This is my first article on how to use Google Alerts, and it will be a short tutorial on how to set up and start using it. Later, I’ll give you some advanced features on how to use Google Alerts for marketing purposes.
Even though you might never have used Google Alerts, and you’re completely new to this, you can start using it in 2 minutes or less. Well, that’s if you already have a Google account. If not, you should sign up for a Google account first. You can sign up for a Google account here, it’s completely free.
Google Alerts and why you should be using it
Google Alerts is probably the easiest way to track what people are writing about on the Internet. You can set up as many alerts as you want, on as many topics as you like. And it’s completely free.
For instance, you can use Google Alerts to track your keywords (I’m using Facebook marketing as an example) and see what other people are writing. You can track yourself, and see what other people are writing about you and your company. You can track your competition and see what people are writing about them and their products (you can learn a lot from this). You can even find customers, set up an alert for who sells (and the name of your product or keyword).
What I’m trying to say is this. You enter a search for whatever reason. Google Alerts checks regularly to see if there are new results for what you searched for. If there are new results, Google Alerts will send them to you in an email.
This is how you start using Google Alerts
Once you have a Google account, this is what you do to set up your first alert at Google Alerts. Remember, treat Google Alerts as if you are searching Google.
1. Visit Google Alerts
This is the url: http://google.com/alerts
2. Enter your search term
Search for whatever you are looking for. If you’re not familiar with how to search using Google, read Google search basics. I’m using Facebook Marketing as an example.
3. Type of search
Choose what type of search you’d like to perform. You can search everything, if you do, you’ll get an email with what’s written about your topic on news, blogs, updates on websites, and you’ll get videos featuring your topic and discussions where your topic is included. You can also choose if you only want the to get the information from one of the sources; news, blogs, updates, video or discussions.
How often do you want it?
There are three options to choose from. You can get the email as soon as Google recognizes the information. You can receive one email a day, with everything that happened during the day. Or you can receive one email a week.
How much do you want?
You can choose if you want Google to deliever only the best results (most relevant and what Google think is the best results) or they can deliver all the results. If you choose all the results, you can get a lot, it all depends on the query you are using.
How to deliver it
You can choose if you want it sent to your email (using Gmail) or get it as an RSS feed. If you want it as a feed, you can read the alerts in your feed reader. If you’re not using a feed reader, I recommend that you read how to start using Google Reader and how I read hundreds of blogs every day.
I always click on preview before I create the alert. This way I can see some of the results I’ll receive. If I don’t think it matches what I was looking for, I just edit the search, before I click on create alert.
Create the alert
Finally, all you need to do is click the button “create alert” and you’re done.
Set up your account at Google Alerts