You work at being found in search. From optimizing the text on your website, to posting clever updates on social media, you want people to take notice of you and your business. Now it’s time to take the next step. If you haven’t already, it’s time to claim your business listing on Google.

But, what does that even mean?

What is a business profile on Google?

If you think Google is simply a search engine, listen up. Have you heard of My Business from Google? It’s how potential customers can find you quickly and easily just by looking up your business online. Your profile spans across several Google properties, including Google Maps, Google search and the Google+ social media platform.

This profile is a source of instant, helpful information for your customers. Here’s what you can expect to see on a My Business profile:

Next time you Google that little restaurant down the road to find their phone number, and you refer to the information that Google presents at the top of your search results, you’ve just viewed a My Business profile. Did you click through to their website to browse a menu or scan the reviews to see what dish tops their menu?

It’s time to make your business stand out just like that too.

Why should you claim your business?

In short: You need to be in charge of your listing on My Business from Google. Why? It’s sort of like being the person who placed your ad in the phonebook, back when people actually used those giant hard-copy references.

If you claim your business profile, you can ensure everything including your address, phone number, and map leading to your business location are accurate. And, if anything changes, you’re the one to update the information immediately, so you don’t lose out on any customer calls.

Being in control of your profile on Google also allows you to interact and engage with your customers. You can reply to reviews and comment on Google+ to truly connect and provide extra value for your customers. After all, if someone’s asking questions about your business in their social media update on G+, don’t you want to be the one to answer them?

Google profiles span across several devices including desktop and mobile. Have you claimed your businesses profile on Google yet? What are you waiting for? Make sure your business information is accurate and helpful so your customers can find you!

Angela is a contributor to the Connectivity blog. She also writes about content marketing and working online at Web Writing Advice. Angela was ranked in the Yahoo! Top 1000 Writers from 2009-2013.