New Google Alert Widget

Brand management is an important part of your SEO strategy.

You need to know how people are talking about your brand so that you can see what information might come up when people search for your brand or items related to your brand.

That might mean that you need to respond to a negative review or that you need to make good on a poor customer service experience that someone is advertising on their blog. Or it might mean that you need to correct some misinformation about your product or your brand itself.

You can’t do any of that if you don’t know what people are saying. But the Internet is a big, wide world, and keeping up with what everyone is saying is a big job.

The new Google Alert widget makes the job a little bit easier.

What the Widget Does

When you Google yourself or your brand name, you will get the standard search results, but you will also get a new “Stay in the Loop” widget.

The widget appears at the bottom of the search results on the first page. It allows you to sign up to receive alerts any time Google finds that your name has been mentioned online.  You don’t have to manually search for your name, and you don’t have to rely on the basic Google Alert to get the information.

The widget returns the information in real time wherever you are surfing online.

The widget was just introduced last week. In order to use it, you have to allow Google to save your web and app activity. You can do so in your account settings.

Once you sign into the widget, you can choose the exact term you want to be notified for, and you can decide on the frequency. If you have a smaller brand, you may want to be notified as the mentions happen. If your brand is larger, you may be better off with a daily update.

Other Ways to Use the Widget

Of course, brand management is not the only possibility for this new widget.

Just like with Google Alerts, you can use the widget to be updated about any terms you want to monitor. That means you can get updates about keywords in your niche, learning when articles, blog posts, videos and other content is published about them.

Many brands use these types of alerts to stay up-to-date about the latest news in their industry. For example, if you write about parenting, you can use alerts to learn about the latest studies about breastfeeding, recalls on toys, or hot new TV shows.

You can also use these alerts for content curation and competitive research. You can see what others in your niche are publishing about your topics so that you can either share that information with your audience or so you can develop your own content. You can get ideas for new posts, or you can write response pieces to what you find through the alerts.

Other Strategies for Brand Management

You have many other tools and strategies available for managing your brand reputation online.

Many people use social media for both building and monitoring their brand reputation. You can search for posts about your brand by searching hash tags and mentions. Depending on how those comments are shared, you can also then respond publicly so that others see how you deal with customer complaints and problems.

Tools like Klout can help you see how you are performing on social media, based mostly on how you are marketing yourself but also on how others are talking about your brand.

Keeping a close eye on your link profile is another way you can keep tabs on your brand reputation. Many people who talk about your brand online will include a link either to your site or your social media profiles. If they are talking about a specific product, they will usually include a link directly to that page or to the image.

You can keep tabs on this by watching your incoming links and checking out each one that comes in. If you are getting negative press, you can reach out to the author to deal with the concern or resolve the problem. If you are getting positive press, you can use that to your advantage and share the link on your own site or social media profiles.

Brand management isn’t just about making sure that people know your name or recognize your logo. It is an important part of your online marketing strategy that ensures that your target audience is getting the messaging you want.

Poor brand management can mean that members of your target audience have a negative first impression of your brand — which may be their last. Use the new Google widget and the other tools at your disposal to take control of your brand management and make the impact you want.

How to Build Your Brand

Brand management is critical to the success of your business in an age in which perception can be everything.

Develop a reputation for bad service and find out quickly how hard it will be to get business, even if you have changed your practices and offer real value to customers. Allow customers to perceive your brand as the cheap option when you’re in a higher-end market, and you’ll have a hard time getting the sales you want.

You need to work on building your brand right from the start and continue to monitor your strategy so that you create the perception you want to get the customers you want. Here are a few tips for how to build your brand:

Encourage Positive Reviews

Some of the first places people look to learn about your brand are review sites.

If you have a string of bad reviews, your reputation will be destroyed. Even if you have a few bad reviews, they can stand out and be what readers remember most.

The best thing you can do to prevent bad reviews is to offer an excellent product and superior customer service. But even then, you can’t prevent bad reviews.

You can drown out any negative feedback you might get with an overwhelming number of positive reviews. Some people may feel motivated to leave a positive review after a great experience with your brand, but most will need a little nudging.

Ask your customers for their positive review after you’ve had a successful sale or interaction. Incentivize them to leave a review by offering a discount code or some other promotion. Just make sure that the incentive isn’t tied to the content of the review, or else you will tarnish your reputation with the perception that your good feedback has been “bought.”

Actively Engage with Customers

Make your brand more than a faceless business by actively engaging with customers across all your channels.

Respond to most if not all of the comments you receive on your social media networks. The larger your following, the less realistic this may be. You’ll quickly learn which comments can go unanswered, such as statements like “yeah” or “way to go!” However, a simple “like” may be enough to engage.

It is essential that you quickly respond to any negative comments on your social media networks or your blogs. An unanswered complaint can be seen as a sign of guilt or as apathy to your customers’ experiences. But a poor response can be disastrous as it shows that you are not able to provide good service.

Always apologize and offer to do what’s needed to make it right. Show humility and concern, and you will show your other customers that their experience is of the utmost importance to you.

Put the Right Advertising in the Right Places

Building your brand is about reaching the right audience with the right message. Putting the right advertising in the right places can help you achieve that.

CodeFuel offers an advertising platform that uses smart data to understand user intent and deliver ads that make a strong brand impact and increase user engagement. Ads are shown across multiple platforms to highly targeted users to make the most impact.

With the right ads, you control the messaging around your brand and shape perception with your target audience.

Get Good Press

What you say about yourself only has so much impact. What others say about you can have a bigger impact.

Positive press can help you build your reputation, whether it happens offline or on. Of course, traditional news outlets like newspapers and magazines are a great option, but you should also consider links from other websites and blogs to be “press” as well. Whether you get an article or a review of your brand or you just get an authority link, it’s an endorsement of your brand and helps you to create a positive image.

Be Consistent

Perhaps more important than anything else you do, you must be consistent. Over time, that consistency is what will create your brand image.

You can achieve consistency in the big details like the type of content you create and the tone you use. However, you can also achieve consistency in the smaller details such as the fonts used in your ads, the type of action words in your headlines, the colors in your logo and layout, and more.

Consistency will enforce the image for your brand and make it more easily recognizable for your audience, no matter where they encounter it. Consistency will also make it clear to your audience exactly what you stand for, whether that means quality products, authority information, or superior service.

Building your brand will help you get more customers and to secure their loyalty. No matter what you do, people will be talking about your company. Make sure you have control of the conversation.