Monitoring the web for interesting content has never been so easy. You may have heard of people talking about using Google Alerts to keep up to date with news and trends related to hobbies, interests, skills, industries, or career-related topics. But did you know you can also use Google Alerts to increase sales and grow your business? In fact, the drive behind the release of Google Alerts in 2003 was to advance Google’s business tools.
What is Google Alerts?
With Alerts, Google’s spiderbots crawl the web to search for specific terms, keywords, and phrases. It’s a simple, efficient, and quick tool, which is easy to customise. Getting started is simple. Navigate to google.com/alerts in your browser, pop in the term you want to follow or track, and create your alert. Google will then send you emails alerting you to whenever that term is mentioned on the web. You can also adjust the alert criteria according to your needs and strategy, how you plan to use the data from the alerts, and what exactly you want to be alerted to.
Why Businesses Use Google Alerts
There are multiple reasons why businesses should be creating alerts, mainly because the data and information gained from them can significantly aid your sales and marketing strategy. While it’s great to keep an eye out about what’s being said about your business on the internet, tracking who is saying it (and in what context!) is also important. The top mentions your business should be tracking include:
- Company name
- Page URLs (of content such as blog posts, articles, etc.)
- Company blog name
- Product name
- Company thought leaders/key personnel/executives
- Industry-related topics and keywords
Whether your goal is to maximise backlinks, increase your networking, improve your branding, or identify potential marketing opportunities, Google Alerts can help you grow your business when used strategically.
How to Use Google Alerts to Grow Your Business
1. Increase Backlinks & Traffic
Once you’ve set up an alert for your company name or product, one thing you’re going to be tracking is the volume of traffic flowing to your website. Ever heard of the saying, “Traffic is nothing more than a vanity metric”? Well, this isn’t exactly true. Google’s SEO algorithm considers backlinks as one of the most important metrics when ranking your site on search engines.
Google Alerts lets you know where your company or key personnel have been mentioned on another site, and this can lead to you to areas for potential backlinking. If a backlink hasn’t been included in the external content which mentions your product or business, then you can reach out to the relevant individual or writer of that site to request they insert a reference link.
Pro Tip: To make sure you only target mentions which are unlinked, you can use some helpful tools, such as
2. Grow Your Audience
So, backlinks are pretty important. Not only do they boost your SEO rankings and page authority, but they also lead people to your website from other reputable sources, thereby increasing traffic and growing your audience reach.
If people come across your brand mentioned on another site, and are interested in learning more about you, they aren’t likely to open a new tab and search specifically for your company. They just want a simple click to bring them to your page.
3. Content Marketing Material
Setting up alerts for key terms related to your brand, industry, or market niche, can help you keep up to date with developments which are extremely useful from a content marketing perspective.
Creating content which educates your readers on trending news can help to establish your company as thought leaders in your area , and provide material for inbound content marketing creation.
For example, if you track frequently asked questions in your area of expertise, you can then answer these questions in the form of blog posts, ebooks, courses, or downloadable guides. Your audience will love this, new people will find you online, and you can establish yourself as the “go-to” expert in your field.
To track questions on Google alerts, set up an alert for something which follows the formula: [topic] + site:[name of the forum which is specific to your industry and where people are asking questions] + intitle:(who|what|when|where|how). Google will alert you to forum threads on your topic, and you can then choose which questions make the most sense for your business to answer.
Quora also allows you to do something similar, by setting up alerts for “Questions Quora thinks you can answer.”
4. Competitive Research
Whether you want to discover new competitors, carry out some competitive research, or track competitors’ marketing moves, it’s always good to keep an eye out using alerts!
5. Lead Generation
When it comes to nurturing a new lead, having a personalised approach never hurts. Customize those follow ups, check-ins, and remarketing campaigns, by using Google Alerts to let you know what’s going on in your lead’s world!
Whether you’re keeping track of what service they may require, or targeting the best time to contact them, make sure to add all of the information and data provided by Google Alerts to your lead’s profile in your CRM.
6. Monitor Your Products
If your business or service is built around selling products, such as software or guides, tracking alerts for your product name can help you monitor and protect their use on the internet.
This is especially relevant when tracking torrent scams and product reviews. You will want to keep an eye out for torrents which are selling free downloadable versions of your product, and nip this in the bud as soon as possible. To track these scams, create an alert according to the formula: [brand] + “product name” + (download|torrent) -site:yourdomain.com.
Tracking reviews of your product is also important , so you can follow up on and resolve negative experiences, as well as bring attention to any positive and glowing feedback.
Pro tip: Make sure to stay organised with your alerts. Because Google send alerts via email, it’s a good idea to create a separate email inbox labeled “Google Alerts” so all mention emails will be directed there.
A Powerful Resource
Remember, Google alerts isn’t an automatic business growth generator. It’s all about how you use the data, how you go about seeking that data, and making sure you’re seeking the right information with a purpose. So be creative, and play around with it! Google Alerts is a fantastic resource to grow your business and increase your sales, when used in the right way.
Are you ready to make your content work harder?
Give us a shout to discuss how to create the perfect suite of lead generation assets for your business.