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Using Google Alerts To Monitor and Grow Your Brand

Upendo Ventures Digital Marketing

One of the number one things I speak about with clients is brand, or branding.  In fact, when embarking on any project, internal or external, it’s probably the very first thing that we discuss.  This is especially true with small businesses and businesses who need to employ local and social media marketing strategies.  You need to first know what your brand is, how to speak about your brand (with as few words as possible), and how people should perceive your brand.  Most importantly, what will people say about your brand when you’re not looking?

What Are Google Alerts?

A lot of people already are aware that Google Alerts exist, though, most people tend to use them for a vanity alert.  When you set-up a Google Alert, you are telling Google to let you know whenever the search terms you enter result in new search results.  Let’s use me as an example.  I have a vanity alert for various versions of my name.  For example, “Will Strohl,” “William Strohl,” and so on.  Every time my name matches new content indexed by Google, I get a notification.  And if you’re at all concerned with your personal brand, you should do this too.

Imagine what that can do for you when it comes to your own commercial brand…  Creating Google Alerts is quite often forgotten as a part of a company’s marketing/branding strategy.

Creating Google Alerts For Your Brand

When you think about branding, most people feel like they have a firm grasp on what it is and how to do it.  Maybe I’ll write about why I don’t believe it to be true in another article, but in the meantime, let’s focus on one specific aspect of this… Do you know how people are talking about you?  Even more, do you know when people are talking about you? 

No matter if you’re a B2B or B2C company, your marketing strategy should include various social media channels.  In those channels, keeping an eye when and what people are saying about you can be easy.  You simply monitor the hashtags and “at” mentions (@).  What about when people write about you?  Do you know if anyone is blogging about your company?

The bigger or more successful your brand is, the more alerts you’ll get, so this is also a less anecdotal way to measure the success of your marketing and branding efforts.  By the way, the converse is also true.  Imagine creating an alert for your competitors so you can keep an eye on their online success as well.

You can even use alerts in other creative ways, such as market research for a new business initiative, and getting a sense of the keywords your target customers might be using.

How Do I Create an Alert?

Anyone can quickly create a Google Alert in a matter of moments.  First, go to the Google Alerts homepage.

Next, simply enter the search terms you want to monitor.  If you wish to make things easier all-around, you can create a different alert for each type of phrasing or alias your brand might have.  If you were UPS, you would create at least two alerts – one for “UPS” and another for “United Parcel Service.”  If you know of common ways people might misspell your brand, create alerts for those as well.

Upendo Ventures: Creating a Google Alert

The great thing is that while you type in your proposed alert, you’ll instantly see a preview of what will be returned.

Upendo Ventures:  Seeing a Google Alert Preview

If you want to customize how the alerts are generated and sent to you, simply click on the “Show Options” link and you’ll see something like the image below.  A common reason you might want to do this is to manage how often you receive the alert.  You can also limit the content from certain regions in the world.

Upendo Ventures: Google Alert Options

Once you create your alerts, you’ll have a listing of them that you can manage at any time.  Notice in the image below that I’ve included “Upendo Ventures” and “Upendo Adventures.”  Many people accidentally hear and spell our company name by adding the “ad” in front of “ventures.”  (We don’t mind… It sounds fun!)

Upendo Ventures: Example Google Alerts


I hope you’re more aware and confident with Google Alerts at this point.  I also hope you’ve maybe learned of a new creative way to use them.  What other ways would you use them for your company and/or personal brand.

By the way, you should buy the domain names for common misspellings of your company name and have them redirect to your primary domain name.

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About the Author

Will StrohlFounder & CEO
Upendo Ventures
Overall, Will has nearly 20 years of experience helping website owners become more successful in all areas, including mentoring, website development, marketing, strategy, e-commerce, and more.

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