As an example, would you be aware when your business is mentioned in local or trade press?
Many business owners are not aware of what is being written or said about us online.
I was recently speaking to Managed Service Provider (MSP) business owner who shared with me a great written article on his business that a channel trade publication had published. The business owner had not been notified of the article publication, and he’d only stumbled across it a few weeks later by accident!
How can you be notified if an article mentions you or your business online? Thankfully, there’s a free tool that’s easy to use — Google Alerts.
What are Google Alerts?
Google Alerts is a free service that allows you to monitor the web for interesting new content. This includes (but is not limited to) alerts when you or your business is mentioned online.
Once you’re logged in with your Google account, you can type in a word or phrase that you want to be alerted about.
For instance, I’ve set up Alerts for “Richard Tubb” and “Tubblog” to alert me when my name or business is mentioned online.
Whenever Google indexes a new website or page that features the words “Richard Tubb”, it will send me an email alert. This is a great way to be made aware of articles featuring you as soon as they go live.
How to modify a Google Alert
As you can see from the above screenshot, though, I’m not the only Richard Tubb in the world (who knew?). There’s the White House Physician, Richard Tubb, plus noted designer Richard Tubb in Alabama, USA.
I don’t particularly need to know when either of those Richard Tubbs is mentioned in an article. I can avoid this by modifying my original Google Alert of “Richard Tubb” with search operators.
If I modify my Google Alert from “Richard Tubb” to “Richard Tubb” -“House” then I’m spared any false alerts. Articles about Richard Tubb that also mention the White House or are talking about House Designer, Richard Tubb, aren’t sent to me.
My advice? Play around with the search options for Google Alerts and then read the alert preview to see whether the results broadly match your needs.
If you find yourself getting daily email alerts that are not relevant, then you can always go back and amend or delete the alert by visiting https://www.google.com/alerts.
How often do you want to be alerted?
You can also modify the alert options, changing how often you’re alerted (“as it happens”, “once per day”, “once per week”) to minimise the noise Google alerts creates. You can send the alerts to other email addresses, too.
Google Alerts is used by businesses to notify them when they are mentioned online.
Google Alerts keeps an eye on what people are saying about you. A business owner can also use Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your competitors, clients or suppliers.
If you use Google Alerts for just one thing, make it this. Keep track of the positive mentions you receive in the press. Then, share these stories with your prospects and clients.
I am a fan of the old adage “What other people think of me is none of my business”. In this case, though, Google Alerts can make what people say about your business, your business!
How do you use Google Alerts in your business? Please, let me know in the comments below.