Google Alerts is a great way to keep up with the newest online content for your industry.
Have you heard of it? Part of the ever-helpful Google stable of free tools, Google Alerts is one of the online tools I use daily.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with the millions of pages of online content available and where to start looking for your topic, it might be a tool to add to your belt too. Here’s why and how…
What is it?
Google Alerts will scan the internet daily for whatever topic or keyword you’ve chosen and bring its top choices right to your inbox.
You can choose how often to have it delivered, which types of sources to choose from, language, region, which email to deliver to, and whether to cull out the best or get all of them on that topic.
How does it work?
I’ve set up two alerts: one for small business marketing and one for outdoor recreation (I have another website geared towards outdoor recreation for women).
Each day when I have 10-15 minutes, I’ll look at the 5-10 summaries Alerts sends me. I can often tell from a glance whether the article, blog post, video or discussion is something I want to look at.
When a link looks interesting, in one click I’m at the source page. A quick scan there will tell me if it’s off-topic for me personally or if it’s worth a read and even a bookmark for later.
Why is it valuable?
1. Productivity. If you want to keep abreast of what’s going on with a topic or keyword, Google Alerts will deliver content to you rather than you going out in search of it. I’ve been using it to get ideas for things like article, newsletter and social media topics.
2. Marketing. You can set up alerts for your clients or prospects. When you run across something about them or something that pertains to them, you’ve got a conversation starter right there.
You can even set up alerts for your competitors to see what they’re up to, or who’s talking about them.
3. Monitoring what others are saying about you. Set an alert for yourself and your company and you’ll know first-hand what others are saying about you. You can capitalize on connections with those who are praising you. Or you have the chance to contact and address any who saying negative things about your business.
(Read Emily Worden’s article “Why Google Alerts is the most effective free marketing tool” for her great ideas. The article is 18 months old, but still very relevant.)
How do I set it up?
Super easy. Just go to google.com/alerts with the email address you want to use, set up, and start choosing keywords and topics.
That’s all there is to it — except to take advantage of it regularly to give you easy insight into your industry and your own business.
Give it a try!