.

Watch for industry trends

You can set up Google alerts for key terms in your industry so that you can be kept up to date on trends and hot topics as they appear. It’s a really simple way of staying in the know and not falling behind on the latest updates. 

Check out your competition 

Why not use Google to monitor what your completion is getting up to? If they’re guest blogging or involved with a new PR campaign, you’re going to want to know about it to make sure you’re not missing out on any opportunities yourself. 

Find new content ideas

Monitoring what’s happening online can help you come up with new content topics. Whether that’s about emerging trends in your industry or a response to someone else’s latest upload, you’ll likely find some inspiration for your own copy using Google alerts. 

Setting up your Google alerts 

Now we’ve convinced you how helpful Google alerts could be for your business, we’ll give you some tips for setting up your own. 

1.    Head over to https://www.google.com/alerts to set up your alerts account.
2.    Sign in with your Google account so Google knows where to send your alerts to. 
3.    Enter the search terms you’re interested in monitoring. You can change these in your account later if you’re getting too many or too few alerts.
4.    Choose options and select what sources, language and region you want to get alerts from. You’ll also be able to specify how often you want to get alerts here too.
5.    Hit “create alert” and you’re done! 

It really is simple. That’s why we’re amazed more business owners don’t make use of this handy little tool. 

Depending on the terms you’re going to monitor, you might want to use the handy little mark-ups Google follows to make sure you’re receiving the right kind of information. 

For example, using the search term Yorkshire Tourism would get you lots and lots of results, but they might not be relevant to your business. Any time someone online created a post that included the words Yorkshire and Tourism anywhere in the post would trigger your alert. 

However, if you told Google to monitor “Yorkshire Tourism” you’d get very different results. Using quotation marks around your term lets the search engine know you’re only interested in pages that use your key terms in that specific order.

You can also get really crafty and keep your eye out for problems using negative key term searches. Set up alerts for things like:
“Brand name” + broken
“Brand name” + fail
“Brand name” help 

This will let you know where problems are and help you get on top of an issue before it gets out of hand. 

You can also try making alerts for you and your staff + your brand name, so you’ll know whenever you get a mention online. Not only is it useful to know where you’re appearing, it can also be great for sharing positive reviews and recommendations on your own website or social media. 

To sum up 

Google alerts provide really useful information about your business. You can keep track of business mentions, see where your content is being shared or talked about, check out what your competition is up to, and stay on top of industry news and updates. 

Want to talk about what you can do to improve your online presence? Get in touch, we’d love to help.


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