Using Google Alerts For Business

Google Alerts launched in 2003 so it’s been around for some time. However, it is still a widely unknown, under-utilised, free resource.

Google Alerts are email notifications sent directly to you based around search terms you have chosen. Google finds results from web pages, newspaper articles and blogs and can help you monitor:

  • What’s being said about your organisation
  • Results around key words within your industry
  • Information about competitors, prospects and customers

You can create up to 1,000 alerts and have them sent to you via email.

Google Alerts can be used in a number of strategic ways including:

Finding customers

Setting up an alert for “who sells vacuum cleaners in Melbourne” will pull results from question-answer sites including Yahoo Answers, Flickr Groups, Google groups etc and can be used as a great tool for locating people who may be interested in what your organisation has to offer.

Creating a Google Alert
Creating a Google Alert

Setting up an alert for “who sells vacuum cleaners in Melbourne” will pull results from question-answer sites including Yahoo Answers, Flickr Groups, Google groups etc and can be used as a great tool for locating people who may be interested in what your organisation has to offer.

Track yourself, employees and your organisation

Setting up alerts to track your name, the names of key employees and the name of your organisation will ensure you are on top of any conversations or mentions about your brand online. Whether it is positive or negative feedback it will give you an opportunity to respond in a timely manner.

Research by tracking keywords

Perhaps you are a regular blogger, or want to start. Tracking keywords around topics of interest is a great, and easy way to research what’s new.

Setting up an alert

Setting up Google Alerts is easy, just follow these steps:

  1. Visit www.google.com/alerts
  2. Sign into Google (If you don’t already have a Google account set up you will have to do this before accessing Google Alerts)
  3. Visit your ‘Account Settings’ page
  4. Select ‘Manage Alerts’ from ‘My products’
  5. Select ‘Create a new alert’
  6. Enter your ‘search query’ — remember to be specific and use quotes before and after your keyword
  7. Select your ‘result type’ — do you want to see everything, or just results from ‘blogs’
  8. Select how often you want to receive the results — if you are working on a big campaign ‘as it happens’ might be necessary, if not, ‘once a week’ is a good option, particularly if you have a lot of Alerts set up.
  9. Select ‘how many’ results you would like — this gives you the option of selecting if you want to see everything, or just the best and most relevant results.
  10. Select how you want the results delivered — the recommended option here is your email address.
  11. Create the alert

Be as precise as possible to ensure your results are relevant. Use quotation marks at the start and end of your search term to match precisely as you typed it.

You can come back to the main Google Alerts screen at any time to see a full summary of your alerts. You can also come back and edit them at anytime.

Create your first Google Alert today