The world of retail is undergoing significant changes. We’ve seen a lot of big retailers close stores or declare bankruptcy in the past couple of years. The factors that influenced the retailers into shutting their doors are many — people are not buying clothes as much as they used to, people are not going to the malls as much, and the businesses have over-expanded in too many physical properties. But the reason that gets the most mentions is the rise of online retail.

The reason why most of these businesses are shutting down is probably their failure to see how consumer habits are changing. People like to blend online and offline shopping. They like to buy at both types of stores, and they also like to use them for research. This, of course, means, that any business that wants to be successful has to find a way to get on the digital map. Google My Business is a service that helps them do it.

What’s Google My Business?

Google My Businesses is almost like a social media page for a business, but it’s much more useful. When you set up a My Business page for your business, you get tons of benefits. Google will put the location of your business on their map. It will allow you to include important information about your business. It will allow users to review your business.

Most importantly, however, a Google My Business will do wonders for your local search visibility. Small, local businesses are counting on local search to help them bring foot traffic to their stores. More often than not, local search is effective — people are increasingly using their phones to search for the things they need. Local search visibility allows businesses to jump on that moment of strong purchase intention.

How to Set Up a My Business Page

It all starts with a Google account. If you already have one, you don’t need to open a new one. You will be asked to add your business’ location or find it if it already exists on Google Maps. Your next step would be to verify that you have the right to manage the business’ page. You can either do it through Webmaster Tools if you use them for your business’ website or by having Google send a letter with a code to your business address.

Either way, once your business is verified, you get to fill out the profile. You have to set your business’ contact information, a category, working hours, a couple of photos, and a nice introduction. Once you do this, your profile is finished and ready to attract customers.

Optimizing Your My Business Page

Opening a My Business Page is only the first step towards using it to attract customers. Plenty of other businesses in your industry might operate in your area. You need to make sure that your business is one of those that appear in local search results.

You can do that by inserting important keywords in your business introduction. Doing some keyword research should help you find the terms people use to find the things your business offers. You shouldn’t stuff the intro with keywords, but you should be sure they are included.

You should also take steps to motivate your customers to leave reviews for your business. You’ll get a good review if your products and service are good if the customers are in a good mood, and if you do something that suggests to the customers they should leave the review. You can simply ask them, in-store, to leave a review. There’s nothing better than honesty — let them know that, if they were happy with your service, they could help you out by giving a rating and writing a couple of words about your business online.

Once you’ve done all of this, you’ll start getting the full benefits of a Google My Business page. Make sure that you keep the information on your page up to date and check in regularly to check how people are reviewing your website. You can, of course, set up other digital marketing assets and campaigns that will help your local search visibility. But it all starts with a My Business page if you want to be found on Google’s search engine.