The importance of Google Alerts

Part of a strong social media strategy is providing value to your clients and customers.  A key piece of the plan is sharing content directly related to your core business.  Some of this content should be from your own website articles and blog posts.  You should also put effort into sharing the content of others (not competitors of course!).  When it comes to sharing content, small business owners often struggle to find content that is related to their core business area, not from a competitor and appropriate.  Google alerts are a great resource to sift through the endless amount of information on the internet so you can then share what is relevant.

Simply put, Google Alerts is a notification system that will monitor a particular topic for you and send you an email (or text message) when a related piece of content is posted on the web.  You customize the keywords (link) of interest, types of content, and how often you receive notifications.  Not only will Google alerts give you great ideas for content, they will show you what the Google search engine is finding across the web. This insight is invaluable as you can start to see what Google is finding for a particular topic.   And, it is fun when a piece of your content shows up in an alert!

How do I set-up a google alert?

Sign into your Google account (we set it up together in Day 4).  Open a new tab and surf over to the Google alert site.   In the box labeled “Search Query” type in the keyword or phrase you are interested in.  For instance, you may want to set-up Google Alerts for “Small Business,” “financial planners,” “massage therapy.”  Your alerts should be directly related to your core business areas.  You can also set-up an alert for your name or a favorite author in your field.

Use the drop down menus to tell Google how often, what type, and where your results should be sent.  Then hit the red “create alert” button.

If you set-up multiple google alerts you will soon realize that you are receiving a substantial number of emails.  Through the gmail filter system I have these alerts bypass my inbox and they are deposited directly into a content folder.  I set aside time each week to go through these alerts and save the articles of interest in Pocket so I always have a bank of related content to share.

The beauty of Google alerts is  that the system does the heavy lifting for you and finds content directly related to your core business areas.  In fact, it gives you enough content so that you do not need to post the same content to each of your social media accounts (I find this to be redundant and annoying).  For instance, if I post a piece of content on G+ I usually do not also post the same article on Facebook.  So yes, I need a lot of content, but i have it using the Google Alert system.

If you have any questions about setting up a Google Alert please contact me directly through the “Ask A Question” box on this page.



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