The Internet is full of opportunities to brand yourself, your products, and your company.  Your website, blog, social media pages, and the content on your website all work to help you be found and to be recognized as an industry leader.  The bigger your brand is, the more chatter there is out there about you.  The question is how do you keep track of it all to make sure that your brand is being portrayed accurately?

The answer is Google Alerts, a small, yet powerful free tool that will help you monitor your brand.  Google Alerts is a free tool that is easy to set up and monitor.  Because Google sends these alerts to your Inbox, you don’t have to search for your brand daily.  Once set up, you can use Google alert to monitor anything on the web, particularly your brand.  All you have to do to get started is to type in www.google.com/alerts into your browsers address bar and press ”ENTER”.

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Here’s how:

  1.  Enter your brand name in the Search Query Box
  2. In the Result type pull down menu select from the following options:
    1. Everything
    2. News
    3. Blogs
    4. Videos
    5. Discussions
    6. Books

The default is “Everything”, and selecting this option will give you the best brand monitoring.

  1.  Select how often you’d like to see your emailed results.  After researching this tool, we determined that once a week is the best option for brand monitoring.
  2. Select how many results you’d like to see.
    1. Only the best results
    2. All results
    3.  Type in an email you’d like to have these alerts sent to and then create alert.

Practical Applications

Trademark Protection — Creating alerts will help you to monitor your brand and to see who’s talking about you on the web.  A very practical application for this tool is trademark infringement.  If someone is using your brand incorrectly, these alerts will make you aware of the situation so that you can take action.

Social Listening – Each time your brand is use socially, you’ll be able to monitor what others are saying about you.  Being able to take care of a less-than-favorable review on a local directory website can turn an unhappy customer into a happy one.  And, finding where happy customers hang out on the web can give you new places to market your brand.

Keyword Monitoring – Have a unique product that has a one-of-a-kind name that you want to monitor?  Creating a Google Alert for your product keep you aware of what others are saying about this branded product.  Again, this presents an opportunity to see what others are saying about your products and to find where like-minded people who use your products spend their time on the web.

Once you’ve started creating Google Alerts, you will find that there are many applications for this tool.  Because they are so easy to set up and manage, you’ll wonder why you didn’t set them up sooner.