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How to create Google Alarms (and use it to expand your blog)

How to Set Up Google Alerts (and Use Them to Grow Your Blog)

Believe it or not, it takes a few minutes to learn how to set up Google Alerts (properly), can actually pay massive dividends when it comes to increasing your blog audience.

Do you sometimes feel like you’re missing out on a great blog secret? Maybe it seems like all the big name bloggers in your niche are everywhere … commenting on posts, links to good content, or constantly on top of the latest new trends.

You can feel exhausted by just looking at everything they do. And maybe you think they have a whole team of employees who are constantly searching the web.

They probably do not. In all likelihood, they use Google Alerts: a free, simple, incredibly valuable tool.

Google Alerts can help you come up with ideas, monitor brand mentions, create links, track industry trends, and more. Best of all – it’s completely free.

If you’ve never heard of Google Alerts, or if you’ve tried it but have not gotten far, do not worry. We take every step of this step using Google Alerts as a proven tool to help expand your blog this year.

How to configure Google Alerts in 3 easy steps

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no extra cost to you I earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and are behind. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free for readers (like you).

What are Google Alerts?

Google Alerts are free alerts from Google that tell you when specific terms are mentioned on the web. In essence, they let you constantly monitor Google results for a particular query.

So if you’ve imagined that top bloggers have a team that is constantly searching for relevant information on Google … Well, you’re not too far away. It’s just that Google itself runs the constant searches on your behalf. No people needed!

You can receive Google alerts via email or as an RSS feed in your feed reader. We’ll take a closer look at how we create Google Alerts in a moment, but before we do, let’s dig into some good reasons to start using Google Alerts today.

Why use Google Alerts?

Google Alerts is a great tool. It allows you to monitor any keyword you want (and configure settings so you are not overwhelmed by results).

It’s completely free, so even if you just started blogging, it’s affordable. You just need a (free) Google Account that you probably already have.

In addition, Google Alerts provides information at your fingertips, giving you business insights, blog post ideas, and more.

We’ll dig deeper into the benefits of Google Alerts later. Let’s start setting up your first alarm right now. You’ll be amazed at how fast the Google Alerts installation process is – it only takes seconds. And if you’d rather see a quick video tutorial on how to go through this process right now, check it out here:

Let us now dive into this process:

How to create Google Alarms

Step 1. Create your first Google Alert

Sign in to your Google Account, then go to google.com/alerts.

You’ll see the Google Alerts homepage, where you can simply enter the search term (keyword) you want to use for your alert.

Then click the Create Alert button. You will see your warning listed as this:

That is it! You have created a Google Alert.

Step 2. Edit your Google Alert

To edit your Google Alert, simply click on the pencil icon next to it. This allows you to change the default settings.

(You can also access these settings when creating an alert by clicking the “Show settings” link).

The different options you can choose from are as follows:

How often do you receive a Google notification:

As it happens at most once a day at most once a week

Sources for your alarms:

Automatic blogs News Web videos Books Discussions Finance

(As you can see, social media is not an option, so you will need to use other tools like Buzzsumo to monitor brand mentions and the like on social media.)

Languages: Most languages ​​are available

Region: Most regions are accessible

How many:

Only the best results All results

Deliver to:

Your email address RSS feed

Step 3. Set up multiple Google Alerts

You can continue to configure as many alarms as you want. You can see these on your Google Alerts homepage:

You already know how to set up a Google Alert from step 1, so just repeat the process again. It may be a good idea to set up Google Alerts for things like:

Your own name Your brand Your competitors’ brands Your product name Your service name Key topics you write about

Your alarms arrive at your inbox as follows:

If it is a term that is used a lot, you have a (often long) list of results. If you have multiple results, these will be divided into sections, such as “News” and “Web” as such:

Each alarm will contain the title of the piece and include a short excerpt that will help you give you more context around the mention. You can click on the title of an individual excerpt to see the full content.

Optimize your alerts (for better results)

Even setting up a handful of alarms using the default settings should be very helpful for you. However, there are plenty of tips to help you get even more mileage out of your alarms.

