Increase productivity with Google Alerts
October 25, 2013
Imagine being able to follow a person, company, or topic of interest without having to spend valuable time searching. Perhaps you want to research prospects or stay up-to-date on news that might affect current clients.
With Google Alerts, you can.
What are Google Alerts?
Google Alerts is a free service that automatically e-mails new, relevant search results to users based on criteria they’ve selected. Think of it as your online searches on autopilot. Though you’re still in control, Google does the work for you.
How financial advisors can use this service
Google Alerts can help solve one of the biggest problems you face as a financial advisor: getting the information you need in a timely manner.
Some helpful uses include:
- Monitoring money in motion — learn about layoffs or new hires at companies in your area
- Gathering industry-related news — stay in the know, whatever your niche
- Collecting information on competitor firms — find tips on new client acquisitions other firms may initiate
- Managing your own digital footprint — learn what’s being said about you online
How to do it — Define. Refine. Create.
Go to google.com/alerts
You can first sign in to your Google account if you have one, but it’s not necessary. In fact, you don’t need a Google account at all to use Google Alerts.
Define your search
To set up an alert, enter one or more keywords in the "Search query" field. An example could be "airline pilots Atlanta."
Choose "Result type"
Refine your search by determining what results you’d like Google to provide — select everything, or only news, blogs, videos, discussions, or books.
Choose "How often"
Do you want to receive e-mail alerts in real-time, daily, or weekly?
Choose "How many"
Do you want to receive Google’s "best" results, or all available results? It’s up to you.
Enter your e-mail
What e-mail address do you want the alerts sent to?
Create the alert
Click the "Create Alert" button to complete the process. Google will immediately send an e-mail to the address you entered. Click the e-mail’s verification link and you’re all set.
It’s that easy!
Some helpful tips
Manage your alerts. It’s common to receive the same information in multiple alerts. Try adjusting your keywords or the frequency of e-mail results to manage your time more efficiently.
Maintain your online presence and reputation. You’re not the only one using Google Alerts, so you should assume that others may be pulling up information about you too. Keep this in mind when using social media and adding posts or comments online.
Experiment. Establishing effective alerts isn’t a science; it’s more of an art. Terms that work for an advisor in Atlanta may not work as well for an advisor serving Los Angeles or Philadelphia. Know what you’re looking for when you set up your alerts. Try multiple keywords to see which ones work best.
Note to mobile users
With Google Alerts, the mobile and desktop experiences are the same. On your iPad or other mobile device, simply visit www.google.com/alerts with your mobile browser (such as Safari or Chrome) and follow the steps laid out above.
FINRA regulates the use of social media. Advisors should consult their compliance departments about restrictions regarding the use of social media before accessing any social media networks for a business purpose.
This content is for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of Google or any service or publicly traded company. It is also not a recommendation to buy or sell a particular security.
All third-party marks cited are the property of their respective owners.