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Getting Your Truckstop Noticed on Google Maps

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Marketing & Retail


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

Getting Your Truckstop Noticed on Google Maps

Not long ago, I started uploading photos of the NATSO member locations I visit to Google Maps, and today those photos have gotten more than 1 million views! Adding photos to Google Maps is one way to shape the first impression your customers see when they search for your location specifically or simply a place to stop.

Google Maps shows photos associated with an address, and unless other photos have been added, it is typically the Google Street View. In many cases, it can be an old photo, and I’ve seen thriving businesses whose photo showed the location when it was under construction. Typically the photos users add will be treated with a greater priority than Street View images.

Adding photos is an important marketing tool that is easy and free. It shows customers what your location offers and gives them a feel for the location. It has become even more important given how many people turn to Google Maps or their phones to find a place to fuel, eat or shop. 

Interestingly, the photos with the most views are those of restrooms. If photos of restrooms photos aren’t available, shots of food are typically the most viewed pictures.

Just this week these photos had 52,303 new views*, meaning the photos are reaching fresh eyes and shaping customers’ perceptions. That’s more than 50,000 people who now have a better idea of how great our member’s locations are and understand more about what they have to offer in just one week. 

*The new views are weekly views that go up and down according to how many people have viewed the photos that have never looked at them previously. 

Are you ready to add a photo? Here’s how:

  • Open Google Maps and search for a place.
  • After you've selected a place, click Add a photo. You might have to scroll down to see this.
  • A box will appear. Drag the photo that you’d like to upload, or click Choose photos to upload.

Learn more about how to add photos here

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here.

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.