How do you keep an eye on your local salon competitors?

Walk past them regularly trying not to blatantly stare?  Scour the local newspaper for tasty titbits? Or constantly check their salon website and Google for their latest offers and news?

Well, here’s an easy way to get the hottest updates on your competitors straight into your Inbox.

Google Alerts. It takes minutes to set up and it’s free.

Here’s how to set up Google Alerts for a salon business

  1. You don’t need a Google Account but it does help to manage your Alerts. If you use any Google services such as Gmail, Google+ you’ll already have one. If you don’t then you can set a Google Account up here.
  2. Now go to the Google Alerts webpage.
  3. You will see a screen like this which you need to complete.Google Alerts - Settings
  4. Enter the search term you want to be notified about. You can put quote marks (“Snipz Hair Design”) around your search term to tell Google, “I’m looking for these words in this order”. If you don’t use quotes Google will show me every web page that has the words Snipz, Hair and Design anywhere on the page!
  5. Select the Result type – I get ‘Everything’ to make sure I don’t miss any info.
  6. Select How Often – I suggest ‘Once a Day’.
  7. Select How Many – I chose ‘All’.
  8. Type in your email address which will be the one where Google sends your Alerts.
  9. Hit the Create Alert button.
  10. Done! Look to the right and you’ll see Google displays example of what the Alert will look like.

Getting the most from Alerts

  • You can set up as many as you like. So if there are 8 salons or spas in the area you’re interested in that’s not a problem. Just remember you don’t want to be inundated with information. Most salons only have a handful of competitors they’re really interested in.
  • You can also set an Alert up for your own salon – it’s useful to know what’s being said about you online.
  • If you’ve a well-known salon owner as a competitor you can also set up a Google Alert specifically for them using their forename and surname. You’ll get to know when they feature in the press, get to the final of an industry Award or pop a new video online.
  • Just remember not to get too hung up on what your competitors in town are doing. It’s what you do to market your salon or spa that will make the difference.

You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do. – A. J. Kitt

Really interested in another salon?

That said, if you’re really anxious to know what your neighbours are up to online then you can go a step further and sign up for the freebie version of Mention. It’s a bit more technical and you have to sign up to the software but it gives you more information than Google Alerts.