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The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Google Alerts

The Smart Marketer's Guide to Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool from Google that lets you monitor the web for publicity. Basically, it sends emails to a user when Google finds new results that match a user’s search term.

This is great for marketers as you can receive alerts when your name, business or keyword is mentioned anywhere on the web.

Getting started with Google Alerts is quick and easy. In this article, you will learn why you might want to use this tool to monitor your brand and how to get started.

Why use Google Alerts?

Google Alerts is amazing because it gets results from all over the internet. The process is not real-time — you are not constantly bombarded — and it is not a daily newsletter.

Screenshot from Google Alerts, August 2021

However, for many social media marketing or online reputation managers, using Google Alerts is almost as good as getting real-time updates on important issues from across the Internet.

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If you’ve ever done a lot of Google searches or media monitoring for a keyword, you can use Alerts to achieve the same thing more effectively.

Online reputation management and PR

Have you ever been blinded by a sudden influx of bad press, or even a meme jumping off the ground?

Online reputation leaders know these issues only too well, and even leaders on social media have to juggle this kind of sudden shift.

Screenshot from Google Alerts, August 2021

News stories and movements on social media can start anywhere on the web and it is impossible to have eyes everywhere.

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Google Alerts can keep you informed, on your toes and ready to come in with a promotional campaign.

Track your competitors

Of course, you need to receive alerts to know what people are saying about you and your business – but it’s just as important to monitor the internet for new developments involving your closest competitors.

Google Alerts for competitor research can be really useful. For example, it’s an easy way to find out if your competitors are increasing a content marketing campaign that may not be picked up by traditional link tools.

News on topics

In the same way, we can not keep an eye on all the news broadcasts at the same time. If there are lots of news stories about your brand in a cluster, it can be really bad or really good – no matter what, it’s important to know about it ASAP.

This can be a great way to monitor whether other marketing efforts are driving conversations, mentions or links.

Create a warning for the product names or brand names you want to track and you will get publicity while they are still fresh.

Setting up alerts is a great way to keep track of your reputation.

How to use Google Alerts in marketing

Google Alerts can help you strengthen your keyword strategy by showing you how other people use your most important keywords.

Are there new concepts related to your brand being explored in interesting ways? Breaking news stories that you might want to write about or exploit?

More specifically, it is easy to use Google Alerts for content, link building and digital PR.

Setting up Google Alerts

Screenshot from Google Alerts, August 2021

How to set up Google Alerts

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Setting up Google Alerts is quick and easy. Here’s how to do it.

Visit https://alerts.google.com/. You set and manage all your alerts from this page. Enter the desired search term in the field. Setting up a Google Alert for the term “Harvard University.” Click View Options to customize your alerts. You can filter your results by delivery rate, sources, language, region and quality. You can also use the Deliver drop-down menu to specify whether your results should appear on your Google Account or RSS feed. Specify when and how you want to receive your notifications. Press “Create notification”. You will immediately start receiving notifications about your notifications. Return to the Google Alerts page to manage or update your alerts. You can delete a warning or change its settings at any time. The pencil and trash can icons let you edit or delete a warning settings. Screenshot from Google Alerts, August 2021

How to use Google Alerts in Content Marketing

A good use of Google Alerts is to get content ideas.

Warnings can help you find new blog post ideas and unique content angles that other content marketers have not yet covered. It can also help you find and take advantage of other relevant keywords, especially if you are starting to see patterns in popular topics.

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Configure alerts for your main keywords and spelled alternatives. If you plan to focus on a specific topic, use alerts to gather information and ensure your content is up to date.

Configure alerts for your own titles to be alerted to scraped content – especially if this is a major issue, or if you are working on a case to report scrapers.

How to use Google Alerts for digital PR

You can use Google Alerts to find writers and influencers who are likely to write about your industry or keywords. This can be great for outreach; Similarly, you can use alerts to track these campaigns and ensure they reach their full potential.

