In my post, I show you step by step how to create Google alerts. I also share with you some excellent Google alert tips to help you find opportunities to grow your online business.
You can use Google alerts to find new content ideas, spy on your competitors, look for link building opportunities, and help protect your digital products from theft.
How to set up a Google alert
It takes just a few seconds to create an alert.
First, go to Google.com/alerts.
Type a keyword into the box and look over the search result preview, is the information relevant? If so, click on ‘Show options’ and customize the search settings.
In the options, you can set how often you want to receive an alert, specify the source of the alert, the language, the country, and how many alerts you want to receive.
On the ‘How many’ option, I suggest you change this to ‘All results’.
Once you have selected your preferred settings, enter your email address, and click on ‘Create Alert’.
To get the best out of Google alerts, you need to use ‘Google search operators’, these are specific search parameters that ensure you get the information you require.
I’ll show you how to use search operators next.
Also, Google only notifies you about new content. Content already published won’t show in the results.
Blog content ideas
If you are struggling to find content ideas for your blog, you can use Google alerts to find questions people are asking about your blog topic.
Ideally, you want to find a forum that is specific to your blog content. For example, if you have a website that has tutorials about using WordPress, then the WordPress.org support forum is a goldmine.
If you can’t find a forum you like, or there isn’t much engagement, then I recommend Quora.com. People go to Quora to ask questions about everything.
To set up an alert for questions, choose your keyword phrase and the site you want to monitor.
For example, you have a site about SEO and want to know what questions people are asking about SEO tools on Quora.com.
To do this, we need to use Google search operators. Your Google alert set up will look like this.
SEO + TOOLS + site:quora.com
SEO+TOOLS – This is your focus keyword phrase.
Site: – This is the site you want Google to check.
The result preview for this search looks like this.
If the results are what you are looking for, open the ‘Show options’ tab to customize your search.
Once you have made your customizations, enter your email address and hit the ‘Create Alert’ link.
Guest posting opportunities
If you have a good number of posts on your blog and want to start working on getting backlinks to your site from authoritative sites, guest posting is an excellent method.
Guest posting is when you write an article for another website in return for a link back to your site.
Studies have shown that blog posts with incoming links from authoritative websites, tend to rank better than those that don’t.
As an example, I want to find websites that accept guest posts about SEO.
Again, you need to use Google search operators. Your alert Google alert set up will look like this.
SEO allintitle: “write for us”
SEO – This is your focus keyword.
Allintitle ” ” – Ensures Google only delivers search results that have this exact phrase.
This alert will scan for websites that have articles about SEO and also accept content by guest writers.
The results for this alert looks like this.
If the search preview is what you are looking for, customize the options, enter your email address, and select ‘Create alert’.
To receive alerts about recently published articles by guest writers, change your alert to this.
allintitle: SEO +”guest post by”
Another opportunity to get links for your site is to monitor for unlinked mentions. That is when a website has published an article about your brand or content on your website but does not include a clickable link to you.
If you find an article like this, you can contact the owner of the website and ask them to add a clickable link to your blog.
The search alert will include your brand or website name with an instruction to Google to not include your site name in the search.
For example, to create an alert for my site, Newblogr.com, I would write this.
The ‘-‘ instructs Google to not include my site, newblogr.com, in any searches.
As you can see from the alert preview, my site does not show on the list. I have a lot from YouTube, that is because I have a YouTube channel. To correct this, I can get Google to ignore YouTube.com.
My new alert looks like this.
“newblogr” -site:newblogr.com -site:youtube.com
Monitor competitor websites
If you want to know where your competitors are getting mentioned on the internet, you can set an alert for that.
For example, if you have a travel website, you will probably know about Nomadicmatt.com. To see what type of coverage he is getting, you can use this.
nomadic matt -site:nomadicmatt.com
This alert scans for content that talks about nomadic matt but does not include anything from his website. For your search, change the name and website details.
If you are interested in what type of content and how frequently your competitor publishes content, you can use this.
If you are about to launch or have launched a product on your website, set up an alert to check who is reviewing your competitor’s product.
Once you have a list of companies, contact them, and offer a discount or freebie to do a review for your product.
You would set up your alert like this.
“insert competitor product name here” allintitle: review
Let’s say the Macbook air is your competitor’s product. The alert would be this.
“Macbook air” allintitle: review
Theft of digital products
Once you release a course or PDF file on the internet, it is important to monitor theft. Even if your course or guide is free, you must protect your brand.
It is common on the internet for websites to offer freebies but the downloads have malware. You don’t want your digital product to be stolen or associated with bad practices like that.
To monitor for this, you set up an alert to include keywords associated with downloads.
Let’s say I have a course about SEO on my website. This course is called ‘SEO tips for beginners’. The alert would look like this.
newblogr + “SEO tips for beginners” + (download OR torrent) -site:newblogr.com
I have my brand name, my course title, keywords commonly used to access an online course, and instruction for Google to ignore my site in the search.
For a PDF document, your alert would look like this.
“SEO tips for beginners” (download OR free) filetype: PDF
I selected a random product from Amazon and set up an alert like this.
“The Sassy Way to Ranking #1 in Google” (download OR free) filetype: PDF
How to stop Google Alert emails
To stop receiving Google Alert emails, click on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link in the email address section.
In the popup, click on ‘Unsubscribe’ to confirm, and you won’t get any more emails.
Google Alerts is a powerful tool. You can receive daily emails with targeted information that best suits your business strategy.
There are alerts to help you get blog content ideas, find opportunities for link building, monitor your competitors, and help you protect your digital products from theft.
Setting up a Google alert takes just a few seconds. Once set up, check out the search result preview. If the results are relevant, customize the options, enter your email address, then click on ‘Create Alert’.
If you decide you want to stop a Google Alert, there is a link in each email you receive to ‘Unsubscribe’. Click on that link and the emails will stop.
Also, Google only sends you alerts on new content. To get the best results, you need to use Google search operators, this helps filter out information you don’t need.
Before you disappear to set up your first Google Alert, would you kindly spare one minute to leave me a comment? Did I help you with my post? What Google Alert are you going to set up first?
I look forward to reading your comments.
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