How to Create a Google Alert to Monitor Your Online Presence

Blog, Content Marketing, Google, How-To

Want to keep tabs on your online presence?

Set a Google alert (or two, or three) for your name, your business name, or even something more general.

Here’s how.

How to Create a Google Alert to Monitor Your Online Presence

Transcript for Video on Creating Google Alerts to Monitor Your Online Presence

Hi! This is Angie Johnston with Unique Web Copy.

I just want to show you really quickly how to create a Google Alert so you can find out when someone is talking about you on the Internet.

So what you’re going to do is log into your Google account. You’re going to go to; that’s what you pull up.

And let’s say you want to create an alert with your name, which I’ve already set up for mine, but let’s just set one up for Angela Johnston (although, please don’t ever call me Angela). Then we’re going to hit “Create Alert.”

Now let’s say I want to adjust the frequency at which I get these alerts. What I’m going to do is go to the “Edit” button.

I only want to be alerted once a day. However, I can get alerted as it happens, which means as soon as Google crawls a website that has Angela Johnston on it, I’ll get an email in my inbox immediately.

Let’s do “as-it-happens.”

The sources we’re going to leave on “Automatic.” It could alert me only when it comes up in news, blogs, anywhere on the web, video, books, discussions, or a finance category. We’re going to leave it on “Automatic” so I get all the alerts.

Naturally, we’re going to leave it in English and “Any Region.” I don’t care if this comes up in India, in England… doesn’t matter. I just want to know when someone mentions Angela Johnston on the web.

Rather than getting “Only the Best” results, I want to see all of the results. So I’m going to change that to “All Results,” and then it’ll deliver a report to my Gmail account.

So here’s what happens when you get a Google alert.

I got one on December 27, which was yesterday, and it’s for another Angie Johnston. I’m certainly not a wedding and event planner, but that’s what happens–you’ll get that email in “as-it-happens” updates. So as soon as Google crawled the web and found this result that includes the exact-match term “Angie Johnston,” it let me know that it came up.

So I’m going to update the alert, and any time someone mentions Angela Johnston on the Internet, I’m going to get a Google alert about it.

This can be really helpful if you want to know when someone’s talking about your company, your law firm, your real estate business, and particularly your name. That’s what really keeps you in the loop about when you get mentioned on the web.

That’s about it, and if you have any questions, you can call me at 808-542-5975.

Thanks for watching. Have a great day!


SERP Experiment Update: Still #1, and Branching Out!

Blog, Copywriting, Google, SEO

Several months ago, I targeted a simple, low-traffic search term to test my ability to rank a page in the search engines using only content.

I wrote a piece called “What Animal Eats Begonias?” and it quickly jumped to the top spot in the search engine results pages, or SERPs. I checked again about a month later, and my page was still #1 in the SERPs.

I’m probably the best SEO copywriter I know.

Best SEO Copywriter

Branching Out in the SERPs Thanks to Hummingbird

Today, I discovered that thanks to Hummingbird, I’m even coming out on top for similar searches. If you query what eats begonias, you still get my page.

Best SEO Copywriter in the U.S.

I really want to get into the “Featured Snippet” spot — that’s where you see SF Gate in the screenshot above — but to be fair, that site is more helpful to people who want an answer to the query.

Getting Into Google’s Featured Snippet

Where I do belong in the Featured Snippet is for queries such as how many words can fit in a tri-fold brochure. I’m in the second-place spot for that query, though, and I’m fine with that. That query links to a piece I wrote in September: “How Many Words Can Fit in a Tri-Fold Brochure?

Great SEO Copywriter

I keep linking to these pieces in subsequent posts, which also helps ensure they’re cemented in those top spots. (This is the first time I’ve linked back to the brochure page, though, so I’ll keep monitoring that page to watch for it to get into the featured snippet box.)

This is the Kind of SEO Copywriting I Provide for My Clients

Many of my clients ask me to write 10, 15, or even 20 blog posts per month.

First, I build a foundation for their blogs. I answer basic questions (and basic Google queries) with their posts. As the blog ages and the posts rack up, I continue to link back to those older posts — the ones that make up the foundation of the entire blog.

I look at it like it’s a pyramid. The strong, foundational posts are at the bottom, and I keep building up from there. (I’m definitely more artistic when it comes to words… so forgive my underwhelming visual.)Best SEO Content Writer

Want to Talk About Your SEO Strategy?

Call me at 808-542-5975. (Actually, I prefer text or email, but whatever works for you will work for me. If it’s the middle of the night, please use email or my handy-dandy contact form.)


Google’s Penguin is Real-Time

Blog, Google, Website Content, Website Copy

Google made the Penguin algorithm part of its core algorithm on September 23, and there’s been a HUGE shift in rankings since then. I’ve even seen my site shoot up to the top of the search engine results pages, or SERPs, on several great keywords.

