I spoke in early August to a group of business valuation professionals on the topic of professional services marketing. I offer tips and strategies to help their marketing efforts be more productive.
I always include Google Alerts as part of my presentation and am always surprised by how few people know it exists. In this particular group, only two professionals there where familiar with Google Alerts.
So,what is Google Alerts? From Google's website:
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
Enter the topic you wish to monitor, then click preview to see the type of results you'll receive. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
- monitoring a developing news story
- keeping current on a competitor or industry
- getting the latest on a celebrity or event
- keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
In a nutshell, using Google Alerts allows you to monitor the web (including blogs, news sources, discussions, and video) for information important to you by providing Google with search terms and telling it how often it is to search and return the results. Once Google searches per your instructions, it returns the results in an e-mail to you. This graphic might make it easier to understand:
As the CMO of Mercer Capital, I use Google Alerts to monitor activities of competitors and key clients, to check to see who is writing about us and/or our key professionals and what they are saying, and to locate possible business opportunities connected with strategic service lines.
I know of an appraiser who has great expertise in a well-defined industry niche and he uses Google Alerts to stay current on the activities in that niche. I know of another who has a product to sell and he uses Google Alerts to track what is being said about his product and by whom.
There are certainly other uses. If you're not using Google Alerts, think about how it might benefit you and then give it a try. It is free. Caution - start slow. Enter 1 - 3 search terms in the beginning and see what results it provides. Refine those search terms as you proceed to get better quality search results. Good luck!