By S. Housley
In order to determine which advertising
and marketing efforts are effective you must
have ways to measure the results of those efforts.
Alerts and instant notifications can be instrumental
in monitoring search engine position, trademarked
terms, monitoring competitors and staying abreast
of online occurrences. And, of course, the notification
can be used for "ego searches".
What is an ego search? Find out where your name
or company is mentioned, view forum posts or
online articles that mention your name or company.
The best offense is a good defense. By monitoring
newsgroups or search engines for trademarked
terms, you often head off a future conflict.
As a trademark owner, it is your responsibility
to actively protect your mark. Otherwise, you
could lose your trademark rights. Monitoring
tools send immediate notification should any
suspected trademark infringements occur.
Statistics show that more than 85% of Internet
users find web sites with the help of the search
engines. Therefore, a website's search engine
position is crucial to its success. Prudent
webmasters regularly check their search engine
position. Monitoring fluctuations and re-indexing
of major search engines affects keyword terms
and phrases. Monitoring of positions will alert
webmasters to any shifts before sales decline.
Monitoring newsgroups for mentions of competitors
may allow you opportunities to chime in and
offer an alternative solution in a helpful,
friendly way. Knowing exactly what your online
competitors are doing provides a competitive
edge that can be used to your advantage.
Accessibility is the most critical measure of
your website's performance. If customers can't
access your site, they can't shop; and if they
can't shop, they can't buy. More important,
your business could gain a bad reputation among
your customers, which translates into negative
word of mouth and even worse, if you're highly
visible, negative press. So regardless of what
else you monitor, you want to monitor websites
Take a look at the various tools
available and how they can be used to keep you
current on relevant issues.
WebAlerts - Recieve
email updates of the latest relevant Google
results based on your choice of query or topic.
Alerts can be sent based on information in Google
News, Google Searches or both.
PubSub - PubSub
matches your requests against new information
as it appears real time. Searches can be categorized
to search, blog entries, SEC/EDGAR Filings,
press releases, news group posts or flight delays.
Ego Alerts - Google
news search turned into an RSS feed.
Ebay Alerts - Ebay
Alerts monitoring will create an RSS feed to
monitor Ebay auctions for specific keywords
or phrases. When a new item that contains those
keywords is added to Ebay you will receive notification
via your RSS feed!
Amazon Alerts -
Generate a URL which you can use to automatically
search Amazon.com with your favorite RSS news
reader. It will automatically update you when
new items meet your search criteria. I personally
use it to look for new books on topics I'm interested
in, and I have the defaults set to do the same,
but you can adjust it to search any of Amazon's
stores. You can also adjust the search order
and what kind of items you wish to search.
Internet Seer -
InternetSeer remotely monitors your website
to insure that your site is available 24/7.
If InternetSeer is unable to reach your site,
we will send you an immediate e-mail alert that
your site is unreachable.
NetNews Tracker is a clipping service for Usenet
newsgroups. Newstracker searches newsgroups
twice daily for any specified words or phrases
and delivers alerts via e-mail. Newstracker
can be used to monitor newsgroups for names,
company names, products, URLs, or any other
topic of interest.
Other Suggested Resources
Monitoring Tools - Monitoring
Tools is a directory of online monitoring tools
- Monitoring Software is a collection of downloadable
monitoring software solutions.