Knowing what’s being said on the internet about you, your company, or your product can provide valuable insight and feedback from the marketplace. How do companies manage to keep tabs on that sort of information? Google Alerts. Google Alerts allows you to “subscribe” to any information indexed by Google either weekly, daily, or as it happens.
You should at least have alerts setup to monitor anything important to you and your business. This would include your business name, your website address, competitor’s addresses, product names, etc. If you sell a widget A, setup an alert for “widget A” – this will allow you to see who else sells it, how they sell it, and what they sell it for, as well as anything in the news about it. You can monitor virtually any term or phrase you’d like, so whatever affects your business is game for inclusion here.
A great example of this in practice is in a previous post about Integrated eCommerce Solutions – I mentioned a few product names, one of which being Everest software. Shortly therafter, the CEO, Edwin Miller was posting a comment to that very article. Is Edwin Miller an avid Blue Acorn blog reader? I highly doubt it – he’s not even my target reader. But, I’d be willing to bet that he has a Google Alert set for particular key terms (such as his software name) that notified him of my posting. In fact, he’s probably getting another one right now for this post as well! And he’s not the only person that’s caught wind of my references.
Keeping tabs on what people are saying about you can help you in knowing market perceptions, as well as address any concerns. As an eCommerce merchant, you’ll want to pay particular attention to reviews about your products, your site, customer service, etc. and be able to address them as quickly as possible.