Perhaps, the easiest and simplest way of earning referral traffic to a website or webpage is by sharing the links on social media. Unfortunately, some social media platforms only allow you to input a limited count of characters. And since links are typically long, it can be tricky to post on these platforms, and sometimes it can be impossible.
But, there is a simple yet comprehensive solution to this--link shortener. Link shortener is a tool that allows you to crop your long and messy links so that you can post them in places with limited character count and space. With a link shortener, you can ensure that you can promote your web pages on every platform you’re on. And so, you can increase your website’s referral traffic.
In addition, URL shorteners can also offer many advantages, especially to businesses. Most of them come with handy features that can help you upgrade your marketing plan and generate more leads. Thanks to these innovations, business proprietors can step up their marketing and be ahead of their competitors.
However, link shortening services are still underrated. Though many giant names such as New York Times and Starbucks utilize this powerful tool, many proprietors are still hesitant. It is due to the misconception of URL shorteners. Typically, people think that link shorteners are only used to generate shorter links. However, that’s not the case. Link shortener had come a long way since its invention back in 2000. New helpful features have been introduced to many URL shorteners as time goes by. And many proprietors will benefit from these features by incorporating them in their business marketing. Here are some of the ways how.
Incorporating Link Shortener in Your Business Marketing
Today’s link shorteners are more than what their name suggests. They now include handy additional features that can hugely upgrade your marketing plan. Here are eight of the best ways to incorporate a link shortener in your business marketing and be ahead of the game.
Brand Your Links
Whether long or short, every link is comprised of three parts: protocol, domain name, and path. While generic links use the name of the link shortening service you are using (hero.link, for example), branded links use a domain of your choice. Since you can decide your domain, you can create a domain that hints at your brand. For instance, Starbucks uses sbux.co as their domain which gives the audience a hint that the link will redirect them to a webpage of Starbucks.
Since branded links use domains related to your brand, it is an effective marketing asset. Here are some of the reasons why you should brand your links.
- The audience trusts them.
Branded link implies where clickers will be redirected to. In return, people trust links that are branded since they look less suspicious. Branded helps build trust between your target audience and your business, which is the key to customer loyalty.
- They generate more clicks.
Since the audience trusts branded links, they tend to get more clicks from the audience. Hence, branded links are more effective in increasing referral traffics and exposure to your content.
- Increase brand awareness.
Since branded links typically use the brand name as the domain, it is an effective tactic to increase the audience’s awareness of your brand. The link you’ll share hints at the type of services you offer or what type of website you have.
Indeed, the branded link is a powerful tactic you can add to your marketing. It can offer you various advantages that can boost your business in many ways. Here are some of the best practices in branding your links.
Customize the back half of your branded links.
Attaching your brand to the domain is already powerful by itself, but you can also customize your link’s back half or path to enhance your links further. You can either use a compelling call-to-action path like /donate, /invest, and /avail-now or use keywords that can make your links easy to remember. This comes in very handy in the offline promotion. Branded and customized links are easy to type in the users’ web browsers, so they are more likely to do so.
You can also customize the path of your links to promote a new or previously existing product. For example, your business launched a new feature to your website. You can use the name of the new feature as the back half of your link so the audience can be aware of your new service or product. The same goes for your other existing products and services.
Build awareness of your brand slogan.
It’s not only your brand name that you can use as your short links’ domain; you can also make use of your slogan. Red Bull, for example, uses win.gs as their short link domain since their slogan is “Red Bull gives you wings.” This is a good practice in branding your links since you can also increase awareness of your brand’s slogan.
Since shared links are used in many platforms, it is the most visible element of your business’ online visual presence. So, when you create your own branded links, make sure to consider what your domain will reflect.
Branded links increase brand recognition among your target audience. Since they already recognize that branded links are reputable and legitimate, they are more likely to click links that use the same domain. And so, it is crucial to be consistent with your domain. Being consistent with your brand links can further build trust between your audience and the short links.
Improved brand awareness may boost your audience's confidence and trust. It may also set your company apart from the competition, which is critical in a competitive market.
Geo-targeting is a process of sending different promotional content to audiences based on their geographic information. It is commonly utilized in sponsored search campaigns and promotes a service or business to a local prospect.
