8 Steps to using Google Alerts effectively

Google Alerts has made it easy to track any keyword on the internet. This means, you can track specific content according to a criteria specified by you as the content is added to the internet. The data gathered is sent to your email address at a frequency that you specify.

This tool has benefited many small businesses and home based entrepreneurs who rely on the internet for a majority of their required information, as it gives them access to data that would otherwise cost them an immense amount of time, effort and even money. If you have not been using Google Alerts yet, to help you with your business, it is an absolute must that you adapt this tool to keep track of key areas relating to your business.

Using the following steps you will be able to use Google Alerts to best suit your needs. Before beginning the steps you will need to create a Google Account. If you already have a Google Account, follow these steps after logging in.

Step 1

Go to the Google Alerts page. Notice the Search query box and the simple and easy to understand user interface.

Step 2

In the “Search query” box, enter the keywords you want to receive alerts on. As soon as you type a keyword, a sample of search results will appear on the right (shown in Figure 2). Judge the sample results to determine the best keywords for the alerts.

Step 3

Select the Result type. This will let you filter the content alerts you receive, in terms of the source through which it is generated. “Everything” is the default setting. This is recommended if you don’t have a clear idea of the source the content will come from.  You can choose filtering from the options NEWS, Blogs, Video, Discussions or Books.

Step 4

Now, specify the frequency you need the alerts to come to your inbox. Depending on the approach you are taking, the frequency of the notifications would vary. If you are monitoring your competition or industry developments, it is wise to choose “As it happens” as this will make you receive notifications instantly as content is uploaded. You could also choose notifications to be sent once a day or once a week.

Step 5

Choose if you need the best results on the topic or all the results relating to the topic. If you are monitoring content related to a broad subject it is best that you settle for the best content or else you will have a clutter of information to go through.

Step 6

Next choose the email you need the notifications delivered to. In default, Google Alerts will choose the email that your Google Account has been created for.

Step 7

Create the alert

This process will help you receive the alerts to your email inbox.

Step 8

This option will let you choose how you want your alerts to be sent. You can choose to receive them in HTML or plain text.

Deleting a Google Alert

Click on “Manage your alerts” to go to the alerts page

You can use either of the two delete buttons that will appear on the next screen. Select the alert from the check box and click delete to eliminate the alert.

Effective keyword entry to benefit from Google Alerts

Tracking content related to your product or service – Add the name of your product/service and key words related to it. This will notify you when content regarding your product has been added to the internet, letting you monitor any harmful content spreading and receive feedback on engaging customers through organic positive content about your product.

It goes without say that there is a great benefit in monitoring the key words relating to your business. The information that large organizations used pay millions to gather can now be done in a few minutes through Google Alerts.

Google Alerts is beneficial to online entrepreneurs for the following reasons;

  1. Track content relating to your product or service

It is necessary to know what others are saying about your product. Especially when you are starting out, tracking the content relating to your service will help you monitor and take action every-time you receive important feedback. Also, tracking this will help you determine how successful your marketing efforts are.

  1. Track new developments in the areas of your business

With Google Alerts, you can be two steps ahead in learning about the developments in your field of business. This information is crucial if your market conditions change frequently. Keeping up with new tools and techniques related to your area of business will determine the extent of your success.

  1. Keep up with current trends in the industry

The industry trends will help you gauge your next move. With Google Alerts, you don’t want to wait too long to get this information.

  1. Monitor your competition with no research cost

With this information, your strategic moves will be more streamlined. You will know exactly what the competition is doing. It doesn’t take extra effort to research the competition. This is surely one of the biggest advantages of Google Alerts, if you are in a highly competitive market. Remember, even if you don’t use it to track your competition, your competition will definitely use it to keep track of you.

  1. Keep notified about ideal opportunities for your business

It’s not easy to keep track of all the opportunities that come up. But through Google Alerts you will be notified each time there is a grand opportunity for you to strike. This can happen unexpectedly. So enter the keywords and don’t miss the chances

  1. Track if your content has been re-published (legally or illegally)

For content marketers, it is essential to keep track if the content is being duplicated by thieves. Google Alerts is one of the most ideal tools for this. Although it is not like Copyscape, through which you can generate a qualitative summary of the plagiarized content, you will be able to at least keep track of the key words that you want to keep unique to your content.

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