Alerts are essentially a reverse search engine retrieval process. A web user creates an alert focusing on a keyword or keyphrase, and as the web crawler finds instances of that keyword, a notification is sent. Most alert systems only create a notification if the finding is new or matches a preset condition created by the web user. This subscription service can be vital for marketing agencies, SEO professionals, PR companies and brand managers. Alerts can be created for both search results and social results–depending on the need.
Using alerts for marketing
- Brand keywords – For brand managers, you should set up an alert to discover instances of brand mentions for both search content and social mentions. This can help a brand manager police trademark usage and discover new partnerships or mentions in media or online. This could include your brand name, misspellings of your brand, social handles and hash tags relevant to your brand.
- Market trends – Alerts can help a marketer receive fast updates on latest news or trends–allowing for quicker response. Also, you can identify hot questions or frustrations in the market, which can drive innovation or brand improvements.
- Research & idea generation – Alerts are a fantastic way to get new ideas for a particular topic or subject matter. This can be vital to any PR process. If you are focusing on an industry or vertical, consider setting up alerts for a particular subject to gain insight into content produced for that subject. Additionally consider a social alert, to better understand how online communities react to these subjects and content.
- High-competition keywords – Create alerts for search competitors and keywords that you wish to rank for. This research will help give you a pulse of new trends, hot topics and great content in the field. This could include industry keywords, conferences, events, Hash tags, News/breaking stories or even thought-leaders’ names.
- Monitor brand names, product names and your own name for search and social.
- Social and press mentions – For digital marketing, alerts are critical tools for understanding the impact of thought-leadership, content strategy, exposure and outreach. Look for mentions of brand names, websites or trade symbols online.
- Google Alerts
- Alerts via RSS feed (configure a keyword alert within an RSS reader)
- “Social Mention” application
- Google Analytics (social tab)
- MOZ fresh web explorer (paid service)