Now here’s a tool that should be in your marketing toolbox. Everyone knows the power of Google’s unique web search capabilities. But do you know how to put Google to work for you? And more importantly, is it working? Well if the answer to either question is no, then I have two words for you: Google Alerts.
Ever have a friend comment, “oh, you’re ears must have been burning, we were just talking about you!” Google Alerts are the burning ears of the web world. With a few simple steps you can set-up a Google Alert for any name, phrase or search term and Google will email you when it’s been mentioned on-line.
It’s a simple and powerful tool, when you know how to use it. But first, you might be asking, “why should I?” Here’s a few reasons to consider.
Track Your Company This is a great way to see what other websites and blogs are saying about your business. This information could be a valuable resource when you’re launching a new product or keeping tabs on customer service.
Track Your Website Find out who’s linking to your website by entering link:http://www.yourdomain.com as the search term. The more related websites that link to your site, the greater your search engine rankings will be.
Track Your Services Set-up an alert for names of products and services that are unique and you’ll see who’s recommending them. And remember, the more specific the better. For example you could set up an alert for ‘Michigan Wine’ which would return thousands of hits. Or set the alert for ‘Black Star Farms Winery‘ and you’ll have more targeted results.
Track a Name Sometimes called a Vanity Search, with Google Alerts you can track your own name, as well as those of your company executives, industry leaders or even potential customers.
Track your Clients This is a great way to learn more about your clients and their businesses. You may find articles on recent awards, new employees or shared interests that could give you insight into your relationship.
So how do you get started. It’s easy. Enter Google Alerts into your search box and you’ll see this graphic on the left.
Fill in the form and click the button Create Alert. (You will need to have a Google login, but if you use Gmail, Blogger or Google Analytics for your website, you already have one.)
An email will be sent to the address you supply, and once you verify the alert will be sent. Alerts arrive in your inbox when Google finds a website, blog or news article that mentions your Alert.
Once you set-up the Google Alerts you can manage them by logging on to the Google Alerts webpage. There you can change, edit or cancel any alerts you set up.
So, what are you waiting for? Go Google Yourself! It’s free, it’s easy to establish, and once you do it works effortlessly…on your part anyway. Sort of like the Roomba…and crock pots…or RSS feeds.