Google Alerts is one of the most basic, and overlooked, online tools available to SEOs and content marketers. I think most of us forget it’s even available because it’s just so darn simplistic. This free application allows SEOs and webmasters to monitor the web for specific keywords and phrases, topics that are trending in news posts and on blogs, and online mentions of you or your competitors brand. All at the touch of a button. It’s a great way to stay on top of what is happening on the web, and it can provide a wealth of SEO opportunities for savvy webmasters. Unfortunately, Google Alerts remains largely unappreciated by many SEOs and webmasters. Earlier this year, it looked as though the service was headed for the scrap heap, but in April Google Alerts made a triumphant return and is now better than ever. If you have yet to incorporate Google Alerts into your SEO strategies, now is the time to explore just what this service has to offer.
How Does Google Alerts Work?
Using Google Alerts, SEOs and webmasters can monitor the web for interesting new content, including news stories, blog posts, and industry developments, that are relevant to their business. Simply enter a query – a keyword, searchable phrase, or URL – and Google Alerts will monitor the web for any and all matching content. New results are delivered via email or RSS feed, daily, weekly, or in real time. Did I mention the service is free? And it provides SEOs with a direct line to highly relevant content as it appears on the internet. Just head over to Google Alerts to get started.
Use Google Alerts to Monitor Your Brand
This is the most common type of monitor for Google Alerts and offers a way to keep an eye on the references to your brand online. Any time your brand is mentioned, in a news article or blog post, you will be notified by Google Alerts. This gives you the opportunity to see who is talking about your business online, and to do a little follow up link building. With Google Alerts you can also monitor the online mentions of your competitors brand, to find out if there are any online communities where you need to increase your presence. This is a must setup for your company name, CEO, and website domain at a minimum.
Find Out Who Is Reading Your Content
Great online content is one of the driving forces of good SEO, but it is often difficult to see just who is talking about your work. With Google Alerts, you can monitor specific articles and blog posts to see who is discussing them on other forums, or if someone is linking to them in a comment section. This presents a great opportunity for you to get involved in the conversation, answer specific questions about you or your service, and direct people to your own website.
Discover Guest Blogger Opportunities
Writing a guest blog for a popular website is a great way to not only drive traffic to your site, but to establish yourself as an online authority in a specific niche subject. Unfortunately, finding blogs that accept guest posts can be time consuming. With Google Alerts, you can search for blogs that actively look for guest submissions from people within your industry. For example, the following search queries would return results for guest blogging opportunities in the music marketing field:
“bloggers wanted” MUSIC MARKETING
“write for us” MUSIC MARKETING
“contribute to this site” MUSIC MARKETING
“become a guest blogger” MUSIC MARKETING
Maintaining Your Website’s Security
I’ve had a few sites hacked in the past, and it’s no fun. These hackers have all types of tricks to hijack a site by hiding bad links in footers, or by creating tons of junk pages and inserting them into the website. Too often webmasters only learn that their site has been hacked after their clients call, or worse when their SERPs have plummeted! Then, it is a long process of rebuilding the site, and regaining online momentum. With Google Alerts you can monitor your website for suspicious activity, and take appropriate action before any real damage is done to your page ranking and brand’s reputation. Take a look at the sample alert below to give you an idea of how to set up an alert for your site:
zadroweb.com gambling OR reverse mortgage OR payday loan OR viagra OR porn OR insurance OR poker OR xxx OR redirect OR sex OR debt OR dating
These few examples are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using Google Alerts to enhance your SEO strategies. After using Google Alerts for a while, you will find it offers a way to find new link building opportunities, ideas for new blog topics, information on coming trends in your industry, and insight into what potential customers are looking for in ecommerce sites. For SEOs and webmasters, Google Alerts is one of the top free tools for search engine optimization.