3 ways ‘Google Alerts’ can help your SEO efforts

Google Alerts is a fantastic little tool which all SEOers and webmasters can use to find new opportunities to drive SEO efforts forward.

Wikipedia defines Google Alerts as follows:

“Google Alerts is content change detection and notification service, offered by the search engine company Google, that automatically notifies users when new content from news, web, blogs, video and/or discussion groups matches a set of search terms selected by the user and stored by the Google Alerts service.”

Below I’ve listed 3 areas when Google Alerts may come in handy and present you with invaluable data:

1. Competitor Analysis

This can be a great way to ‘track how’ and ‘learn what’ your competitors are doing in terms of link building, social media and PR coverage. As I’ve mentioned before, copying what your competitors do isn’t advised, this method is designed to give you ideas how to push your own site forward.

2. Website Mentions

From a social media point-of-view, Google Alerts can do a great job as a simple tool. From an SEO perspective, if your website is mentioned on a forum, blog or another website, you may want to visit these websites and thank the webmaster, blogger or person that mentioned you – this can be a great way to build relationships with like minded web people.

3. Backlink Opportunities

If you track certain keywords which are relevant to your business, you may find new opportunities where you can post a well structured or helpful response. Let’s say you run a pet company, one of your keywords might be dog collars; setup an alert for the phrase ‘dog collars’. From there, visit the site and see if you can leave a response, this may result in a really good and relevant backlink and best case scenario would be you make a sale from it.

and finally…

Here are a few suggested areas you may want to setup using Google Alerts:

  • Your name
  • Company name
  • Domain name
  • Primary keywords
  • Secondary keywords
  • Competitors names

Do you use ‘Google Alerts’ in a different way? Please leave your comments below.

(Flickr: Image Credit: Robert Scoble on Flickr - CC Licensed)

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