Businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs can benefit from getting regular alerts on their industry, their competition and what people are saying about them. Luckily, there is a free tool that allows you to do just that: Google Alerts.
If you've never set up a Google Alert it's wicked easy. You can follow along on the video below or at How to Use Google Alerts for a Competitive Advantage which we posted at flyte's YouTube channel.
From the video:
Setting up Google Alerts is simple. Just go to google.com/alerts–you'll need to be logged into your Google account, but if you have a gmail address you have a Google account.
Once there you can type in your search terms. Consider your company name, your competitors, key people in your company, your industry, your products and services…anything that you need to keep tabs on. You'll probably want to set up an alert for each keyword.
You can refine your keyword by typing a minus sign before words you don't want to include (no spaces here.) For example, on my alert for “Rich Brooks” I may want to include -kentucky to reduce the number of news stories on the retired UK coach.
You can further refine the results by changing the type of information retrieved, how often your emails should come, and how many items should be included.
The service is both free and invaluable. While Google Alerts isn't the only tool out there that provides this type of service, it's one of my favorites.
If you have any tips for maximizing Google Alerts, or other tools you prefer, please let us know.
Are there any other alert tools that you're using?