How 3PLs Can Gain More Customers Through Digital Marketing

If 2021 is a sign for anything, it’s that there’s potential to grow. Last year, ecommerce revenue saw a record 45% jump from Q1 to Q2 in 2020, and 3PLs had to rise to the occasion to meet this demand. But even though there was great growth in the industry, third-party logistics (3PL) warehouses still had to find those companies that needed their services. This leads to the ultimate question, “How can 3PL warehouses find customers to grow their business?”

Now there’s a figurative million ways to go about this, but today we want to focus on helping 3PLs grow the online aspect of their customer acquisition game. After all, you’re reading this online, right?

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While you likely have a website that you update and use to share information with prospects, let’s talk about how you can make it a new business generator. Almost all digital marketing relies on your company’s website, so if you haven’t read through the 4 Website Best Practices for 3PL Warehouses blog, that might be the best place to start. Let’s start with a few high-level ways to drive traffic to your website—specifically through SEO, and paid search.

Using SEO as a Warehouse

As a common marketing buzzword, you might have heard SEO thrown around a lot. SEO stands for search engine optimization and describes the process of how a website shows its knowledge authority in a search engine. In other words, how good is a website at answering the question a person was asking when as they typed/spoke it into Google/Bing.

An example could be a person at an ecommerce business searching, “Can someone else hold my ecommerce inventory and ship it for me?” Google will show a list of the couple hundred thousand webpages that could potentially answer this question, but likely the person asking the question will probably go to the top three to five results. For your business to be listed in one of these top spots takes a bit of effort, and that effort is called SEO.

Businesses should optimize their websites to be seen as an authority on a subject matter, so search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing will reward you with higher rankings (assuming you have more authority than the competing websites in the search engine results page). And because once a business is an authority on a subject matter, the only limit to growth is the number of people searching for the question that they are the subject matter expert in.

Take these steps to get started:

  • Identify the keywords or phrases your prospects will search. You can use Google scraping to find these keywords or phrases.
  • Update or create content on your website to include those key terms and phrases in relevant areas
  • Make page descriptions and title tags that appear in the site's code encompass these terms

Using Paid Search as a Warehouse

Paid search marketing is the process of buying ads at the top of the search engine results pages, even before the organic listings that come from SEO. If you don’t have the time or resources to put into raising your website’s SEO, you could always skip this timely process and jump to the front of the line by bidding on specific search queries and keywords. These can be a detailed as, “3PL near me that supports ecommerce businesses,” to some as short as just the keyword “3PL”.

Keep in mind, the more specific you get, the lower the search volume, or the number of times that a specific word or phrase is searched each month. If you bid on broader keywords like “3PL” or even “ecommerce 3PL”, it’s much harder to determine the intent of the person who searched this in the first place, which could result in less qualified traffic coming to the website.

Like I mentioned before, this type of advertising is done on a bidding system, so the price paid for each click and each person coming to the website will differ depending on how many people are bidding on such terms, and what the value of the traffic is to them. Much like SEO, paid search can be done on almost every search engine, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Take these steps to get started:

  • Determine your budget
  • Open a Google Ads account (or Microsoft Ads if you prefer to start with Bing)
  • Identify the target keywords or phrases that you wish your ad to appear for when searched
  • Experiment with some ads using different phrasing to see what words respond best with users

Furthermore, if you want a few extra tips on running Google Ads, Google has a wide breadth of tutorials for paid search advertisers.

Digital Marketing Takeaways for 3PLs

If you’re looking to grow your 3PL warehouse in 2021, you will need more customers, and to do that, there are many options available in the form of digital marketing. Options like SEO and paid search are effective digital marketing strategies that millions of businesses use every day to grow their own businesses. If you haven’t started marketing using these strategies, it might be time to give them a try or hire an SEO agency to optimize your online presence and attract a broader audience to your 3PL services. It is important to note that these can be highly effective channels but do require a fair amount of skill and expertise to run efficiently.

To find more strategies to win new business, check out 4 Website Best Practices for 3PL Warehouses and 3 Strategies to Grow Your 3PL Warehouse on our blog today.

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