Why Every Company Should Monitor Google Alerts (and How to Do It)
What if there was a way to proactively safeguard your company’s reputation and be notified of any mentions of your business or customers in the news? What if it was free and easy to use?
Google Alerts lets you keep track of up to 1000 search terms and notifies you by email when they come up online.
Smart companies are already taking advantage of this helpful tool to capitalize on PR opportunities, measure customer satisfaction, detect fraud, stay up to date on the industry, and monitor their competitors.
Creating a Google Alert is easy. If you do not already have one, create a Google account. While not necessary, we recommend it. HubSpot says: “By creating a Google Account you can see all of your alerts on one screen, and can add more alerts, edit your alerts or delete them easily.”
Now go to www.google.com/alerts and follow these steps:
Now it is time for the fun part.
Selecting the Right Search Terms
Business, Brand, and Executive Team
The easiest terms to monitor are the names of products, C-level employees, and your company.
- Products should include those with distinct names and not general products.
Example of a good search: “Flubber”
Example of a bad search: “green rubber extrusion”
- According to ThriveHive, the people to set alerts about are the names of “key personalities in your company – e.g. the owner, senior executives, and board members”.
Example of a good search: “John Smith”
- The name of your company and any divisions should be included.
Example of a good search: “John Smith Rubber Extrusions”
For smaller companies, this may be only a few items, but for larger companies, there could be 100+ terms to monitor.
Selecting these will help you keep track of any mentions of your business in online articles, forums, or blogs.
The first benefit is being notified of any positive story, which can be used for PR purposes like building your reputation and exposure.
Secondly, you can measure customer satisfaction by the amount of positive and negative reviews of your products.
Finally, you can watch out for fraudulent activity such as companies infringing on your trademarks or claiming to be you.
What you find may surprise you. How you handle it ultimately determines if you are using Google Alerts to the fullest extent.
Authority Publishing suggests that you use this information to “send a note of thanks or address an issue if something derogatory is posted like a complaint about customer service.”
Product categories and service provided can be entered to keep tabs on the industry.
- Product categories and services are general names, not your specific product name.
Examples of good searches: “rubber extrusions” “rotomolding”
Monitoring these terms can help you stay informed on the new technologies, competitors, and relevant news for your industry.
Names of Competitors
As Michael Corleone once said, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
- For this step, entering the name of every competitor may be impossible, so focus on large companies and those in your city/state/area.
Example of a good search: “Jane Doe Rubber Extrusions”
Knowing what your competitors are up to is important, you can keep track of things like their product/service offerings, financial situation, and plans for the future.
You can check your alerts as often as is convenient for you; review them once a day, a week, or a month. Click the “flag as irrelevant” link if an alert does not match up with what you are looking for and it will help the relevancy of future notifications. Furthermore, alerts can be edited or deleted at any time.
Google Alerts can be set up for any company in any industry and only requires a small investment of time.
Use the tips highlighted in this article to tailor the perfect feed of information to help you monitor your business, competitors, and industry.
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Now that you know all about Google Alerts, go out there and get to work!
Bonus: Market.Space says to have your Google Alerts sent “directly into RSS. When sent to RSS “as they happen” you can always have an up to date set of results in your feed reader (when you want it), without overwhelming your inbox.”