Google Alerts is one of the most powerful tools for monitoring discussions on the web. The best part? It’s completely free.
Google is already scraping the web in full, and you can harness this power to monitor your brand, the competition, and answer questions that are related to your industry. In short, it’s like an RSS feed that updates every time there’s a new result found, and delivered directly to your email. Too many businesses are not effectively using Google Alerts for what it could potentially be worth.
The key to harnessing Google alerts is in the way in which you creatively employ them. They are best used when you employ them in ways that your competition is not, allowing you to seize more opportunities than they are.
Monitoring Your Own Brand
Just as we monitor our brand, Empowermented, it’s important that you do too.
This is the most basic and the most often employed way to utilize Google Alerts. Whether that brand is the name of your company, your own actual name, or the name of your product – you can effectively use Google alerts to stay on top of situations where it’s mentioned publicly. This allows you to see when your brand is being discussed by others online, and pop into the conversation to offer insight. The system delivers an email straight into your inbox when any discussion matching the keywords that you entered into Google Alerts is taking place. You will immediately become aware of discussions about your brand, which is an opportunity that many miss out on.
Some of the different keywords that we use here at Empowermented to monitor our brand include:
Other things that you should consider monitoring;
- Brand misspellings
- URL misspellings
- Names of your products, guides, or pages
Google Alerts are employed in most reputation management companies. It’s a key part of the service. In order to make those that have negative things to say about your company feel better, you have to actively be monitoring your brand. Responding to those complaints and negative reviews in real-time is essential to repairing the damage before it gets out of control.
Monitoring Your Competition
In the same way that you monitor your own brand, you can also use the same system for monitoring your competition as well.
Think about it – whenever you competition is being discussed, that presents you with a rare opportunity to enter the discussion and plug your own website. You can also keep an eye on the positive and negative feedback and reviews that a particular competitor is receiving.
Plug in keywords like you would to monitor your own brand in order to monitor the competition. I’ll refrain from showing which brands we monitor here at Empowermented, but there are a good number of competitors that we monitor each and every day.
Remember to also monitor misspellings of their brand name, URL, and products just like you would your own. Even if the source of the content can’t spell – they are still discussing your niche!
Monitoring Niche-Related Questions
Questions provide you with a prime opportunity to jump in and plug your website. Depending on your niche, there might be a lot of discussion taking place in the various corners of the web and it is in your best interest to interject yourself into those communications – whether it be on an official capacity or as an anonymous contributor.
Take a look at the content or products that you have created. What questions or problems are you answering for your readers? Those are the questions that you should be monitoring.
The types of questions that we monitor here include:
- “How” + content marketing
- “Is” + content marketing
- “Can” + content marketing
- “When” + content marketing
- “Does” + content marketing
- “Why” + content marketing
- “Will” + content marketing
This strategy can be applied to any keyword, not just content marketing. This makes up the bulk of the Google alerts that we currently have setup.
Think about any of the different types of content that you would like to actively monitor and the types of questions that might be posed for that content, then add similar alerts to your own list.
Keep a Birds Eyeview on Your Niche or Industry
For most, Google Alerts will be the most comprehensive way to monitor your industry and get an idea of what the new, active, and hot trends are.
Do you want to be on top of that next big trend that makes its way online? Use Google Alerts?
Do you want to see what products are captivating your audience. Google Alerts.
Google Alerts, in conjunction with BuzzBundle, are the best ways to actively monitor a niche and make sure that you are interjecting with your own solutions wherever possible.
Watch Your Shared Content
When you have high quality content, you might want to scope out how that content is being shared around the web and find opportunities to jump into the discussion as well.
There are multiple ways that you can watch your content;
- The name of your content
- The URL of your content
By adding URLs and post names to your Google Alerts, you will instantly know when your content has been shared in various areas online.
Find Industry-Specific Guest Posting Opportunities
You should always be on the lookout for ways in which you can expand your reach to new blogs.
A great way to do so, is to employ guest posting as a strategy.
You can use Google Alerts to monitor your available guest posting opportunities and ensure that you are one fo the first to reply to new opportunities.
Some of the different alerts you can add for this include;
- “write for us” content marketing
- “submit guest post” content marketing
- “bloggers wanted” content marketing
- “become a contributor” content marketing
- “this guest post” content marketing
- “become an author” content marketing
- “guest author” content marketing
- “Guest post by” content marketing
Then, you can change the keyword at the end of the query to make sure that you are targeting all of the different sub-niches within your industry.
Checking For Spam
Want to see if your site has been spammed or targeted by a pharma or casino niche spam campaign that slipped through the cracks? Try entering a query like this;
site:empowermented.com casino OR dating OR debt OR insurance OR pharmacy OR xxx OR pherimones OR poker OR viagra
Then, you can add as many different keywords as you would like to ensure that your website hasn’t had some nefarious links placed on it.
In the end – your Google Alerts strategy will only be as effective as it can be if you are able to think outside the box and ensure that you are monitoring as much discussion as possible.
You want to both make sure that your Alerts aren’t vague (so that your inbox doesn’t get spammed with endless Google Alerts), while still allowing them to be broad enough to monitor discussion on the topics that you dabble in. There is a fine line, but you’ll know when you have crossed it.
So – get creative. Think outside the box and get out there and set your Google Alerts up today. If you don’t – you’ll be missing opportunities.