Google Alerts can be an extremely powerful, FREE, tool to use in any of your marketing or SEO efforts. What Google Alerts does is send you emails when there is new content available online for particular search terms.
Why is this important?
Because it will help you not only stay current on those topics that are relevant to your industry, but it will also increase the number of back-links to your website which is the backbone for any SEO efforts.
Here’s how to set them up:
- Go to http://www.google.com/alerts and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t already have a Google account, please go ahead and sign up for one.
- After logging in, please click on the button, “create new alert”. If you already have alerts created, you will see these listed before this button.
- At the top, in the area that looks like a search field, add your keyword or phrase. You will want to use phrases that are highly relevant to your business. For example, if you offer wedding photography services in the Boston area, Boston Wedding Photographer might be a good phrase, or you could go even more general with Photographer in Boston.
- On Type, select ‘Everything”. We’re mainly interested in only News, Blogs, and Discussions, but by selecting Everything we can just set up the alert once and receive one email for the search terms.
- For How Often, select ‘Once a Day’. It’s important for you to review the results while they are still fresh and recent.
- For Volume, select ‘All Results’. You never know what Google might find for you, so it’s certainly better to simply disregard irrelevant results.
- Select the email address you would like the results sent to under Deliver To. You will want to make sure this is an email account you regularly check. (If you want to have the emails sent to a different address than what is available in the drop down select, either forward your G-mail address, or add another email to your Google account.
- Click ‘Create Alert’.
- Repeat for a variety of search terms.
And that’s it! But, now that you have these alerts coming to your email, what are you supposed to do with them? That part is easy, too! You will want to scan these results daily, looking for forum discussions, blog posts, and news articles — and then you participate in the discussions. When adding your comment, make sure you’re also adding your URL in the appropriate area to get that back-link to your site.
Adding this to your daily regimen will help to continually create back links to your site, increase your website traffic (those intrigued in what you have to say will want to visit your site to learn more), and help you be discovered by your target markets.
Note of Caution: Make sure you’re adding value or insight to the conversations you’re participating in. Spammy comments will not only make you look bad, but they will most likely be deleted.