How do you keep up with the tons of new content created everyday online? How do you know who is mentioning you in blog posts, who is talking about competitors, and what news stories affect your business? You don’t. Instead, you have an assistant perform daily searches, then present you with the most relevant items.
Of course, the assistant doesn’t have to be a person. It can be a search bot. Google Alerts have long been the standard search monitoring tool, but many people have noticed longer lag times and other issues. I’m still using Google Alerts, but I started looking for a complementary tool to use alongside it.
The best search monitoring tool I found is TalkWalker Alerts. TalkWalker sells social media monitoring services, but they also offer free search alerts. It’s easy to enter your keywords, choose what type of results, how often, and enter your email address. You can also click the “preview” link to see what results your search produces. After that, the email alerts show up in your inbox. Simple.
What to use search alerts for
Now that you know some tools to bring you search alerts, what should you search for? Here are some ideas to get you started
- Your name
- Your brand name
- Any names you use online, include Twitter handles, etc.
- Your partners, collaborators or others you work with
- Your competitors
- Your clients or dream clients
- Subject keywords on any topic you want to monitor
- The name of your town
- The name of authors you respect in your industry
- Developments in your field, such as “new in 2014” or “new item” or even “new discovery”
The big gaping hole: Social
Neither Google Alerts nor TalkWalker Alerts bring you posts on social networks, and social networks like Twitter and Facebook are where a lot of discussion happens. One free tool that does a decent job bringing you social network posts is Social Mention. Right now, their email alerts are offline, so I’ll come back and write a bit more when (if?) they return.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.