Google Alerts is a powerful – and free – tool that can help you in all kinds of ways. You can use it to track mentions of your company, stay current on promo industry trends, track your competitors and so much more. Whether you run your own promo biz or work for a larger company, you can reap the benefits of Google Alerts.

Megan Hansel, the inbound marketing specialist for Weidert Group, says even though it’s easy to set up Google Alerts, many business owners and salespeople don’t know how to get started or how to leverage the tool. (By the way, here’s how to create Google Alerts).

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we highlight her thoughts on five of the most impactful ways to make the most of Google Alerts.

1. Monitor your content. You likely already know that your online content is one of the best ways to be found in organic search. How do you know when your newly published content has been indexed by Google’s search bots? By setting up Google Alerts for your company.

2. Keep your finger on the pulse of key conversations. Setting up Google Alerts also allows you to engage in social monitoring and listening. You already invest the time and effort into social media, so make sure you’re listening. Otherwise, it’s not a full conversation, Hansel says. Through Google Alerts, you can know when your business, key personnel, competitors or products get mentioned. This can help you stay in the loop on important conversations.

3. Build links. If you already blog for your promo business, Google Alerts can help you track the titles of your various blog posts. This lets you know which sites are linking back to your content and which organizations are helping you generate website traffic, Hansel says.

4. Keyword monitoring. Try setting up Google Alerts for “promotional products” or another important keyword query. Hansel says this can help you track keyword evolution as well as secondary and related keywords, You might also discover new markets or niches that could present intriguing business opportunities.

5. Content ideation. Not sure what to blog about or post on social media? Google Alerts can bring you a practically endless stream of relevant content ideas. For example, Hansel says you may receive an alert about industry news that could spark an idea for a blog post or social media post.

With Google Alerts, you have an indispensable tool right at your fingertips. Whether you use it to track your customers or competitors, or you use it to get content ideas or monitor keywords, make sure you’re leveraging all its features.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Megan Hansel is the inbound marketing specialist for Weidert Group. She has experience across a broad range of marketing functions for employers in healthcare, B2B industry and finance.