Geo-based short links are like the other regular short links. However, they are more advantageous over standard short URLs. They can redirect users to different landing pages depending on their location.
Suppose you have a short link that you want to post to social media, but your landing page is location-specific; you can use geo-targeted links to redirect visitors to different landing pages available in their locality. For example, the webpage you want to share is specific to all locations except Canada. Using geo-targeted links, you can specify a separate landing page for the visitors coming from Canada.
Since your shared contents are geo-targeted, you don’t need multiple social media profiles for numerous parts of the world. And so, you can also get rid of putting a disclaimer in your posts telling people which areas certain web pages are only available. Instead, you may detect difficulties with the location before posting and guide people to the most appropriate URL for them.
Link shortener services also allow you to track your links and learn from these statistics. It is suitable for many enterprises since you can tell which marketing tactics can generate more clicks and drive higher referral traffic.
You may use link tracking in various ways to better assess the reach and efficacy of your marketing activities. Here are a few examples of how you can execute a link tracking program in your marketing.
- Through Email.
To discover which campaigns are producing the most income, use link tracking in your email campaigns to measure impressions, clickthroughs, and conversions. This is especially beneficial if you're sending out many email promos or testing several distinct versions of a message. Simply add the proper UTM parameters to your call-to-action URLs and include them in your email messages.
- In Online Marketing
Consider incorporating a URL in your offer or advertisement that is unique to that marketing activity if offline or "analog" marketing, such as direct mail, is part of your plan. Use a different landing page link (example.com/mailer), so you can see how many people clicked on the mailer. Because all traffic is sent to a single page, no UTM tags are required in this scenario. If you're using digital ways to drive visitors to the landing page, ensure sure the links are tagged with UTM tags so you can track the traffic.
- In Paid Media
Make sure you keep track of everything! To make it easier to recognize where your leads are coming from, use a distinct UTM tagged link for each of your numerous paid advertising channels and campaigns. Link tracking can help you figure out which media channels provide the highest return on investment, which messages and promotions work best, and how to allocate your cash. Link monitoring may differ between success and failure for firms that invest a large amount of their marketing budget on paid media.
Link tracking provides proprietors with a robust attribution approach that may help them make data-driven decisions and operate more efficiently and effectively in an increasingly competitive market. It also establishes a direct relationship between a particular marketing effort and its influence on its bottom line. Link tracking gives quantitative information that may be utilized to manage resources better and boost income, which can be challenging to detect in marketing.
Device targeting is the key to creating a more personalized experience for visitors. It allows you to control when, where, and what device your ads connect with customers based on what’s best for your business. It also allows you to custom-tailor a specific marketing tactic or content for your visitors, depending on the device they are using to access them.
In addition, device targeting also lets you target users using a specific operating system. With this, mobile user visitors will be redirected to a mobile-specific landing page, while iOS users will be sent to a different landing page. Alongside, it also allows you to run different promotional adverts best for a specific platform. You can make bid modifications for such campaigns or ad groups if you discover that mobile users are more likely to convert than desktop users. You may also increase or reduce bids for various devices separately.
Many online business proprietors are aware of how crucial advertisements are in driving your customer to their website. However, data reveals that 97% of visitors who come to your site for the first time leave without purchasing anything, which is a significant opportunity loss.
However, it is now possible to drive them back to your website through retargeting. Retargeting allows you to target audiences who previously visited your website. Since they already showed interest in your products or services, they are more likely to click the adverts that they will encounter. But how audience retargeting works?
Retargeting works by using "cookies." The browser records this little piece of data that remembers who saw your ad or visited your website. It allows you to create tailored advertising for people who have previously expressed interest in your business.
Retargeting works best if you can either separate your visitors and customize the retargeting advertisements presented to each group, or you can choose not to retarget them at all. It is also best to have a clear call to action and promotes a deal.
Retargeting time frames vary depending on the product. People purchasing for vacation, for example, should be retargeted right away, whereas those shopping for leisure can be retargeted later.
Utilize Link Rotator
A link rotator is a specialized link that redirects different users to different landing pages. This specialized link is an excellent opportunity for online businesses to test which promotions, adverts, or landing pages drive more traffic or revenue.
