3 Easy Steps to Set Up Google Alerts to Track What People are Saying About You and Your Business Online
Google Alerts is probably one if the simplest and most useful tools on the Internet. Basically, it’s your watchdog for topics of internet online. Anytime googlebot crawls a page, tweet, update, video, or anything that is related to the alert you’ve set up, it sends you an email or rss update which allows you to know anytime someone or something has mentioned your name, your company, or a topic of your choice online. Awesome right? I have about 50 Google Alerts set up for myself, my Salty Dog brand, and some topics I like to keep an eye on. Doing this by myself would literally take hours out of my week but Alerts automates all of it. Here’s 3 quick and easy steps to allow you to track what people are saying about you and your business online…
1. Go to Google.com/alerts
If you’ve got a Google account go ahead and login. If you don’t, get one. Google has hundreds of free services that you can access with one username and password. You don’t even have to get an email account.
2. Put in the keywords you would like to track
Figure out what you would like to be alerted for. At minimum, I would go with your business name, your website address, along with your name and the names of your employees, investors, etc. There’s no limit to the number of alerts you can have so go crazy. Just realize that the more broad or common your search terms, the more alerts you’ll have to sift through.
Make sure to choose your preferences for what type of content you want alerts on, how often you want to get them, the actual volume of results, and how you’d like to get them. You can tweak all these settings later if you don’t want to figure it all out now.
3. Manage your alerts
You can get alerts in your inbox, which is fine. To make it more efficient I would create a rule in outlook or your online mail program to move all alerts to a certain folder. That way they are in one spot and much easier to keep track of.
Another option you probably haven’t thought about is to have them delivered via an RSS feed. If you use a feed reeder (and you totally should if you keep up with anything at all online) then you can have your alerts delivered there. I put all my alerts in a folder in my reader and can view them on my iPhone using a cool app called Newsrack but there are lots of apps for every persuasion of smartphone or you can always look at your reader online. Run over to Google.com/reader (another free service from Google) and get started.
That’s it. The whole process will take about the same amount of time it took to read this article. Good luck with it. I’ll have some follow up to this article with some suggestions on what to DO when someone mentions you online.