How to Use Google Alerts to Monitor Your Company's Online Presence

by Mike Volpe

Date

June 27, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Google offers a free service called "Google Alerts" that marketing professionals can use to monitor the presence of their company online.  The services emails you when new web pages are published that are relevant to the search you enter for the alert.  It will not catch every single new web page, but it does catch a lot of them, especially the ones from better known websites.  For a huge company with a global brand, this service might not work well, since there is probably a lot of content created using your company or brand name.  But for a smaller company with fewer mentions or coverage, it works great.

How to Use Google Alerts for Marketing

  1. Visit Google Alerts and Complete the Form.  At http://www.google.com/alerts there is a simple form you can fill out to get alerts emailed to you about new results for different search terms.  Start by putting in your company name, selecting "Comprehensive", "as-it-happens" and your email.google alerts
  2. Confirm Your Email.  Google will send an email to the address you used for the alert.  Click on the link in the email to confirm you want the alert.
  3. Repeat for More Alerts.  You can repeat this process to set up additional alerts.  See below for some ideas for different alerts to set up.
  4. Create a Google Account to Manage Your Alerts.  This step is optional, but recommended.  By creating a Google Account you can see all of your alerts on one screen, and can add more alerts, edit your alerts or delete them easily.

Now that you know how to set it up, here are some tips to use Google Alerts like an Expert.

Tips and Tricks to Use Google Alerts Like an Expert

  1. Track Your Company.  I have a Google Alert running for "HubSpot" so I know when new content is published about our company.  You should too.
  2. Track Your Products.  I have alerts set up for "Website Grader" and "Press Release Grader".  This is a good way to stay informed about how many bloggers are writing about HubSpot's products.  If you have products with different names than your company, set up alerts for them too.
  3. Track Your Executives. I have alerts set up for "Brian Halligan" and "Dharmesh Shah", so I can keep tabs on blogs and news articles that mention the HubSpot co-founders.  You can do the same for your executives.
  4. Use Phrase Search.  If your company, products of executives have more than one word names, you should use phrase search in the alert - just put quotes around the search term and Google will only match on the phrase.  For instance, an alert for "Website Grader" works better with quotes, because without the quotes it would pick up an article with the line "websites built by fifth graders", for instance.
  5. Use Negative Keywords.  Google Alerts will actually track new results for any search terms, including advanced terms.  For instance, there is a political blogger named Mike Volpe, and to keep my email from getting cluttered with results that are about him and not me, I use the search "mike volpe -proprietornation" as an alert (the other Volpe's blog is called proprietornation, so using the negative search term excludes almost all of the results about the other Mike Volpe from my alert).
  6. Use Other Advanced Search Terms.  Pretty much any advanced search in Google can also be used as an alert. So check out the article "12 Tips to Search Google Like an Expert" and try out some of those tips as a Google Alert, or use the Google Advanced Search page to experiment - http://www.google.com/advanced_search

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