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How to Set a Google Alert : Tips and Benefits

Kate Williams

9 April 2024

8 min read

Want to monitor your company’s online presence? Want to get the latest news about your industry? Well, the simple solution is Google Alerts. Google Alerts is one of the best web monitoring tools that millions of marketers swear by.

In a digital world full of expensive monitoring services, Google Alerts is free and requires minimal efforts to use it. But, the surprising fact is still many B2B businesses, marketers and Salespeople are missing out on the benefits of Google Alerts. The reason could be unfamiliarity with the effectiveness of Google alerts, or simply they don’t know how to use it.

If this sounds like you or your company, then here we’ve explained how to set Google Alerts smoothly and get all the essential information straight into your mailbox.

But before diving into the article, let’s take a glance at what Google Alerts is.

What is Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a tracking tool or service that sends all the relevant information about any search term via email. Google created this free monitoring tool that collects news, new trends, and blog posts related to keywords set by the users.

Google Alerts is an excellent tool for monitoring brand position. With the help of Google Alerts, you can track your business competitors, and listen to what others are discussing about your brands in the industry.

The best thing about it is you can create up to 1,000 Google Alerts. That’s enough information, isn’t it? You can be an entrepreneur, CEO, marketer, or freelancer Google Alerts is beneficial for all. Google Alerts is free of cost, all you need is a Gmail account, and you are good to go!

So, now you know what Google Alerts is. Without further ado, I’ll show you how to create a Google Alert in easy steps.

How to Set a Google Alert

Follow these steps and setting Google alerts will be a piece of cake!

  • Go to the Google Alerts page, here you can manage new alerts according to your preferences. Once you open the Google Alerts site, simply Sign In using your Google Account.
  • Type your keywords or the topic you want to search in the “Create an alert about…”, search box at the top.
  • Select the edit button (pencil icon next to the alert) if you want to customize your alerts.
  • Select the Show Options button and make changes according to your own choice.
  • Finally, select the Update Alert option and you’re all set to get alerts on your inbox.

How to Edit Google Alerts?

It’s natural to make mistakes, and it can happen while setting Google alerts. Here’s how you can undo a mistake or edit an existing alert:

  • Open Google Alerts Site.
  • Select the Edit button (pencil icon).
  • Click on the Show Options button.

Here’s a quick guide of each of these editing options:

How Often: You can select how frequently you want to receive the alerts in your inbox. You can choose from three options like ‘Once a day’, ‘Once a week’, or ‘As it happens’.

Sources: Google will ask your preference for news sources. You can select from various options like blogs, news, videos, discussion, books, and much more. If you are confused about what to choose, leave it on Google, and select the Automatic option.

Language: Select your language preference.

Region: Google will bring you alerts from all around the world. You can select a specific area or any region to get valuable information.

How many: In this option, you can edit whether you want only the best results or all the results in your mail.

Deliver to: Here you can select or change the email address for your Google Alerts.

Once you are all done with all the customization, select the Update Alert button.

How You Can Delete a Google Alert

If you want to delete a specific keyword, you can easily remove it from your Google Alerts. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open Google Alerts page.
  • Click on the Delete button that appears right next to the alert you want to delete.
  • Also, you can unsubscribe from an alert email to delete it from the mail.

Keep reading to know the benefits of using Google alerts and discover some awesome hacks!

How Google Alerts Can Help You

Google Alerts comes with loads of advantages for marketers, social media experts, business owners, and even freelancers. It will be unfair to consider Google Alerts as just a tracking tool; it’s much more than that.

1. Keep an Eye on Your Business Reviews and Mentions

If you want to sell your products online or want to know what others are talking about your company, you can use Google Alerts. You can add Google Alert for your company or product to get notifications about their online presence. You’ll get real-time information about your products with the help of Google Alerts.

Also, you can track leaders, authors, CEO, or colleagues from your industry to get their valuable insights. Google Alerts will help you to connect with them and network with them effectively.

You can also add alerts to get customer reviews. It’s crucial to know what your customers are talking about your brand online. Customers can share their good and bad experiences with your business products, and you can read their feedback easily and improve your products accordingly.

For example, if you are looking for negative feedback for your business or products, you can add your business name and a specific keyword to get alerts.

  • “Your Brand” + worst
  • “Your Product” + broken

2. Find Unique Blog Topic Ideas

One of the best ways to get unique ideas is to set a google alert. It shows you what others are writing on your niche specific keywords. You can use the alerts to find new angles and ideas to create unique content.

For example, let’s say you have a blog about the latest gadgets and you want to find new ideas somewhere in mercury news to write about it. This is where Google Alerts can help you. If you add alerts related to Tech and Gadgets, you’ll get the latest news, trends, about these specific keywords. You can use this news in your content to make them stand out from the rest.

3. Track Your Top Customers

You can know who are your top customers with the help of Google Alerts to get more business opportunities. Various companies have a massive customer list, and they can track the top 1-5% by setting alerts.

You can keep yourself updated with the customers or companies you want to do business. You can create a list of your top customers, keywords, and competitors. It will help you to get more information on what they like, and what they are talking about. For instance, you can use search terms like: “Your customer name” + news, “Your customer name” + reviews.

