Did you know that Google has a very cool feature that allows us to know if someone has mentioned a particular phrase or word? It is called Google Alerts and is an extremely useful and free way to conduct market research.
Most people start off using Google Alerts by setting up a Google Alert for every time their name is mentioned online. If you have a common name or share a name with a celebrity of some kind this may mean lots of mentions!
Even though this might seem like a bit of a vain thing to do, it can actually be very illuminating. Not many of us know just how much information is out there on us. Hopefully most of it is good, but sometimes it can be less than positive. Knowing what is being said about you online can be very useful indeed.
From the personal to the professional
From there you can progress to alerts for when your company or product is mentioned. How about your competitors? You can set up searches for them as well. And for your clients too.
This lets you keep an unobtrusive eye on what your competitors are up to and lets you know great news from your clients that you might not otherwise hear about. You can use that information to congratulate your clients or take your products and services to any even greater level than your competitors.
Setting up a Google alert is very easy.
- Go to google.com/alerts.
- Enter the word or phrase you’re interested in tracking. If it is a phrase put it in quotation marks “like this” to make sure Google only looks for that phrase. Otherwise Google will find all instances of each word which will be a little painful!
- Enter the email address you want the alerts sent to.
- And you’re done!
Whether you change the how often to ‘as it happens’, ‘once a week’ or leave it at ‘once a day’ really depends on how much information you’re getting. Perhaps start at ‘as it happens’ and then if that is too much information for you to keep up with, and it isn’t really time sensitive information, then change it to ‘once a week’ or ‘once a day’.
Each time an alert email is sent to you, it will include options for editing or deleting the alerts. A very easy to use system indeed for the amount of power it gives you.
What if no-one is talking about you?
It is possible that your Google Alerts will show that no-one is actually talking about you, your company, products or services online.
A blank slate is a great place to start. Stick with us and we’ll show you ways to get your name out there, without getting all sleazy and icky.