Google Alerts are a way to monitor the Web for mentions that matter to you. Services such as Google Alerts are unavoidable when it comes to being on the same page with your customers. They bring updates on products, competitors or any topic of your interest, allow you to manage your brand’s reputation, raise brand awareness and find new sales opportunities by reacting to mentions in time.

Only a couple of years ago Google Alerts used to be a rather effective service . Lately, however, users have started receiving fewer and fewer results. There has been a number of speculations on the reasons for its crash, with some saying Google is deliberately ignoring the problem in order to slowly wean users off Google Alerts. In any case, reports of Google Alerts’ failures are all over the internet and demand for an alternative service has been high.

Small business owners and individuals who want to be up-to-date with what is being said about them and their work are looking for a service that brings relevant, timely and useful results.

In this post you’ll find the best and most affordable alternatives to Google Alerts.

# 1 Awario


Brief review:

Awario is a social media monitoring tool that searches for every mention of a keyword on the web. It shows you results in real time so that you can react to mentions immediately if needed. Awario lets you know what social media site your mention is coming from (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube) and shows all information about other kinds of sites (blogs, reviews, etc).

Awario performs analysis of the information found, showing increases and decreases in the number of mentions in given time. It sorts authors of mentions by popularity based on the number of their followers or website traffic, enabling you to identify people who influence opinions about your brand category the most. You can store information by sorting it into the appropriate folder, and retrieve later if needed.

Similarly to Google Alerts, you can set up weekly or daily email notifications with a summary the of mentions found.

Why it is useful for small businesses: Awario Starter version is 19/mo. It is also possible to create a plan tailored to the needs of your business. A Free 14-Day trial is provided (no credit card required).

Free version:

# 2 Mention


Brief review:

Mention is a widely used social media monitoring tool. Similarly to Awario, it monitors the web for keywords of your choice, and shows information about a social platform (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) or other site your mentions are coming from. You can set up email notifications or view them within the application. You can also share mentions with other team members and assign tasks to deal with them. Unlike Awario, however, Mention doesn’t store historical data.

Mention performs influencers analytics, showing you the most influential authors. They also analyze your data as positive or negative based on the common tones associated with specific words. That is, keywords like “awesome,” would be analysed as positive, whereas something like “You guys need to…,” would be marked as negative. While it is a generally helpful idea, sentiment analysis is dangerous to rely on, as it doesn’t take into account sarcasm (which is incredibly common on the internet) and ignores words that are less easily defined as positive or negative. For example, “flat” would be positive when talking about a phone screen but negative when talking about a tire.

Like Awario, Mention has a mobile version which is useful as you can keep track of what is being said on-the-go and reply immediately. In Mention you can do it right from the dashboard.

Why it is useful for small businesses: A starter back for small businesses is 99/mo. It is possible to create a custom plan tailored to your requirements. A free 14-day trial is available (no credit card required).

Free version:

# 3 Brand24


Brief review:

Brand24 is another effective tool for Web monitoring. It gathers mentions from Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and the rest of the web. With Brand24 you can produce status and infographic-style report. Like Mention, they allow multi-user support so that you can share mentions with anyone in your company. Brand24 produces influencers reporting and sentiment analysis, however, their sentiment analysis includes “neutral” sentiment as well.

You can get email notifications and mobile app to follow what is going on.

Why it is useful for small businesses: Personal Plus plan is 49/mo. A maximum plan is 349/mo. A free 14-Day trial is provided (no credit card required).

Free version:

These three are the best tools if you are dissatisfied with Google Alerts. While there are many more social media monitoring tools, most of them include social media management tools as well, and therefore are very pricey and offer functions small businesses don’t usually require. Examples of such are Brandwatch and Sysomos. Some, on the other hand, are free, but more suitable for individuals as they monitor a very small amount of data and lack analytic functions necessary for businesses. The examples of these are Social Mention and HowSociable.

Are you in small business? Have you tried any monitoring tools that you preferred to Google Alerts? Please share your ideas in the comments!