Whether you’re running a computer software company, a web design company, an online fitness resource or a Virtual Assistant business, to stay up-to-date you’ll want to stay on top of any relevant industry news as it happens.
The easiest and quickest way I’ve found to do this is by setting up Google Alerts.
Whilst it’s not perfect, it does give you a good insight into your own business reach, your competition, and what’s going on around you so you can use that information to evolve and grow as the industry does.
In a nutshell Google Alerts allows you to set up email alerts, for free, on anything relevant to your business or your competitors businesses, without having to trawl the internet for days. It’s quick, efficient and hugely beneficial.
Simply sign up to Google Alerts and enter the phrases or words that you wish receive information about.
You can choose what type of result you wish to see, how often you wish to receive them, whether you want to see all results or just the best ones, and finally where you want them to be displayed.
I tend to opt to receive them once a day and display them in the Google Reader ‘Feed’ otherwise it just clutters up my email account since I’ve so many alerts set up. It’s up to you how you’d want to do it, but you can play around with it to see what’s the most beneficial for your business needs.
Google Alerts will help you:
Find out when your business is mentioned online.
Set up alerts using your business name and any time it’s mentioned in the media an alert will be sent to you. This is a great way to find out what people are saying in real-time. Depending on what’s been said it gives you the opportunity to respond where you may not have known about it at all. This is particularly important if you operate a business where you’re selling consumer products. It helps to immediately respond to any problems, negative comments or reviews and fire fight what could perhaps become a damaging situation by alerting you to it in the first place.
Find out what your competitors are doing.
Set up alerts for your main competitors and see what they’re up to more easily. This can help you see when they’ve released a new product or extended their business offering and by keeping abreast of all their latest developments you can review your business strategy and adjust if needed.
Keep up to date with latest industry news.
Want to know what’s going on in your industry? Set up relevant alerts and get them sent direct to you daily. This can help you find out if something new has been launched in your field, or the latest statistic, consumer insight, news broadcast, etc as it happens.
Keep up to date with latest technology / software / social media trend.
Set up alerts for software, technology, social media news (if relevant to your industry and business) to get information on any new developments that may affect you, or may help your business, your customers or your clients.
Spark ideas for content or marketing materials.
Does your website need some fresh content? Do you want to write a new article for your blog? Not sure what type of marketing materials to create? Set up alerts that perhaps aren’t related to your business exactly, but instead are from a complimentary industry or field that could spark some new creative ideas.
Understand what your clients / customers want.
Lastly I think Google Alerts is a great way to find out what potential customers and / or clients want. Set up an alert to forums, business websites, industry associations to hear what people are struggling with, what their needs are, and act on it (if it’s a need you can assist with). This is a fantastic way to expand your business and achieve more revenue.
If you want to save time, add value, and help grow your business, sign up to Google Alerts to take advantage of this powerful free tool.