Google Alerts are a handy little email notification service provided by Google to let you know when new information in which you might be interested has been posted somewhere online and spidered by the Google searchbot. It’s a no-cost way for you to determine what’s been written online about both you and your competition, as well as to track any number of other terms that will aid you in your market research efforts. You can also use this system as a way to research market trends or statistics and determine “what’s hot” in your target market to give you topic ideas for future articles, blog posts, and product and service offerings.
Here’s how to set up and use your Google Alerts account:
1. Brainstorm a list of terms and keywords you want to track. Your list should include the following:
Don’t worry about brainstorming absolutely everything in this step. Google Alerts makes it simple to add additional alerts as you need them.
2. Create a Google account. You can do so at https://www.google.com/alerts by following the sign in links, which will eventually bring you to a page where you create a new Google account. If you already use Gmail or some other Google service, you should be able to sign in to Google Alerts using that account info.
3. Create your alerts. Sign in to your Google account and begin to create your alerts. Here’s how to create the most effective alerts:
4. Add additional alerts later. I like to see where the info that I write ends up. Because I write a new article each week and submit it to article banks, I enter the article title as a Google alert to be notified when it’s placed on someone’s site or blog. I also add other keywords that I think searchers might use to find my site to see if my site is listed when it comes to those terms as well as to see what other sites come up by using those terms.
5. Scan the results. The amount of email that you receive will dramatically increase when you sign up for Google Alerts, so create a filter or rule in your email program to move all the alerts to a special folder for later viewing rather than clogging up your email inbox. Briefly scan the results and more thoroughly read the listings that appear to be most relevant. Because Google Alerts now searches blogs, many of the blog postings noted in your alert will look nonsensical because many bloggers have created blogs of keyword-crammed entries that are completely meaningless for you. Unfortunately, if do much marketing online, it’s only a matter of time until your name, company name, or name of an article that you’ve written appears on someone’s keyword-crammed blog.
Google Alerts are the most cost-effective market research you can use to help you grow your business. If you don’t have a Google Alerts account, what’s stopping you?
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.