Friends, we’ve talked about how important blogging is for your SEO. Google sees it as you updating your site, it gives your readers something amazing to read, and gives your site more content that can get found well on SEO. Win, Win, Win!
Blogging is is your SEO secret weapon and we highly recommend you do it consistently. The trouble is it can be difficult to come up with great content week after week!
Enter Google Alerts, a useful tool that, when setup properly, will send ideas to your inbox.
Have you ever set up Google Alerts for your name or business name?
Google Alerts is a great way to find out when people are singing your praises on the web but they forget to link back to you, thus leaving you out of the loop. You would totally want to hear that kind of thing, right? We think so too, which is why we have it set up for our business and name. But, did you know that’s only the beginning of all the great things Google alerts can do for you?
Best of all: it’s easy, fast, and free. Bam.
We set up alerts for the keywords that we are targeting for each client. If someone else mentions “seo audit” for example, I want to to know who they are, what they are writing and where it is getting posted! For my clients, this is a great way to get ideas for editorial calendars and building links!
How to set up Google Alerts:
- Go to Google.com/alerts
- Enter in the name of what you’d like to track
- Adjust settings to your preferences
- Set your email address
- Click ‘Create Alert’
That’s it! You’ll only get emailed when ever Google gets a match, so you know that you’re only getting the good stuff and not spam.
Now that you have that all setup, here are a few creative ways to use Google Alerts for a steady stream of blogging topics.
1. Set it up for all possible misspellings of your name.
“But Meg, that’s not really a blogging topic….”
Not on the surface, but it may clue you into a what about you or your business inspires people! They might be talking about you without you even realizing it, just due to a silly misspelling!
Let’s say you discover that someone is writing a blog post about some beautiful photos you took recently and are saying they want their next engagement session to be like that. From here you could write about:
- How to photograph in challenging locations, like a busy street
- How to photograph children and pets
Or maybe you’re a web designer and someone recently wrote about a gorgeous site or branding you just did. This might give you inspiration to write about:
- A case study on your process for this particular client
- Your color inspiration, plus publishing boards
- Your process for learning about clients’ big goals + dreams
- The best way to communicate with a designer for a dream website
Also, if someone is mentioning you, get in touch! Ask to repost their article, if it’s appropriate. You might be starting a great business relationship!
PRO TIP: Do you own the domains and email addresses for common misspellings of your name? If not, you should! Go ahead and snatch those up if you can, and redirect them to your site/primary email account.
2. Set-up Google Alerts for your Product Names
This is a GREAT way to find out which products of yours are most popular and how people use them. If people are talking about your products you could:
- Ask them to do a guest blog about how they used your product (this is a win all around: you get great marketing material, a ‘by week’ from writing for your blog, and you both get SEO boosting links. Consider giving them a discount code for writing.
- Perhaps you discover that people have some misunderstandings or questions about your products. Bingo! You can write a post, or even a whole series, addressing those. Your clients will feel like you got in their head (in a good way)!
- If enough people are compelled to write about your services or product, perhaps it’s time to consider affiliate marketing or a referral program.
3. Set-up alerts for competitors or people you admire in your industry.
Proceed with caution on this one: Comparison drain is SO real, and if this one is going to mess with your head more than help you, ignore it.
- This can help you know what people you admire in your industry are up to. If you’re an illustrator or stationer, perhaps you want to follow Anna Rifle Bond so you never miss an interview she does and always see her latest collections. Or if you’re a photographer, perhaps you want to follow Jose Villa to see where he gets featured and follow those same publications.
- This can also tell you what’s trendy in your industry. If a lot of people in your industry are going to National Stationery Show, a photography workshop, or NYNow, perhaps you write a how-to post on getting the most out of these events.
- You’ll also see how your dream clients and collaborators talk about your competition. What do other people admire about them? What’s working well for them? Is there anything you can adapt that’s true to you and your brand? (Again, only do this if it doesn’t mess with your head too much; comparison fatigue isn’t worth whatever you may learn from this method).
4. Study and Follow Trends in Your Industry
This is a great way to get curated content sent straight to you. If you’re a food blogger, perhaps you set up a google alert for a technique you love like vegan cooking, pastry chefs, or sous vide. You’ll find out what’s current and can write about your take on the trends. Ta-da! And perhaps even get featured in these publications by sending them your content that you already know they like.
If you’re a wedding planner, perhaps you set an alert for “Wedding Trends 2017” to share with your brides, keep you on top of your creativity game, and of course, to write about. And if you have an event with featuring a current trend, it’s a clue that you might be in a prime spot for a guest post or feature!
If you’re a creative entrepreneur, perhaps you want to set up an alert on something related to your industry, but specific to your niche within it. For example, a search on ‘creative entrepreneur’ gives me a few results on what’s important within this broad genre right now.
If you’re a web developer, you might set up a google alert for “Best WordPress Plugins 2017” to see how people are creatively using plugins, or if you’re a designer “color trends 2017” might be good for you to
5. Set up Google Alerts tailored to your Ideal Client:
Think about your ideal client…who is she? A working mom? A small business owner? A coach, a photographer? College students?
Use the formula below to get great alerts customized for your ideal demographic:
“Your industry/main kind of offering” + “your ideal client”
I just set up an alert for “SEO Small Business” using this formula, and immediately got a list longer than I have time to get through of results about what my ideal client is struggling with. This is a quick and easy way to find the gold in the big mine of the internet to find out what your ideal client is struggling with.
Ok, friends! I hope this was useful to you! Which of these strategies are you going to set up for your business? What do you think will be helpful to you?
I’m off to follow my own advice and perfect my Google Alerts!