Google Alerts www.google.com/alerts are a great free tool provided by the all-powerful Google.
There are quite a few ways that Google Alerts can help you:
- You can keep tabs on what people are saying about your products or services
- You can see what people are saying about you
- You can see what people are saying about your people
- And even what your people are saying about you, your products, or your services
- You can see what people are saying about your competitors
- You can see what your competitors are saying
- You can see what people are saying about your industry
But I don’t use social media, so why would I need Google Alerts?
Even if you are not “into” the whole social media thing, that doesn’t mean others aren’t talking about you in social media. Google Alerts gives you the ability to see what people are saying without having to be part of the “fad”. Of course, if you are not engaged in the internet, and a group of people are saying something about you, what are you planning on doing? If you do not participate in social media, and your products and services are getting bad reviews from people who are, what do you plan on doing? Even if you decide to take a traditional route, it’s important that you have a plan.
So I know what Alerts does, how can that help me?
If you know what people are talking about, what they like, dislike, and want then you can use that information to benefit your. If people are writing a blog about how poorly their widgets work, how long will it take before people stop buying widgets and find an alternative solution? If you sell widgNuts but people really want WidgMuts and it’s easy for you to transfer over to a WidgMut maker then why would you continue making WidgeNuts. Google Alerts let you know what people are talking about now. What they want now.
How do I decide what to use in my Google Alerts?
Honestly my best recommendation is to test, measure, and retry. There are many keywords that are to concise to be helpful, and many that are too broad. I recommend starting with 10-20 key phrases. let them run for a week or two. review them, if you are getting hundreds of hits per day, then they are too broad, if you are only getting one hit a week or less it may be too narrow, or it may be that people are only talking a little bit.
Take your broad words, read some of the alerts and see if you can create more specific search terms from that. Set up the new terms and in a week or so re-evaluate them. After a while you will find a number of key phrases that provide you with information you can use.
Have a terrific day,