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Using Google Alerts To Work For Your Small Business

March 8th, 2010 ::

Have you subscribed to Google Alerts before? If not, it’s a pretty useful service – using a Google account, you sign up for these email alerts that will notify you when a piece of content is published and indexed by the search engine. So for me, I’ve created a Google Alert for my name – so whenever “Kenneth Yeung” appears on Google, whether it be on tweets, photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube or blog posts/articles, I’ll be notified – even variations would be included.

So what does this have to do with helping your small business get promoted and seen? Well according to Serena Carcasole, pretty much a lot of things. Carcasole wrote a very insightful article on the famous small business blog Duct Tape Marketing and I’d like to share those thoughts here.

First of all, Carcasole believes that you can make Google Alerts work for you simply by monitoring what people are saying about it, your brand, your product and any news that is happening. Here are some things to pay attention to, according to the Duct Tape article:

Business/Personal Names
Keep track of your personal name or business name when they are mentioned online by using Google alerts.  If you are a prominent figure or have a business, it is important to keep track.  Google alerts is kind of like having your own publicist letting you know what is happening in the online world.

Domain Name
You can also track your own domain name and who is using it.  When you are using Google Alerts, simply put in yourwebsitename.com in the search book and you’ll have access to knowing where you’re mentioned.  Skip the www, however, as Google doesn’t need the extension.

Blog Name
The same can be said for a blog site.  You can find the results of where your blog is linked or if it is posted elsewhere.  Put in the search box: yourblogname.com.  This is a lifesaver for monitoring when someone is taking notice of your blog.

Article Marketing
When you write an article, you probably want to know who else is linking to it.  You can create an alert using the title of your blog or a link to the web page.  Knowing where your articles appear helps you better understand your audience and where your information is being posted.

Niches
No matter what niche you are in, there are keywords that people will use when they are writing about it.  Using Google Alerts to stay on top of these phrases can be important.  You can take your niche to the next level by learning what other people have to say about it.  This also helps you learn about upcoming products in your niche and ideas for improvement.

Watch Your Competition
Try creating a Google Alert to monitor your competition.  You can use phrases such as the names of your competitors and their websites.  Interesting things might come up such as product changes, new ideas, and the knowledge of what others in your industry are doing.

Second of all, after you’ve created these alerts, you should be prepared to monitor them pretty regularly. Just simply getting them will not ensure any action. Make time to review each thread when they come in on a timely basis – especially when news is breaking or a crisis is happening. You’ll want to be aware of the sentiment of your customers.

Lastly, don’t forget that you can easily manipulate your search queries to get pretty granular and specific in the results. Just like you would in a search engine, you can lump multiple words together to show you want results for them (e.g. “Kenneth+Yeung”).  Also, do you want exact phrasing or something with a bit more flexibility? For the former, simply add quotes (“Kenneth Yeung”).

The Google Alerts you generate will be somewhat near real-time, but whatever your overall objectives for your business, it is highly recommended that you set up Google Alerts. At the very minimum, you’re going to find out the buzz about your business…and it can’t be all that bad, can it?

Source: Duct Tape Marketing

Photo Credit: Sachin Ghodke

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Uncategorized, UnintentionalEntrepreneur | 14 Comments »

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com davinabrewer

    Google alerts are great for small businesses, and FREE. They can help monitor social and traditional media, track campaigns, check up on the industry and competition. They're an easy to use tool for a small biz that doesn't have a big marketing communications budget.

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com davinabrewer

    Google alerts are great for small businesses, and FREE. They can help monitor social and traditional media, track campaigns, check up on the industry and competition. They're an easy to use tool for a small biz that doesn't have a big marketing communications budget.

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com davinabrewer

    Google alerts are great for small businesses, and FREE. They can help monitor social and traditional media, track campaigns, check up on the industry and competition. They're an easy to use tool for a small biz that doesn't have a big marketing communications budget.

  • http://www.goldenpractices.com/ Michelle Golden

    Agree wholeheartedly. GA are also great to use to clue you in on your key customers and their successes and activities (learn when to congratulate them, etc) and the same with prospects. Very useful indeed though they aren't 100% complete. If you are a blogger, or involved in any social media they are a must in order to help catch any mentions of you and your content so you can thank people and reciprocate…an essential part of being “in the community.”

  • http://www.goldenpractices.com/ Michelle Golden

    Agree wholeheartedly. GA are also great to use to clue you in on your key customers and their successes and activities (learn when to congratulate them, etc) and the same with prospects. Very useful indeed though they aren't 100% complete. If you are a blogger, or involved in any social media they are a must in order to help catch any mentions of you and your content so you can thank people and reciprocate…an essential part of being “in the community.”

  • http://www.goldenpractices.com/ Michelle Golden

    Agree wholeheartedly. GA are also great to use to clue you in on your key customers and their successes and activities (learn when to congratulate them, etc) and the same with prospects. Very useful indeed though they aren't 100% complete. If you are a blogger, or involved in any social media they are a must in order to help catch any mentions of you and your content so you can thank people and reciprocate…an essential part of being “in the community.”

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