Google Alerts = Automated Research
A lot of business people ask me to divulge which tools I use to research their competitors and how I come up with ideas for website promotion. Although I am not quite ready to give away all my secrets let me share one that every business person should be using, Google Alerts. You can find it at https://www.google.com/alerts and use the alerts by simply entering your text in the text box. I create alerts for my clients competition or field of business and then notify the client when something news worthy comes through the system.
Google will notify you by email whenever your alert is triggered. This is handy because you can automate much of your research and have it available in your inbox. From your inbox you can examine the alert, read the article, decide whether to notify the client or not. Such is received by the client as your “web design” company staying on top of their Internet business and protecting their market.
Even if the alert is of no interest it is worth knowing about because you get to decide whether or not to forward the information or keep it to use for your company’s benefit, such as recruiting a new client, replacing a non-responsive client, or updating a clients website. I use Google Alerts to monitor news in my home town of Havre de Grace as well, stay on top of my competitors, and other worthy web designer news stories.
Put this free tool in your arsenal and keep on top of what your competitors are doing. It only takes a minute to set up an alert and another minute to filter out the useful from the useless. Regardless of how you use the alerts it will pay off in the long run.