Using Google alerts to stay on top of news relevant to notaries

Services for Real Estate Pros

Michelle Riley of Huntsville Mobile Notary in Alabama is a member of our group but rarely has time to post.  She is a mobile notary, notary signing agent, RN, and a student studying for yet another college degree - this time in Communication.  She is top professional and a gracious woman.

Michelle has had great success using Google Alerts to hear the latest news relevant to our notary businesses.  When Domestic Partnership registration became legal in my state of WA (a great new source of work for notaries), Michelle found out about the same day I did.  And I live here!

I asked Michele to share her Google tips with me via email.  I promised to post them and here they are.

Thank you, Michelle!


When I first started my business I spent that time surfing the internet looking for business leads.  It took a lot of time but it was also enjoyable.   It was similar to digging for treasure. This is how I found out about different notary sites and educational information that were very valuable to me. Well, business picked up (thankfully) so now "down time" is a thing of the past.   Google Alerts scours the World Wide Web for topics of interest to me and tells me about it. 

In order to use Google Alerts, you need to create a Google account.  When you're at your home page on Google, select Alerts.   Next:

Enter the topic you wish to monitor:  This is where you type the subject/topic you want Goggle to search for you.   Examples of some of my Alerts include:  Alabama Secretary of State, National Notary Association, Notary Public, Field Inspections.   Type this in the requested field.

Type:  This is where you select the types of internet entries you want Google to search.   For instance: blogs, news, video, etc.?  For most of my Alerts I select "comprehensive" because it includes all types of entries on the World Wide Web.

How Often:  In this field you need to tell Google how often you want to be notified about an Alert.   I get enough email already so  I selected once a day; however, I anticipate changing that to once a week real soon.  

Email:  You may be asked to enter the email address where you want the Alert to be sent to.   If not, it will default to your Gmail account.  That's right - I have some Alerts going to a Hotmail email account.  (Don't ask me why, I just do.   I need to fix that when I get the time.)

That's it.  You're all set.  Just sit back and wait for the Alerts to show up in your email inbox.   You simply scan the email for those subjects that interest you.  The email is a snapshot or quick summary of the article or webpage that contains the information you're interested in learning more about.   If the email lists articles that have no interest to you at all, just delete it and move on to the next one.  If there is an article of interest, just click on the hot link and you're taken to the original article or website.

Google Alerts search the World Wide Web - not just U.S. sites. Alert topic of "Notary Public" will result in you being notified when a tourist in Malaysia is looking for a Notary Public.   While it may be interesting reading (and sometimes hysterical) it really has no bearing on me or my business.  So....keep that in mind when creating Alerts.   Be as specific as possible.  After so many of these international Alert results, I changed my "Notary Public" Alert to "Alabama Notary Public".

One day I wanted to see how effective the Alerts really were so I posted a blog on my Active Rain account and used keywords that matched my Google Alerts.   Within 48 hours I had an Alert in my email inbox with a link to my Active Rain webpage - incredible!  {In fact, I get emails all the time about your non-loan notary book that you wrote, Laura.}   There's nothing like free advertisement, right?

I find Google Alerts help me keep an eye on my competition.  That's right.   If my competition keeps a blog where he/she lists his/her notary fees - I get notified and can determine whether my prices are competitive or not.  When a neighboring state increases their notary fees, I get an email.   Although it may not affect me directly, I want to know what is going on around me. 

I consider Google Alerts just one of many tools I need to use as a small business owner.  Large companies hire marketing representatives to do this sort of thing for them.   I use Google. 


Laura Underwood
Above the Line Signing - Knob Noster, MO
Missouri Certified Notary Signing Agent

Thank you Michelle and Laura! I have been using the alerts since I first saw the post. It is working great! Thanks again!

Jan 03, 2008 11:10 PM
Barbara Linker
Linker Loan Signings - Vail, AZ

Thanks so much for the excellent information.  What a great way to start out a new year of business!


Jan 04, 2008 02:54 PM
Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

Thanks to Laura for her help.  I love Google alerts and I have used them for approx 2 years.  These alerts really help me focus on how to advertise on the Internet

Thanks again to Laura for Craigslist help.

Check out Laura's book on Reverse Mortgage: She has written a great book for notaries throughout the US to market his/her business to loan originators.  The best in our business!!

Happy New Year!


Jan 04, 2008 04:02 PM
Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

I also like the website that was recommended by another person on another website that  I have signed up with:

 This website is free to advertise on and I have put forth a couple of blogs and it seem to have the SEO know how to get us to google & yahoo pages.

Check it out.

Jan 08, 2008 04:09 PM