Wouldn’t it be great if you could be informed every time something about you is said online or, even better, keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, as if someone were in charge of reporting to you every day/week on your company and its competitors? If so, Google Alerts is for you! In this article, we will discuss how to properly use Google Alerts so this free tool from Google can help you with your SEO strategy.
What is Google Alerts?
Google Alerts is a tool that sends you an email with all the articles/pages published on the topic you have entered. For example, if you enter the term “real estate Montreal”, you will receive an email (just like a newsletter) with all recently published content about real estate in Montreal.
You don’t need to look for information anymore, the information comes to you! Google Alerts is a great tool for staying informed about industry trends and staying up to date with your expertise.
Keep an eye on your competitors
One of the first things we recommend doing is creating a Google Alert for each of your main competitors. This will keep you informed about their activities and give you ideas if you see that some of them are taking interesting initiatives (new partnerships, recruitment period, new contracts, etc.). This also helps maintain a competitive spirit (although it is never fun to hear about your competitors).
However, you should use these alerts in a reasonable manner to avoid nervous breakdowns and spending more time meddling in your competitors’ affairs than in your own. If you click on the “show options” link, you will get the following window:
As you can see, you have the option to choose how often you want to receive these alerts. We recommend choosing once a week maximum because if you choose once a day or as-it-happens, you will quickly get flooded with messages and you will end up not even paying attention to them anymore.
Drive traffic to your site by commenting on articles/posts
This method is well known to SEO specialists and still very effective for boosting traffic to your website. Commenting on posts about your industry will help you generate traffic to your site and increase your visibility. In order to maximize your visibility, you have to make sure that you are one of the first to leave a comment because the first comments are obviously more widely read than the last ones. To do this, you need to be notified when they are published since you probably don’t have time to browse the entire web every day. Once again, Google Alerts will do the work for you. If you return to the options section of the tool, you can see that you have the option of sorting your results by sources:
The tool can be configured according to the type of content you want to comment on (articles, videos, news, etc.). If you don’t have a preference or don’t know what to choose, leave it on “automatic”.
A quick clarification before you start commenting on everything you read. Although the goal is to increase your visibility and generate traffic to your website, we suggest playing the game and making sure you provide added value by leaving a constructive comment. Comments like “great article! Come and see my site www.ineedtraffic.com” don’t bring any added value and the moderators of the sites/forums will quickly find you out. They might not approve of your comment and you might find yourself on their radar.
Free advertising with guest articles
A guest article is an article that you publish on a site other than your own in order to promote yourself to its audience. This is a “win-win” exchange because on the one hand you offer an article for free that may interest the audience of the targeted site and on the other hand you increase your visibility among a wider audience. When submitting a guest article, remember to include a link to your site (ideally an article from your blog that illustrates one of the themes covered in the submitted text). This will help you improve your domain authority and therefore your SEO.
Here are some examples of terms you can include in your alerts to find websites that accept guest articles:
“Write for us”
“Become a contributor”
“Become an author”
These terms are posted on websites looking for people to contribute to the growth of their blog. If you think you have found the brilliant idea to publish on as many sites as possible with as little effort as possible, we would like to stress that the content you offer must be unique. This means that if you submit a guest article to one blog, you cannot submit it to another blog at the same time. Google is capable of identifying duplicate content, so you will penalize the second site that uploads your content and if the owner realizes it, good luck publishing new articles on their site. You should therefore play the game properly by writing unique and quality articles.
Monitor your online reputation
Needless to say, it is very important these days to check your online reputation so that you can react when someone talks about you. Whether you want to promote your services or, conversely, monitor those who are trying to harm you, it is in your best interest to stay informed of who publishes content about you. A bad review left on a forum can quickly make you lose some of your reputation. You therefore need to respond quickly and put out the fire. Also, a link to your site from a spam site can harm your SEO. If you find one, make sure to disavow it with Google.
On a more positive note, you can also set an alert to find out who shares your content, links to your site or comments on your posts. When you interact on sites that speak positively of you, it strengthens your social capital and encourages your “ambassadors/fans/admirers” to keep advertising you for free 😊
We hope you enjoyed this article and that it teaches you a great deal about what is being said about your company and your competitors. Once again, try to offer quality content both on your site and on other sites and you will be rewarded by both Google and Internet users. We are fortunate enough to have access to the world’s largest database (the Internet) and have the opportunity to contribute to it. This article is one more contribution that we are happy to share with you.
Please contact us if you want support for your SEO or content writing strategy.