Google Alerts is a free service, providing regular updates of Google search results that are delivered to your inbox or a feed like Google Reader or an RSS reader. You set up alerts by inputting specific words or phrases as your search terms, just as you would for a regular web search. For example, you can set alerts for your name, your business’s name, your website, or any products.
Google Alerts are your eyes and ears on the internet street, collecting and reporting back information without your having to lift a finger. Your work begins in deciding how to use the information received.
Find out what people are saying about you, your business, and your products. Alerts can pick up relevant information from blog posts, internet forums, queries on sites such as Yahoo! Answers, and reviews. This is an opportunity to respond to customers and clients who have complaints and questions, or thank them for positive feedback.
Media and Marketing
Keep track of what’s being said about your business in the media. Track marketing by setting an alert using key phrases from press releases or promotional material.
Keep Your Competition Close
Find out what people are saying about your competitors or simply find out what your competitors are up to. Use that to develop and tweak your own business.
Be the Expert
Stay at the head of your pack by keeping abreast of industry news and trends. Not only will you receive relevant news, you’ll also keep current with who’s who in the business. This is also a great way to develop new ideas for your business or content for your blog.
Strengthen your client relationships by getting in touch when you find out news about them, good or bad. Share information you’ve found through news alerts. Google Alerts can provide a great “in” for contacting prospective clients. You may hear about a business opportunity through your alerts and be first to get in touch with them. You could also reach out and introduce yourself by sharing relevant news or commenting on their publicity. Use keyword phrases with “new” in them, such as “new business” or “product launch” to keep an eye out for new businesses.
It takes a bit of time to figure out which search terms work best and don’t result in overloading your inbox. Limit your terms by including a geographical area. Learn how to use search operators effectively. Take time to tweak your searches, keeping in mind that that in the long run, you’re saving time and money to get better results for your business!