For those of you who aren’t familiar with it – Google Alerts is a free service offered by Google. Obviously. Google Alerts allows you to set up email updates based on keywords of your choice. You are then notified whenever Google discovers new stories or mentions of the specific keywords or phrases you selected to monitor.
Now this might be work for those of you who have common names such as Bryan Smith or Jennifer Johnson. However, if you have a name like mine (Wesley LeFebvre), you can rest assured almost all name mentions are actually about you. Which makes reputation management pretty easy.
Another great way to use Google Alerts is to track the latest industry trends, job opportunities, company news, and individual industry leaders. I don’t think these need too much more explanation.
If you’re in business, it is always a good idea to see who’s talking about your brand. Whenever someone mentions your brand this give you the opportunity to engage with them. Nearly ever time I mention a specific brand on this blog, a representative from that company acknowledges the mention by either commenting or tweeting my post – depending on what I write. They are obviously using Google Alerts or a similar service.
There are several reasons you might want to track your competitors. One great reason is for link building. There are some obvious benefits to knowing where your competitors are getting their links from. Some other reason would be to track news mentions, product releases, and new service offerings, among other things.
This one is probably my favorite. I read it somewhere awhile back, thought this was a remarkable idea, and I have been doing it ever since. This is such a great way to impress your clients, past or present. Use an important news mention as a great reason to catch up with an old client, which of course, can lead to new business. And what if you impressed one of your current clients by catching a negative mention about them or their brand and offering ways to remedy the issue before they even knew it existed. It’s really simple to set up, and going that extra mile really shows you care. You could even do this for your family and friends.
These are only a few great ways I use Google Alerts. I’m sure there are many others too.
Do you have a creative way you like to use Google Alerts? How about a favorite service? I’d love to hear some other great ideas.