Google Alerts may well be the best underused tool on the internet for any business, including insurance agencies. Unlike a search engine, Google Alerts is a change-detection and notification system (CDN). How the system does that is irrelevant compared to the fact that it, in fact, does what it does. What it does is keeps users informed on the very latest, user-targeted items of particular interest. Here are 10 reasons your agency should be using Google Alerts.
It's Free. You don't hear that much these days when it comes to finding ways to make better use of your time and help your agency operate more efficiently.
It Saves Time. Don't make the mistake of thinking that, "I can always search the web on my own when I need to." Of course, you can. But Google Alerts automatically searches for specific subject matters you want to be aware of on a regular basis.
Its Frequency is User-determined. Google Alerts are delivered to the email address you provide with the frequency you choose. There is a range of options from "As it happens" to "Once a Day." It's like picking up the newspaper and reading only the news that is of interest to your business. Frequency determination is alert specific.
It Can Be Very Specific. The Alerts can be specific by both addition and subtraction. For instance, an alert might be constructed for "assisted living facilities Tennessee" or, more specifically by adding "assisted living facilities Memphis Tennessee." On the other hand, it can also set up to exclude Memphis with an alert for "assisted living facilities Tennessee – Memphis."
Monitor Changes in Specific Websites. An alert for "site: agentsalliance.com" will notify your agency when something new is posted on our site.
Monitor Your Agency's Reputation. Simply set up an alert for your agency's name. If someone posts something online about you, it will show up in your alert email. This is one of the best tools to determine if anyone is saying anything negative. This is one type that might be a candidate for "As it happens."
Monitor Your Competition. You'll know right away when they do anything newsworthy or make changes to their sites or services. If you really want to hone in on new services, create an alert that uses both a term and a site. For instance, search for the word "new" and "site:yourcompetitor.com."
Follow Your Clients. Alerts created to track names of client businesses can give draw your attention to a need that you might be able to address or simply an occasion to offer congratulations.
Create Opportunities. Create alerts for commonly asked questions about liability insurance. When a matching question is asked on the internet, you will have the opportunity to become a "first-responder" and an authority.
Google Alerts is a powerful tool that, when put to use, can be used to build both your expertise and your reputation. Check the article at Hall Internet Marketing to see how to use Google Alerts to protect your agency's website against spam. If an agency wants to be particularly assertive in the use of the alerts, it might be advisable to set up an email address to receive Google Alerts exclusively. Check the article on Inc.com for even more uses.
The American Agents Alliance is dedicated to serving the professional needs of independent insurance agents and brokers. We provide insurance agents and brokers a wealth of resources. Our goal is to empower independent insurance agents and brokers to thrive through advocacy, education, and networking. We're always here when you need us. Don't hesitate to contact us for assistance.