It’s important for every business to know what their customers are saying about them online. This helps the business keep track of the overall sentiment around the business. And Google Alerts help you with exactly that.

But this isn’t the only application for using Google Alerts. In fact, they can be used for a host of tasks ranging from finding the latest trends to even backlink building. 

💡 Read Media Monitoring: The Ultimate Guide

But what exactly are Google Alerts and what can you use them for? 

This post explains it all.

Let’s dive in.

What Are Google Alerts?

Simply put, Google Alerts is a feature offered by Google that alerts you whenever a particular term or keyword is mentioned by any website online. Google identifies these keywords when it crawls websites and lists them on its search engine results pages (SERPs). In a nutshell, it’s a keyword monitoring tool. However, the key restriction here is that it doesn’t track social media posts. 

What Can You Use Google Alerts for?

Here are the different situations for which you can use Google Alerts. 

1. Brand Monitoring

It’s essential for every brand to monitor their presence online. You must stay on top of what customers are saying about you. 

Are they saying good things about your brand or do they have any complaints? In either case, it’s essential that you see what they’re talking about so that you can respond to them in time. 

This is particularly important in case of negative customer reviews as it could quickly snowball into a massive PR crisis. If you don’t act quickly, it’ll likely cause a lot of damage to your brand. The faster you take note of the negative comment and reply to it, the better it’ll be as others will see that the brand is taking prompt action to rectify the situation.

You can also see what your employees are sharing about your brand online if you leverage tools to encourage them to share content about your brand. With Google Alerts, you’ll know whenever an employee writes about you.  

Search engines can be a great source of website traffic, lead generation, and sales. And the best way to make your presence felt is through SEO. In fact, 50% of traffic in most industries comes from search. 

One of the most important SEO practices is backlink building. It involves getting other prominent websites in your niche to link back to you.

There are several link-building techniques that you can adopt to get backlinks for your website, such as guest posting, broken link building, etc. Among these, an easy method involves Google Alerts. You can set up alerts for your brand name on Google. 

This way, whenever anyone writes a Google review, blog post, or guest post with your brand name, you’ll be notified. You can then reach out to the webmaster of the concerned website and request them to add a link to your website on the brand name. This way, you’ll get a branded backlink with minimal effort. 

3. Product Mentions

This one’s particularly important for ecommerce businesses. Your customers and others may review your products or services regularly and write posts about them on various websites. These include social media, review websites, blogs, and others. 

The reviews they write could be both positive and negative, and that’s why it’s essential that you use Google Alerts to get notified every time someone mentions your brand, product, or service. 

You can then instantly respond to the review to thank the customer or even solve their problem and apologize for the inconvenience they’re facing. 

In fact, it’s this notification feature that makes Google Alert an important part of an ecommerce marketing tech stack.

And the best part?

While there are several other brand monitoring tools like Determ, Google Alerts is completely free, making it a great addition to your stack. That said, it’s important to use Google Alerts with another brand monitoring tool if you intend to see social mentions. That’s because Google Alerts doesn’t track social media.

4. Competitor Tracking

Yet another important use of Google Alerts involves tracking your competitors. Just the way it enables you to track your brand and product mentions, you can use it to monitor your competitors. It increase the trust on social media for your brand.

You can set up keywords or terms related to the competitors for alerts. Whenever any third-party mentions them, you’ll get notifications. Similarly, whenever they publish something new, you’ll be the first one to know. 

This way, you can always remain updated with what your competitors are doing and accordingly change your marketing approach to get an edge over them. 

For instance, if you own an animation website and see a third-party website mentioning other text animation tools, you can reach out to them with a better resource and ask them to replace your competitor’s brand with yours and link to it. This way, you’ll get a free backlink 

Constant innovation is the only way for businesses to survive in the cut-throat competition today. You need to regularly see:

  • What your competitors are doing
  • The latest developments in your industry
  • Best practices related to the work you’re doing
  • Emerging technologies that could be useful 

Sure, you can be a part of numerous communities, attend conferences, and even read extensively. But, you may still miss out on some critical information. 

That’s where Google Alerts comes in handy. With it, you can easily uncover any latest trend that’s coming up. For instance, if you had set up alerts for the keyword “AI”, you might have started getting numerous alerts in the past few months due to the emergence of ChatGPT. 

You can also combine Google Alerts with Google Trends to uncover more trends that are rising and take advantage of them and therefore create a data-driven marketing strategy that keeps you ahead of your competitors.

Google trends, interest over time
Image via Google Trends

In a nutshell, instead of being a reactive adopter of trends, you could be an active adapter and get a head start.

6. Following Your Press Release

If your business creates press releases regularly, Google Alerts is a must-have tool for you. It can be quite a hassle to keep on top of your press release as you’ll likely not get notified whenever anyone writes a post related to your press release.

But when you set up Google Alerts for keywords related to your press release, you’ll be notified whenever any journalist writes something related to your press release. The source filter can come in particularly handy here. 

Read Track Press Release: Here’s How to Be Aware of All Online Publications

How to Create Google Alerts

So, now that you know all about the importance of Google Alerts and why they’re helpful, let’s try to understand how you can go about creating them. Thankfully, the process is fairly simple. 

1. Visit the Google Alerts website and login with your Google Account. 

visit the google alerts page

2. Enter the search term that you want Google to track and alert you about. This term could be your brand name, product name, or any related term from your industry. Google will bring up a preview of the sort of alerts you might see.

Enter a search term you want Google to alert you about

3. Click on “Show Options” to customize the alert further. From the options provided, you can filter out the alerts to suit your requirements. These include things like language, region, frequency, and sources, among others.

Customize alerts

4. Finally, click on the “Create Alert” button to create your alert. You can follow the same process for every alert you want to create. 

5. Once the alert is created, you can come back to the page regularly to manage the keywords. You have the option to edit or delete each keyword. By clicking on the pencil icon, you can change the customizations for your alert. 

Manage your usage

Conclusion

Google Alerts is a fantastic tool for all businesses to assess the true extent to which their brand is being mentioned everywhere. It can help with SEO, competitor analysis, customer service, and even PR. 

From backlink building to uncovering the latest trends that can help your business stay ahead of the competition, you can achieve it all through this tool. 

And the best part?

The service is completely free. So, if you haven’t started using it yet, go ahead and start leveraging Google Alerts. Pair it up with Google Trends and other brand tracking tools for best results. 

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