Monitoring the web is an important part of any business’ marketing strategy. There are a myriad of monitoring tools out there to automate the process, some robust and costly while others are completely free such as Google Alerts. Whichever tool you opt for, may I suggest you ditch the haphazard efforts and get started with streamlining what can be an effective marketing tool? Once you put in a little bit of work on the front end, it really is just “set it and forget it.” Well, set it and let it come to your inbox and maybe you don’t really want to forget it exactly. Anyway, moving on…

To use Google Alerts, head on over to, type in your search queries, what types of web content you want to search, how frequently you want to be notified, the quality of the results, and where you want the notifications sent. That’s it! Hot tip: you may want to set up an email filter labeling everything you receive for this research so that you can attend to the work at a scheduled time and not get inundated with notifications to your inbox. But beyond that, once you have determined effective search queries, it’s a matter of taking the time to filter through the results and follow up whether it is to redistribute the content, follow leads or tweak your business processes based on the valuable information you’ve amassed.

Here are five ways you can use Google Alerts for your business:

1. Reputation Management– By simply entering your company name, your name or employees’ names, you can monitor what’s being said about you and your brand. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate great customer service by responding to your audience whether what you pick up is positive or negative.

2. Market Intelligence– Using keywords and terms pertaining to your products and services, you can really gain a leg up on the ever changing landscape of your industry. You can eavesdrop on customer sentiments about products, cutting edge trends, and the latest changes. This knowledge can help you make intelligent decisions in your business planning. Sometimes continuing education in your field takes a backseat to keeping up with the business you have. This facilitates that learning.

3. Content Curation– If you aren’t quite sure what I mean by content strategy, it is the core of most of your internet efforts. It is what you put out in your blog, social media, videos, podcasts, whatev. One of the biggest stumbling blocks business owners run into when it comes to content strategy is what to put out there. Well, Google Alerts can deliver a wealth of inspiration for content to your inbox. It can give you stuff you can redistribute and share directly or it can light the creative fire for your own content generation efforts.

4. Competition Research– Regardless of the fact that I’m not a fan of the word competition per se, it is always a good idea in business to watch what your industry peers are doing and how the market reacts to them. Google Alerts can help you do just that. What new products and services are they launching? How are people responding in their blogs? What questions are they asking?

5. Lead Generation– Now the moment everyone’s really been waiting for….how can you find leads by using Google Alerts? Well, ask yourself what questions people searching for that you have the answers to. What are the problems people have that you have the solutions to? You might have to test a few queries to really get targeted search terms that will lead you to those people you can help. Perhaps, by choosing to monitor “discussions,” you might overhear someone asking a question and you have just the product or service that could be the answer to their question. Now, wouldn’t that be a qualified lead? I’m not suggesting that you jump in with a sales pitch although that is the tactic of plenty of people, and, hey, maybe it works for them. I see this as an opportunity to make a connection, to help someone, to build a rapport, it’s the start of a relationship. And who do people purchase from? People they trust.

Maybe you’ll nail it the first time with some really great search queries or maybe it will be a bit of trial and error to learn how to weed out all the other junk you might turn up, but I am confident that you will be able to apply value to some area of your business by using Google Alerts. I hope this helps in some way and as always, good luck to you in all of your business endeavors!

Facebook Comments