Word of mouth has long since been a key tool in marketing for businesses however it has often proved the downfall for many.

Negative reviews and comments about your business can spread with alarming speed, quickly putting off potential customers. However, Google provides a free service that enables you to monitor what is being said about your brand online. Of course it is always advisable to employ a professional to take care of your general online reputation management, however it is possible for businesses to manage and protect their reputation efficiently.

The use of services such as Google Alerts, your business is able to set a specific search criteria or keywords, then you can monitor when these keywords are mentioned in blogs, videos and other sites on the web. Google alerts will notify you when a keyword/company name or brand name are mentioned, furthermore you are able to modify the notifications in order to filter the results so that you don’t have to search through copious amounts of data but just receive the important information.

One of the most important steps when creating the Google Alerts account is using the correct key words, although this may seem a simple task there must be plenty of research involved with this step. If the wrong keyword is chosen then it will not only give a true reflection of how your brand is perceived on the internet, but also it means that the whole Google Alerts service is close to pointless. However if you chose the correct keyword then you will be able to gain a clear indication of how often people mention your business.

The alerts can be sent to you in two different ways, the alerts can be sent to a desired email account. However you can also have the results sent to an RSS feed, by having them sent to your email account it means that the alerts are easily manageable and therefore means you can use your information better.

Beyond this you are then able to control when you receive the updates, for smaller businesses receiving alerts daily may be too much, therefore you can change it so you receive the updates every 2-3 days. However if you are a larger organisation and you have a high volume of alerts back, then you are able to change it in order to give you only the best results. By doing this you are able to save time and effort collecting and analysing the data.

As you can see there are plenty of benefits that come with having a Google Alerts account, and in a time where it’s important to keep an immaculate online reputation, Google offers businesses and individuals perfect tools to do so.

Next Article Why you should use Reputation Management August 14, 2012