Targeting and understanding your top customers will offer you new opportunities to get more sales and additional revenue.

4. Follow Your Business Competitors

Google alerts are worthy enough of tracking business competitors to help you stay one step ahead of them. You can get alerts about what your competitors are doing to stay updated and remain on the top.

Here’s a quick tip, SEO blogger Matthew Woodward uses five different keywords to track his business competitors.

  • Site: (Your competitors URL)
  • Name: (Competitors name)
  • “I think” (Competitor name)
  • “This guest post by” ( competitor name)
  • “Has anyone tried” (competitor name)

5. You can Track all the Local content

With the help of Google alerts, you can set up alerts to track local news and content. You can connect with local businesses and people quickly. You can set the alerts according to your industry.

Here’s how you can set the alerts:

  • Location: (Your Location)
  • (Your keyword) + Location
  • News + location
  • Brand name + location

6. Google Alerts is Helpful to Stop Piracy

Several businesses face piracy problems while selling intellectual property online. If you are one of them who sells products like software, eBooks, plugins, then you may face the problem too.

Google Alerts is very handy to monitor if any of your product has been stolen or not. Set alerts for your brands to check if any website pirated your property or not.

7. Get Everything in Real-Time

Google Alerts will deliver you the information in real-time. Google Alerts monitoring tool will allow you to set the alert frequency according to your own choice.

You can choose the ‘as-it-happens’ option to get the notification as soon as your company’s name get mentioned online. Also, you can select between once per day or once per week option to receive information.

8. Get Product Ideas

With Google Alerts you can track the latest trends and products in the marketplace. You can get unique ideas from the information and renovate your own products. For example, if you own a car store, track “sports car”, “micro car”, “sedan car”, and so on. Thus, you can get an idea about the latest trends in your business.

Tips and Hacks to Fully Leverage the Advantages of Google Alerts

Now you know how to set Google Alerts and how to get benefits from it. However, you can use some hacks to leverage the benefits of Google Alerts fully. Scroll down to find out some proven Google Alerts tips to use it more efficiently.

#1 Try to use quotations around your search term to get the best result out of millions of results. This way, Google will understand what you want to track more effectively.

#2 Google alerts allow you to make up to 1,000 alerts and create multiple alerts in different variations of your search terms.

#3 You can easily exclude a phrase by using a hyphen (-) in front of your search term. For example, adding -“Digital Marketing” in the search box will exclude results that include the phrase digital marketing. Similarly, a tide (~) sign will give you synonyms and similar findings related to your search terms.

#4 You can create alerts for specific domains with the help of Google Alerts. All you need to do is type the site URL you want to search and your preferred keyword. For instance, + survey. This will help you to monitor all the results related to surveys from SurveySparrow’s website.

#5 Don’t overdo the alerts, adding too many alerts can spam your inbox. Try to create 5-10 alerts per account at the initial stage of using it. Once you are well aware of all the ins and outs of Google Alerts, you can add more alerts into your list.

#6 Generic or common keywords can spam you with multiple emails. If you create a Google Alert on Digital Marketing, you’ll get all the mentions on Google related to digital marketing. Try to create more niche-specific alerts to avoid spam. If you are looking for social media marketing tips, then add Social Media Marketing + tips in the search box.

#7 If you have an RSS feed, you can send the alerts in there instead of your email. This will also keep your mail inbox free from getting crowded with information.

#8 You can set up an alert for your brand or company’s name or your own name. Whenever anyone mentions you or your company name in online comment or review, you will get notifications.

#9 Also, you can prevent negative SEO by setting a Google alert to identify it. Use spam terms along with your company name, company’s web address to avoid negative SEO attacks.

#10 Combine keywords to get more precise and interesting search results into your inbox. For instance “Blogging” + tips, “Blogging” + ideas, etc.

#11 If you don’t get the expected result from a certain keyword, don’t be disheartened. Use trial & error methods and use different keywords to find which one gives you better results.

#12 You can prevent spam by choosing “Only the best results” option instead of selecting “All results”. All results provide information from low-quality sites, so it’s better to get the best results.

#13 Finally, filter your email or create a folder for Google Alerts. Direct all your information into this specific folder to declutter your inbox.

What You Can’t Expect from Google Alerts

Google Alerts is an amazing tool to track your business and get valuable information. But, it comes with its own limits. There are a few things you can’t expect from Google Alerts:

Analytics or Reports: Google Alerts will not give you any analytics. It will help you to track whenever your brand name gets mentioned online. But, it’s unable to show you how often your brand has been mentioned online.

Social Media Results: Google Alerts is not ideal for monitoring social media results. You’ll have to use different social listening tools to track the results.

Google Alerts is a simple, user-friendly tool. Maybe it’s not good with numbers or social media results; still, it will show you what you’re looking for most adequately.

Wrapping Up

Google Alerts is one of the most powerful monitoring tools out there. If you are not leveraging its features, you’ll miss out on several opportunities for your brand. Google Alerts will serve you with vital information to stay ahead in your business game.

Google Alerts offers you a lot for a free tool. From thousands of information, brand and competitor monitoring, to new trends and news, Google Alerts has got your back. If you don’t use this popular tool, then relax, it’s never too late to start something new!


Kate Williams

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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