Alert! Alert! Keep Alert with Google Alerts!
The internet is an amazing tool. There are not many things that we cannot learn, nor share, online.
But how in the heck can you keep up with it all?
How do you find everything you need to know?
How do you figure out what is going on in your industry?
And your competitors, how do you find out what they are doing?
Is what is being said about you positive or negative?
There is a free tool called Google Alerts which will help you. By entering the search terms which are important to you, Google will help you keep track of the pieces of information which are important to you. It is as if Google is an employee, a brilliant employee with a fast set of fingers who is looking out for you.
Now, before we get too far down the road, I want to just add the caveat that you cannot always believe everything you read on line. You need to check your sources and make certain they are correct. That said, here is how to create an alert (taken from the Google page):
Sign in to your Gmail account (if you do not have one, you can still use Google Alerts).
- Visit Google Alerts. https://www.google.com/alerts (start here because the rest may have changed by the time you read this).
- In the “Create an alert about” box, enter the words you want to get email notifications for, one term at a time. We suggest setting up different alerts for each of the following: your name, your company name, your top competitors, influencers in your industry, your top customers, and your top prospects. And, to get a little personal, we also suggest you set up the same for your spouse’s name and your kids’ names.
- Click Show options to say how often you get alerts, what types of results you want to get, and more. Don’t worry, you can always come back and edit your preferences later, as needed.
- Click Create Alert.
- Once your alert is set up, you'll start getting emails any time Google finds new search results for your keywords.
You can also create an alert by clicking the + next to any of the suggested topics on the Google Alerts page.
Depending on the number of search terms you add to the Alerts, you may want to decide how often you want to receive alerts. The internet is a very big thing! There could be a lot of alerts coming your way. You can also choose immediate notification for some things and once-a-week notification for things which are less important. You may want to set up a different gmail address for just the alerts.
I know some of you expect Google to be perfect. They’re not. We receive lots of emails for the alerts we’ve set up that don’t actually tell us what we were hoping we’d learn. It takes time to tell Google when you get an email that is not pertinent so that it learns. Sometimes it means refining the alert we’ve set up.
There are other tools that compete with Google Alerts that you may want to try (we haven’t).
Here’s one article that lists 6 alternatives: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5822-google-alerts-alternatives.html (Social Mention seemed to be the most popular, but no longer available.)
The key is what we do with all that information. How do we react when someone mentions us or our work? Best advice, whether it is positive or negative, is to take a breath. Then another. An decide “What is the best way for me to react so my clients and potential clients to see me in a positive ligh?.”
Remember to stay on your Marketing Path and move ahead. If you want some help preparing for Google Alerts or other situations which may arise, go to www.BoxFullOfMarketing.com and take our marketing assessment. Along with that you get a 20-minute follow up call with us to help you blaze that marketing path.