If you want to keep an eye on specific authors, you can even create a warning for their names online.

How to use Google Alerts for link building

There are lots of link-building guides, but only a few of them mention Google Alerts as a source for doing link building and therefore search engine optimization.

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When your company, product or service is mentioned on a blog or a public question-and-answer forum like Quora, you have a valuable opportunity to create a backlink.

Using custom Google Alerts helps you find as many of these options as possible and jump on them while they are fresh.

You can start using Google Alerts as a link building tool by configuring queries alerts about your product or service.

For example, if your company sells mechanical pencils in the UK, you can customize Google Alerts to track the phrases “where to buy mechanical pencils” and “best mechanical pencils in the UK.”

Notifications show you relevant new pages where you can answer someone’s questions, promote your product or brand, and leave a link back to your site.

Screenshot from Google Alerts, August 2021

How to use Google Alerts in SEO

You should have brand name warnings – not just to keep an eye on your reputation, but for link retrieval and other SEO tactics. If you create alerts for your content, you can see the true reach of that content across the web.

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Evergreen content can be difficult to track, and sometimes your work is not appreciated until months later.

Create separate Google Alerts for all your KPI keywords – any keywords you want to follow. You should also configure alerts for your domain name, brand name and other ways people can refer to your brand without linking to it.

How to use Google Alerts for competitive analytics

Google Alerts can be great for competition analysis – set up a warning about your competitor’s brand name, keywords, and product names along with your own.

Competitor analysis alerts can be helpful in a few ways: You can track whether your competitor is getting attention online, either through their own PR campaign or from other media devices.

This can give you a good idea of ​​sites that may be interested in linking to your own products. It can also give you an eye for the kind of SEO that other companies in your niche are engaging in.

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If you know specific content writers or marketers at your competitor’s agency, you can also create alerts for their names – to keep an eye on their content attempts.

How to use Google Alerts on social media

If social media monitoring is part of your job, you can use Google Alerts to track campaigns.

You can track specific hashtags or accounts or even use a site: search operator to focus only your attention on specific sites.

E.g:

[brand name] Website: twitter.com

Just wanted to show results for your brand name on Twitter – a great extra brand monitoring tool.

Digital content theft monitor

Getting your content stolen is a part of life online, especially if it’s good content.

But you can at least tell if there is a concentrated theft campaign – or if your competitors have decided to use your content as their own – just by configuring Google Alerts for important phrases that appear in your own content.

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Select All results over Only the best results for the widest score.

Screenshot from Google Alerts, August 2021

Tips to get the most out of Google Alerts

Google Alerts couldn’t be easier to set up and use.

But in addition to the “beginner’s guide”, there are still a few tricks you should know to get as much good information from the online tool as possible.

Include common spelling mistakes in your search terms. Google gets better at detecting and automatically correcting spelling mistakes, but it’s still a good idea to cover all of your bases — not just anything that might be valuable. Use multi-word keyword quotes and limit your warning if you want your results to include only the exact phrase. You can also use other common search symbols to refine your search. For example, put the “+” operator in front of a specific word to receive Google alerts with that word included in the results. Create multiple alerts to cover different variations of common search queries. You can create up to 1,000 alerts with all the Gmail accounts you have, so be thorough. If you use an RSS feed, you can have your alerts sent there instead of to your email. This also prevents your email inbox from getting clogged. Use Google Inbox to batch your alerts to prevent email clutter. Access your inbox by going to https://inbox.google.com/. Each of your warnings appears under a single expandable heading. Click on the headline to see details about the individual pages that contain your search term.

Summary

Google Alerts is one of the easiest tools marketers or social media executives can use. And because it’s so important to be aware of what people are saying about your business online, there’s no good reason not to use Google Alerts.

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If you have not already set up Google Alerts, take a few minutes to start tracking your most important names and keywords today.

You may be surprised at what you find!

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Featured image: Belozersky / Shutterstock

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