If you are like the majority of business owners or digital professionals, you will understand the importance of keeping costs and time expenditures low across all your marketing efforts. These tips should help you keep a top level understanding of the reputation, indexation, and general health of your website and that of your competition.
In lieu of doing just the obligatory vanity search for your business name to see where you rank, try using some of these tips for a fuller understanding.
Monitor mentions of your brand or products using Google Alerts.
Google Alerts is a feature that many don’t know exists. You simply input the search query you want monitored, how often you want it to run, how many results, and then set the recipient account you would like to receive the alerts. Google will then send you new content that has been indexed based on the searches you’ve input.
For example, at 435 Digital I have alerts set for the following phrases:
435 Digital, Chicago SEO, Illinois SEO Companies, Chicago SEO Seminars, etc. I have the alerts sent to my account daily, so I get a digest of the mentions of these phrases once day. In instances where we know we have content being published targeting a specific phrase, I set alerts for the keyphrase so we can monitor the sites that pick up the content and share it.
These alerts can help with link acquisition, reputation management, and can generally help keep you better educated regarding the news in your industry. I read each mention and when applicable will respond, or in some cases ask the webmaster of the site mentioning us to add in a link back to our site. You can get a good grasp on who reads and shares your content this way.
Site Searches are another Google trick that many don’t know about.
You can type Site:websitenamehere as a google search and Google will display all of the pages that they have indexed for a given site. This is a great way to test if new pages have been crawled and indexed yet, or in some cases a way to see if your pages are being blocked to crawlers for some reason. This can also help you determine whether you need to prune pages from the index in the event that you are seeing multiple results for the same content. Site Searches can also give you an impression of what your meta titles and meta descriptions look like, which can provide you a deeper understanding of how you are handling your on-page SEO.
Open up a new window at Google.Com and type in related:websitenamehere.
Related searches show you sites that Google as identified as having content similar to your own.
Related search results will help you identify potential competitors, or in some cases potential clients or partners. This search will analyze other sites that have similar content to your own. Using this information you can find content ideas for your own site, scan competitors sites for their backlinks, and just get a better feel for the other entities within your sphere.
I carried out this search a few years ago and found a contest my then company had been nominated for that we didn’t even know existed. The resulting win at that website I’d turned up eventually turned into a referral link that brought us 10% of our month to month traffic.
In the long run, all 3 of these quick checks can help keep you on top of how your site is performing, regardless of whatever enterprise tools you are using.