People only tend to think of the search engine when they think of Google but Google offers many products/services that extend beyond the traditional search engine. A Google tool that is often underutilized or not utilized at all is Google Alerts.
Google Alerts is a free Google tool that provides you with valuable information from across the web. Using a Google account, a user can sign up to receive emails whenever a web page is crawled and indexed that includes information that is important to the user. Users are given the option to select the kind of result they receive, the frequency of communication, and how many results are received (only the best results, or all of the results).
Google Alerts can be used to monitor many online activities that are important to a brand and its marketing efforts. Because an online reputation is everything today, the first thing to monitor within Google Alerts is the brand or business name. Business owners today have little control over what is being said about them across the web. By monitoring company and brand name mentions you can mitigate an issue before it gets out of hand or reach out to a website owner to get a link whenever the brand name is mentioned. In addition to monitoring what’s being said about the company as a whole it’s also advisable to monitor what is also being said about important company leaders like the President, CEO, COO, etc. Monitoring competitors allows you to keep tabs on their online activity and will alert you to any new potential link opportunities.
Because keywords are such an important component of an SEO campaign, use Google Alerts to set up alerts for important keywords that you are targeting to see how and where they are being used. If it’s in a discussion forum or social media, it may be a conversation that you can join. For a local business, be sure to set up alerts for local terms to know what’s going on in the community and if you could get involved in some way to gain exposure. You can also monitor blogs in order to find relevant blogs to comment on or maybe even to submit a guest post. It can also provide you with ideas for potential new blog topics for your own blog. Because not every alert needs to come in on a daily basis you can set up how often you would like to receive each alert from Google.