But what is Penguin, and how will it affect your site?

What is Google’s Penguin?

Penguin is a filter that snags websites that are spamming the search results. Google used to run it periodically, but now it’s part of their core algorithm–the Googlebot finds, detects, and re-ranks sites that trip the filter each time it crawls.

Penguin devalues spam (junk pages that don’t help users), but it does so on a page-by-page basis. If you have only one spammy page on your website, your whole site is less likely to be penalized than it was before Google made Penguin part of their core algorithm.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you have a website, great website copy has never been more important. You need to work with a writer who understands your business and who can write in a way that connects with readers.

(I happen to know the best copywriter in the business.)

SEO Experiment Update: I’m Still #1 in the SERPs (VIDEO)

Blog, Google, How-To, Keywords, SEO

A few months ago, I conducted a little SEO experiment to show my clients how amazing a long-tail keyword can be. The first update to the SEO experiment, just three days after I created a page titled “What Animal Eats Begonias,” showed that I was in the 6th spot of organic results on Google for that term.

Today, I’m in the top spot. (Seriously — Google the term and you can see it yourself.)

Why Long-Tail Keywords Matter

The term I used is a great example of a long-tail keyword. It’s descriptive, and the Googlebot understands it. The page is optimized for Hummingbird, Google’s core search algorithm that’s brilliantly designed with a whole question and user intent in mind.

It’s also used in all the right ways on the page I created, which helps it rank — and stay ranked — on Google. Even this piece, which links to the page (in the first paragraph), is serving to help that page keep its place on the top spot.

Check out the screencast that shows you why it works:

It’s the #1 organic result for that search term.

It gets all the clicks.

It brings a ton of traffic to my website, actually, and because it actually answers the question, it’s locked into that top spot.


You can always hire someone who knows what she’s doing with SEO if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, too.

Yoast SEO and Semantic Search with Google

Blog, Blogging, Google, SEO, Website Content, Website Copy


When you’re relying solely on one SEO tool, you might get the wrong idea about how “healthy” your pages are when it comes to SEO and Google.

Yoast SEO is a fantastic tool, especially when you need a fast, easy way to add meta descriptions and meta titles.

However, it doesn’t tell you anything valuable when it comes to the SEO on your page – only that you’ve used your target keyword at least once in every important area.

Yoast SEO and Semantic Search with Google

You’ll notice that Yoast SEO and semantic search with Google aren’t necessarily on the same page. Sure, Yoast can tell you that you’ve included your keyword — but you need to know that Google is smart, and so is their semantic search algorithm.

Watch the video. You’ll see that Yoast SEO is limited by exact match keywords. That means if the keyword you input isn’t an exact match to something in each category they look at, they will think that your SEO is not as good as it should be.

Yoast looks at whether your exact-match keyword is in your:

  • Article heading
  • Page title
  • Page URL
  • Content
  • Meta description

Here’s the Yoast evaluation of this post:

Yoast SEO and semantic search with Google - Unique Web Copy

How Hummingbird Changed the Way the Googlebot “Sees” Things

With Hummingbird, Google revamped the way search engines find and index website content. They now look at things in context rather than by counting the number of times you mention your keyword on a page.

So what does that mean to you?

You can use variations of your key terms and Google will still understand what your page is about.

Google isn’t going to have any trouble understanding what this page is about.

In fact, it’ll get ranked and indexed, and you’ll probably be able to find it whether you type an exact match to my “keyword” or not.

Why? Because of their super-smart algorithm that picks up on cues, synonyms and… well, semantics.

Should You Use Free Articles on Your Website?

Articles, Blog, Blogging, Google, SEO

There are a lot of tempting deals out there, and using free articles is one of them. If your business doesn’t have the budget to build out your website content, but you know you need pages (you do!), it might seem like a good idea to populate your site with freebies.

Let me put it bluntly: you’d be better off putting nothing at all on your website.

You’d be better off writing it yourself (even if you’re a terrible writer).

Here’s why.

Free Articles for Your Website Have Hidden Costs

Things that are published on the Internet are time- and date-stamped. Google’s bots are more intelligent than ever, so when they find two pieces of content that are identical, which one do you think they’re going to offer to searchers?

The one that’s been online longer.

That means you went to the trouble of populating your site with all these preexisting articles for nothing.

But it gets worse.

When the Googlebot figures out that you have identical content, they might even penalize your website. They do that by knocking the entire site (not just the copied pages) out of search engine results pages entirely.

Then nobody will find you.

The Best Alternative to Free Website Articles

Because you do need original content to survive online, start scratching out some ideas. You can write your copy yourself if you don’t have the budget to hire a writer.

Run it through the spellchecker and use something like Grammarly to make sure you’re not butchering it completely if you’re not a particularly talented wordsmith.

Just please, please, please… for your site’s sake, don’t use free articles on your website.