Google Alerts is a simple but powerful tool. A content monitoring system, it sends alerts (by-the-minute, daily, weekly) based on requested keywords. Anyone can request keyword alerts – simply enter in the keywords you want to monitor (you will have to repeat this process if you want to search for multiple keywords), select how frequently you want to be alerted, what type of content (everything, news, blogs, discussion, Realtime, video) and your email address. You’ll receive an email to confirm the alert, after which alerts will begin.
Google Alerts can be a valuable tool for marketers. It can be used to:
- Monitor your company’s target keywords – Every company has a set of keywords (or should) that it uses to optimize its website, update site content and build PPC campaigns. By monitoring these keywords, you gain insight into content that may be relevant for you to know about it.
- Monitor company mentions – By setting alerts to your company name you can know every time your company’s name has been mentioned. Depending on your company’s PR and social media activity, Google Alerts, is another monitoring tool in addition to formal media and social media monitoring tools that may be used.
- Monitor your competition – You can input your competitors’ names into Google Alerts. The advantage of Google Alerts is that it pushes information to you, rather than you having to seek it out. For one of our clients, monitoring the competition has given us information that we may not have otherwise known about. We received a Google Alert on one of their competitors with a link to a document outlining their process and detailed technical information that was far behind what they made available on their website. It gave us insight into how they marketed their process, how they explained their technology to prospects and key personnel.
Whatever your needs, it’s a worthwhile tool to try – alerts can be cancelled/changed at any time – and it’s free.