Google has a really handy service called Google Alerts. Using this service, you can have Google automatically email you whenever it indexes new results for whatever search terms you select.
For example, Google tells me any time my name, Wendy Gauntt, shows up online. I’ve even programmed in a common misspelling, Wendy Gaunt, to be sure I don’t miss anything. I’ve done the same with my company name, CIO Services.
So how can you use Google alerts to give your business an informational advantage?
- Find out when someone is talking about you or your company
- Track information on your vendors and new products you may wish to sell
- Watch for important changes at key prospects that might impact their willingness to buy from you
- Monitor major customer accounts so that you know what’s going on in their businesses
- Keep an eye on your competitors
- Catch upcoming industry changes
To get started, go to Google Alerts, type in a search phrase, select type (“comprehensive” will get everything), and pick whether you want updates daily, weekly, or as they happen. It’s that easy.
If the results aren’t what you’d hoped, you may need to refine your search. For example, when I searched on CIO Services, I got a lot of articles about CIOs. By putting quotes around the phrase “CIO Services,” I now get much more precise results. Here’s Google’s Advanced Search Cheat Sheet for more suggestions on how to refine your search.