Blast from the past: how content writers can leverage Google Alerts to help develop their ideas

Fri, 24/08/2018 - 08:00

With the overload of information online, it’s no surprise that great, relevant and personalised content is what opens the door to hot leads and improved website traffic. But how do you create great content, consistently? Well, there are many free tools that can help you be more productive with your content, but without the knowledge of how to utilise these tools properly, they’re pretty useless. 

Google Alerts is one of these free, hidden treasures. In fact, Google Alerts is a fairly old tracking tool which deserves far more recognition than it currently has. This tool allows users to track current trends and opportunities, read about new topics or alert content writers about interesting brand-related content. 

Wrapping your head around how Google Alerts work

In short, Google Alerts monitors the web for content, according to your requests. For instance, if you’re searching for “SEO services in Cape Town” or an “SEO agency in Cape Town”, you will be able to receive alerts regarding any SEO-related content or services in Cape Town or keep up to date with what your competitors are doing with their brands. The content generated might or might not be able to assist you with your task, but it certainly will provide you with fresh content daily, depending on your delivery time.

How it works is that you set up a Google Alert online, and you enter your keyword or search term into the field where it says “Create an alert about…”. Some South African-related terms or companies are challenging to find, therefore you will need to broaden or generalise your keyword in order to find what you’re looking for. Once you’ve chosen a topic, you’ve created an alert. The beauty of it is that you can set up multiple alerts on the same topic to ensure you receive plenty of information regarding a particular trend or topic. There are also “goals” for you to set, namely, the results and the delivery time of the alert.

Using Google Alerts to reach your content goals 

For content writers looking to create cutting-edge work that adds value, builds your brand’s or business’ reputation and grows your digital traffic, take a look at the following benefits of using Google Alerts. 

Improved creative ideas: If you are looking for blog topics, you need to ensure that whatever you choose is current and the information is fresh to the industry you’re writing for or about. If your research is old, you will create a poor reputation for yourself and the company. With Google Alerts, you will be able to gather insights into the industry through forums, blogs, social media platforms and more. It’s also a great way for SEO copywriters to find topics related to a specific keyword, especially when you hit a creative block or need a variety of different options.

Access to new competitive insights: As briefly mentioned, you will be able to peek at your competitors’ marketing initiatives to analyse your position in the market when compared to what other companies are doing. It’s also a great way to stay on your toes with your writing and to always ensure that your content is ahead of your competitors. 

Instant trendspotting: As a content writer for a digital marketing agency in Cape Town, you are likely to be writing for a variety of industries, across a multitude of different topics. Google Alerts will help you to familiarise yourself with the different industry terminology and keep an eye on emerging trends. This type of research will ensure that your content is always on-trend and relevant to the industry. It may even lead to exciting opportunities for a particular brand.

Brand and content protection: Content can be plagiarised in many different ways. Businesses which are creating unique content should always monitor their digital presence. Your intellectual property deserves to be protected. And if you’re not alerting yourself about any of the above, people could be using your content and claiming it as their own without your permission. 

Final thoughts

Today, there is no excuse not to be a forward-thinking content writer, savvy entrepreneur or marketer with access to such free digital tools. There are so many benefits that Google Alerts can deliver for business owners, so wrap your head around this powerful tool and add it to your team’s marketing toolbox. 

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