Google’s Alert Tool is a tool that confuses many photographers? Google’s official description is that “Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.), based on your queries.” But did you know that Google’s alert tool can improve your photography SEO?
“But wait, it just alerts me to new content on the web, so what?”
Well it also tells you when one of your keywords appears in Google’s search index!
“Why do I need to know that?”
There are a number of very important reasons why to use the Google Alert Tools and in this article we will explore most of them.
Google Alert Tool Reason #1 – Brand Protection
Your brand is the heart and soul of your business and needs to be protected. You need to know whenever your brand is discussed, possibly in an online review, or when another potential competitor may adopt a similar brand name.
If you put a few combinations of your company name, your own name and your website address in Google’s Alert Tool, you will receive an alert every time a mention of you or your company appears in Google’s search index. Of course in many cases the alert may just be a meaningless article about someone with the exact same name as you – but it could also alert you when a rogue competitor mentions you disparagingly in an open forum that your clients might read.
So today, go and create a Google Alert for the following:-
- Your Company Name
- An alternative and commonly used misspelling of your name
- Your own name and again a mis-spelling
- Your website address with and without the www.
- A misspelling of your website name
Google Alert Reason #2 – Competitor Analysis
I highly recommend that you should also create Google Alerts for every single one of your targeted keywords, and any Long Tail (LSI) keywords you also target. Then, every time a new reference to that keyword appears in the search results, you can see who else might be targeting those keywords and get an instant update on what your competitors are also doing in your marketplace – this is an important part of market research and ensures you have your finger on the pulse on what’s happening in your market sector.
Google Alert Reason #3 – Measure the effectiveness of your own Photography Website’s Search Engine Optimisation
Having entered all your keywords in step 2, there is a major side-effect of this – you can find out if Google has indexed your page under your targeted keyword and also how quickly.
Here’s how it works:- you will write your blog post and publish it on your site. If you’ve done your on-site optimisation properly, you should receive an alert email from Google stating your blog post has appeared in the search results under your target keyword. Of course in many case, particularly if you are new to SEO you may not get an alert at all (meaning that it hasn’t appeared in the index under ANY of your target keywords) OR you may get an alert stating that it has appeared in the index but not under the keyword you intended (most often it might even just appear under your company name).
Through time you will start to get a good feel for what works and what doesn’t in terms of getting keywords ranked and this will improve your SEO skills through time.
“How quickly will my alerts appear?”
This all depends on how often your site is updated and what tools you use to get your pages indexed quickly – but you can get emails within a couple of hours, but it may even be a couple of days. If you add your posts to Google Plus it can definitely help get your site indexed quicker.
So there you have it three key reasons why you should use Google’s Keyword Tracker: Brand Protection; Competitor Analysis and Measuring your SEO effectiveness – ergo improving your on-site SEO in the process. Now go set up your alerts…