To use Google Alerts to get the most out of them:

Select “all results” instead of “best results” for queries that do not return many results: Your name or brand name, for example, may not be mentioned as much online if you are fairly new to blogging. Leave your alert set to “best results” for popular keywords: If you e.g. Monitoring the keyword “blogging”, all results will lead to a huge and unmanageable list. Set your alarms to be sent “as is” for queries that you want to monitor in real time: For example, you might want to keep an eye on publicity for your products or services so you can respond quickly to reviews (or complaints). Create a filter in Gmail for your Google Alerts so you can easily see them: You can tag them all as “Google Alert” when they arrive, or even automatically forward them to someone else on your team. Click the “Mark as irrelevant” link if a warning is displayed that is not relevant to your search term: This can help reduce similar irrelevant alarms sent to you in the future. Include common spelling errors in your search term: If e.g. Your name is “Jon Doe”, but people often write it as “John Doe”, you would like to use both as separate alarms. Use quotation marks around search terms in several words: If you find that you are getting too many alarms for articles that contain two separate people called “Jon” and “Doe”, please update your alarm so that “John Doe” is in quotes. Keep adding new alarms when you think about them: When you launch a new product or service, you can create a new alarm for its name. Google Alerts allows you to have up to 1,000 alerts. Customize your alerts as needed: If a particular alert does not appear to capture any results, you may need to change it from “best results” to “all results”. Editing your alerts is really quick and easy: just go to the Google Alerts homepage to manage them. Think about which sources of alarms you want to include (if you use a keyword that is often mentioned): For example, you might only want to include Google News Alerts for your news-focused blog, or you might just want to track results from books to an academic paper , you are working on.

However, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to use Google Alerts – as long as they work for you and do not add more clutter to your blog efforts. If they get a little too much, you have the power to rule within the range and frequency of alarms you receive.

6 Ways to Use Google Alarms Can Help Expand Your Blog

Google Alerts is a great tool. It allows you to monitor any keyword you want (and configure settings so you are not overwhelmed by results).

To help inspire you on the path to expanding your blog, here are a few ways you can implement Google Alerts to drive traffic, be presented, and find collaboration opportunities:

Never run out of ideas: Using Google Alerts to monitor keywords in your niche allows you to stay up to date with the latest news and trends. For example, in the blogging world, you might want to create a “WordPress” alert to keep an eye out for messages, major updates, and more that can help create creative blog posts you need to cover. Spot unlinked mentions about you, your brand, your products or your services: People can name these without linking to your site – which is a great way to get an easy backlink. Simply email the site owner / editor and ask (nicely!) If they will link to your site. You can even point them to your affiliate program if you have one. Find guest post options: Does one of your competitors seem to be everywhere? You can keep an eye on where they are posting a guest by creating a Google Alert for their name. If it gives you too many results, you can even use a line from their typical guest biography as your alarm. For much more on guest posting (including my free outreach email templates), see my ultimate guest blogging guide. Answer questions in your niche: Maybe someone is blogging about a problem they have – you can come by and leave a comment to help. Or if you see a frequently asked question, you can cover it on your blog or YouTube channel. The content you create is likely to be popular if you address an issue that many people have. Protect your IP (intellectual property): If someone uses your brand or blog name to pretend to be connected to you, or if they have stolen your product or service name, Google Alerts can help you spot this and take quick steps. You may find that a simple request is enough to get them to remove or change the mention. Monitor your competitors: This allows you to see what people are saying about them – the good and the bad! It can also locate where they get the attention of the press, who is talking about them and more.

By keeping an eye on relevant topics, trends and terms within your blogs niche (using free Google Alerts), at the end of the day you will create opportunities to collaborate with other bloggers, weigh in with your advice on sites, where it is obviously sought after and so much more.

Ready to create Google Alerts and expand your blog?

It only takes a few seconds to learn how to set up Google Alerts and create your first alert. All you have to do is sign in to your Google Account (if you are not already signed in) and go to google.com/alerts.

Then enter your name – or what you want to use for your first alarm – and click “Create notification”. It really is that easy.

Don’t worry if you are not quite sure which keywords to track or which settings to use. Just set alerts for your name and brand name, then go from there.

Then you can continue to create more alerts so you can get more ideas, find guest post options, discover common questions in your niche, see what your competitors are doing and more.

Of course, Google Alerts is just one tool you can use to expand your blog. For many other ideas and recommendations, see my post on 40 Ways to Expand Your Blog on a Budget.

If you’re just getting started with your blogging (or if you’re launching a new site), be sure to check out my guide to get started quickly.

Want to start your blog (the right way)?

Check out my ultimate guide on how to start a blog (on the page).

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