When you have a blog or a website, you want to know if people are talking about it. Well, guess what?
You no longer have to spend your time actively searching for mentions of your name and your blog.
Now, you can use the time-saving function that is Google Alerts.
Google Alerts is a versatile online tool that allows you to listen to online conversations. With Google Alerts, you can receive an alert any time your name or blog is mentioned.
It’s an easy way to manage your online presence and listen to what others are saying about you. It’s also a nifty way to keep up with what people are saying (good or bad) about your competition.
With Google Alerts, you will know when other sites are linking to your site, quoting you, praising you, or complaining about things you’ve said or done.
If you recently made a post that’s sparking conversation, you’ll know about it. If you’ve been quoted by an influential blogger, you’ll be aware of it.
And if no one likes what you’re doing, you’ll be able to tell.
Google Alerts is a great way to see what your competition is up to. It’s also a great way to track your own progress and keep abreast of what people think about you and your site.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Google Alerts and why you should set them up now.
What are Google Alerts?
You can create alerts in categories such as news, blogs, web pages, videos, books, discussions and conversations, and finance.
With the ability to search up to 1,000 terms, it’s easy to customize your alerts to track everything that’s meaningful to your blog or your business.
Google Alerts saves from having to search for individual terms. It’s also a great way to manage your online reputation and watch your brand online.
When you know what people are saying about you, you can figure out how to address it or decide what you might need to change.
How Do You Use Google Alerts?
Anyone can use Google Alerts. It’s a free tool that many people use to track their own name, relatives and businesses on the internet.
When you set up Google Alerts you can keep tabs on your own site and keep an eye on your competitors. You can also use to stay in the know about products, services, people, and other websites.
If there’s a hot topic of conversation, you’ll know. You can build upon those ideas or expand upon them for your own blog or your own site.
Using Google Alerts to Grow Your Blog
We use Google Alerts for a variety of different reasons, but our favorite use is for link building. Link building is a way of getting relevant websites to link back to your site.
Why is link building important?
The more links from unique websites that your site has, the higher your ranking will be in search engines.
In other words, links from a lot of relevant websites will help you to show up when people are actively looking for you online. Links aren’t the other things that will improve your search rankings, but it is one factor that we know has a direct correlation.
With some serious link authority, you’re sure to rank higher in search results. And that’s what it’s all about.
If you want to build your blog and increase your readership with higher search rankings, it’s important to get other sites to link to you. Don’t be shy when it comes to connecting with other bloggers and writers.
If a blogger has already mentioned you in their article, they’ll most likely be willing to include a link to your site.
How Do I Set Up Google Alerts?
Getting started with Google Alerts is easy to do. The process of setting up your alerts is simple, and you don’t even need a Gmail account to do it.
To start, go to https://www.google.com/alerts. If you have a Google account, sign in with it. If not, you can start filling out the form.
You’ll see a field where you’ll need to enter the search terms you want Google Alerts to track. Each term must be separated by a comma, and you can always edit it to include more terms or remove some if you’ve got too many.
For new users, it may be hard to decide what to track, so start with something easy like your name and the name of your blog. For more results, include keywords and key phrases associated with your brand or your particular niche.
Google will ask you for the type of alerts you want them to find and share with you. You can choose alerts for news only.
You may want alerts for blog and videos. You might prefer to track discussions. If you’re unsure, you can choose “everything” and track it all.
You can also specify when and how often you want to receive your Google Alerts. If you’re tracking a news story or want constant updates on your search terms, you can choose the “as it happens” option.
If you want to stay in the know or keep up to date on a competitor, you may prefer to choose “once a week” updates.
For search terms that aren’t critical to your business or your site, many users prefer to see those alerts once each week.
If you want frequent updates but don’t want constant alerts, you can choose the “at most once a day” option.
Keep in mind that “as it happens” doesn’t mean it’s instantaneous. Google will deliver you the alert after they have indexed the information.
The speed of Google’s reporting varies from topic to topic and site to site, due in part to on-page optimization.
Google will also ask you if want to receive “everything” or “only the best results.” It depends on your needs and what it is you’re searching.
For alerts related to your own blog, it’s best to choose “everything.” If it’s a search term that you have some mild interest in, you may only want to see the best results.
The only other thing you’ll need to do is tell Google Alerts where you want your alerts delivered. If you have a Gmail account, Google will send them there.
If you don’t want them in your Gmail inbox, Google can send them to another email address or send them via RSS feed. Once you decide where you want your alerts sent, click the “create alert” button and you’re done.
Keep in mind, if you intend to create many alerts, you could see your inbox fill up rather fast. The more alerts you have, the more inundated your inbox will be.
If you plan to create many alerts, you might want to consider creating a separate Gmail account to use only for this purpose.
Getting the Alerts You Want
Depending on your search terms, you may notice that some of the results aren’t exactly relevant to your topic or term. There are some different ways to customize your search terms using Google search Modifiers (complete list here).
For example, putting quotation marks around your search term tells Google that you only want to see results for that exact phrase. If you use quotation marks and are still getting results that don’t pertain to your needs, look to see if there is a common word associated with your term.
For example, if your search term is “Apple” but you’re getting lots of results for “apple pie,” you can add a minus sign to remove “pie.”
A search term such as “Apple” -pie will remove any updates related to apple pie.
Google Alerts makes it easy to track what people are saying about you, your blog, or your business. It can alert you to every mention of your name, every link made to your blog, or every online discussion on any topic.
It’s an excellent way to keep track of competitors, identify pain points for customers, and follow trends that you care about. It’s also a great tool to use for link building and increasing the search ranking factor of your site.
Within a few minutes, you can set up a Google Alert for any person, site, or topic on earth.
We all have so many sources that we use to find information on the things we care about. And checking and searching those sources all the time can be quite time-consuming.
With Google Alerts, your days of searching are over.
Create an alert (or two, or a thousand) and you can have your results delivered straight to your inbox or through an RSS feed.
Stay up to date on whatever it is you care about with Google Alerts. It’s easier than ever to do.