Are you one of those people who hates getting emails constantly sent to your inbox? If so, you should think again when it comes to Google Alerts. Companies both small and large are finding this tool to be an extremely easy and effective way to monitor online activity that directly relates to their bottom line.
So what are Google Alerts?
Google Alerts are emails that are sent to you when Google finds new results on any search term that you designate. Through these alerts, you can monitor essentially anything on the Internet. Google will search through webpages, newspaper and magazine articles, and blogs to bring you results that are relevant to your term of interest.
It is quite simple to use Google Alerts, as all that you need to do is enter a search term or keyword that you are interested in finding online. At that point, the search power of Google will work on your behalf! Google will regularly check to see if any new results for that search term show up. As soon as they do, Google sends you an email letting you know.
Of course, if you enter a very broad term, Google will constantly find results for you and many of them may not be relevant to your business. However, if you want more targeted and focused results, you may not get notified everyday or perhaps even every week. Google Alerts are also quite useful in allowing business owners to monitor developing stories or just keep up to date on the general day to day changes in their industry.
Now for an example…
For example, if you run an ice cream store in Manhattan, you could enter a search term like “ice cream” and be notified about any new developments regarding ice cream around the world, flavors of ice cream, manufacturers, etc. However, if you were to enter “ice cream Tribeca,” you might not get as many results, but you would find out about potential competing stores entering your neighborhood, or perhaps even what people are saying about your establishment. In other words, if you keep your search terms precise, you will get very relevant results.
How exactly can I use this?
Savvy business owners are finding that Google Alerts is a unique and useful tool to take their business to the next level. Through these emails, business owners have an easy way to find out what kinds of new things are being said about their products or services. This knowledge can be highly useful in transforming a business relationship and monitoring the image of the business online. When negative things are being said about a company, the business owner has a quick and easy way to find out about this situation and respond appropriately.
Google Alerts is a great tool that you can use for reputation management of your business. It is essential for you to find out who is writing (or tweeting) about you and your business. Constantly searching for these types of comments would be difficult, if not impossible, but Google Alerts will search through Twitter, Facebook, and forums and send this information to you.
If you want to use this tool, but feel that constantly receiving alerts will drive you crazy, you can ask Google to send you emails only once a week. You can also designate that you would like to get all results or only the best results. Further, if it is more convenient for you, you can get your results through an RSS feed.