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