As a professional marketer you might recognise the problem of having too long URLs. URLs that look ugly, confusing and extremely boring on your website or social media pages. The solution for this is certainly not new, so you might be already familiar with the shortner site s as bit.ly and tinyurl. These very handy service tools help internet uses to take longer URLs and transform them into manageable links that won’t exceed the 20 characters. Their popularity has clearly increased lately, not just because of the rise of Twitter (which only allows 140 characters in a message), but also because you can track the clicks on your links. And well, honestly… It just looks better.
Shortened URLs are easier to manage
Just to show you the difference… Which one of the links below is easier to share?
This one: http://bit.ly/15X46QG
Of course, not all of the web links are as messy as the one above. But still, many links are long and wordy, simply because of SEO (Search Engine Optimalisation) reasons. Another advantage of a longer URL is because it describes the content of the link, which makes it more trustworthy to click on.
However, it is too lengthy and not easy to share in emails, on web pages and especially not on social media services like Facebook and Twitter. So URL shortners help to solve the problem of making links more manageable to share. Next to that, the service: tinyarrows.com allows users to add certain keywords to describe the link, which makes it more trustworthy to click on.
Shortened URLs can track and compile click data
One of the reasons that bit.ly and other shortner sites have received much attention is because of the comprehensive date that the services provide in the form of live click data, geographic location tracking and more.
One of the reasons that bit.ly has received so much attention lately is because of the comprehensive data Bitly provides in the form of live click data, geographic location, the webpage the link where the link was clicked, and more. This type of information is valuable to webmasters and businesses. It clearly shows them where customers come from, when they entered the webpage and what interests they have. From there on, businesses develop better products and online marketers are able to produce more targeted content.
Shortened URLs promote sharing
I may have pointed out my opinion clearly already, but just to be sure… You can simply fit more links and content in less space with URL shortners. You can even create a message and then link to a webpage in under 140 characters, while a full URL might not even fit within those characters.
This is also essential because of the increased usage of smartphones; it’s far easier to type in a short URL than a long one. As sharing and viral marketing is essential to keep your business running these days, the need to make sharing web content easier is a must. Therefore, shorter URLs need to become more and more integral in your online marketing strategy.
What about branded shortners?
I previously wrote about why to use URL shortners. Now I would like to discuss the 4 advantages of the branded shortner.
Expand the domain name of your brand with a short and relevant shortner. It will make your messages recognizable and visible for your fans or visitors, and above all it gives your brand a professional look and feel.
The URLs in your messages should look trustworthy. Shortenened URLs through a meaningless URL like “bit.ly” might be perceived as unkown and therefore, risky. Create a branded shortner, one in which your domain name is shortened.
Easy to measure the traffic
When using a branded shortener, you have full access to statistics that show how many clicks the link gets. Those statistics are reliable and cannot be seen by others.
When you add targeting to your link, you can track the traffic. So for example, if you add targeting and post the link on Facebook, you will be able to figure out whether the visitors came via Facebook or via other web pages.
Have you ever thought about URL shortning? If yes, which URL shortner would you reccommend? Feel free to comment in the box below!