Here are three of the best reasons why you should utilize a link rotator.
- Keep track of conversions. Link rotator allows you to track the success of your links, which is essential for landing sites, opt-in forms, and other applications.
- Interact with visitors to your website. This type of passive interaction has its own set of advantages, including improved user experience. You may then optimize these features based on how your visitors engage with your website.
- Resurrect links/ads that aren't functioning well. You may ensure that all material receives equal exposure by rotating your links, regardless of its performance.
Top 5 Best URL Shortener for Marketing
Here are our top 5 best URL shortener for marketing.
Undoubtedly, Bitly is the most popular link shortener available in the market. Bitly (formerly known as Bit.ly) is a link shortening tool with a complete dashboard that provides performance analytics for your links, such as click-through rates and channel statistics. It also displays the location of those who have clicked on your links.
The program also allows you to create branded links. It integrates with social media management tools that enable you to spread your shortened links throughout your social media networks conveniently.
Bitly's free account includes 1,000 unbranded links and 30 days of link reporting, making it suitable for small enterprises. Its corporate package allows you to brand 10,000+ links each month and includes all the above data and KPIs. Large firms who wish to brand and track every link in their marketing campaigns should choose this membership tier.
Bitly is best for proprietors as well as small and medium-sized organizations. It has the benefit of being accessible and adding custom slugs, making it suitable for both personal and business usage.
Another excellent link shortener for businesses is Hero.link. It is a URL shortener platform for e-commerce. Hero.link is complete with link shortener features that can leverage your marketing strategy, including click-through rate, social media statistics, and audience retargeting.
Hero Link is the smartest link engagement platform. It allows you to shorten, customize and track your links with A/B testing. This service also offers you the following powerful features that can dramatically upgrade your marketing:
- Smart Targeting. Target your customers to increase your reach and redirect them to a relevant page. Add a pixel to retarget them in your social media ad campaign to capture them.
- In-Depth Analytics. Share your links to your network and measure data to optimize your marketing campaign's performance. Reach an audience that fits your needs.
- Branded Domain Names. Easily add your own domain name for short your links and take control of your brand name and your users' trust.
- Team Management. Invite your team members and assign them specific privileges to manage links, bundles, pages and other features.
- Custom Landing Page. Create a custom landing page to promote your product or service on forefront and engage the user in your marketing campaign.
Hero.link is best for big and small enterprises. It also allows you to generate generic short links for free, which requires you to create a free account. Hero.link's subscription plans are extensive yet cost-effective.
Rebrandly is the sort of URL shortener that's ideal for modifying and branding URLs to develop a recognizable business in a crowded digital marketplace.
It begins by assisting you in setting up your site's domain name so that you may utilize it in all of your shortened links. But there's more: it has features like:
Link Management — For the best user experience, create quick redirects, QR codes, link expirations, and custom URL slugs. You may also build links in bulk to save time.
Traffic Routing — Enjoy link retargeting, emoji links, 301 SEO redirection, and deep mobile linking to ensure that the correct people see your links.
Analytics - Rebrandly also has analytics features, including UTM builder, custom report creation, and more that help you grow your business and reach a wider audience.
Domain Name Management – Add several domain names, encrypt links with HTTPS, and set a primary domain redirect in Domain Name Management.
Collaboration — Involve your team in the link-shortening process, activate two-factor authentication, keep track of activity logs, and set user permissions.
Rebrandly is best for small businesses that are just starting with a link shortening strategy. Rebrandly’s starting price is low, but its features rival and even exceed its top competitors.
As one of the more sophisticated link shorteners available, BL.INK creates smart branded links with relevant terms rather than a random string of letters.
It also offers analytic reports that allow users to trace clicks by date, time, language, referrers, device, and location. Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics are among the online analytic technologies that the product connects with.
You can also use BL.INK to build bespoke short links for better branding, and you can try out the beta version of Smart Link to develop highly targeted word-based URLs that will drive visitors to your site and boost conversions. User permissions may be readily enabled to ensure that only the appropriate team members access your link shortener tool.
You just pay for what you use with BL.INK's tiered pricing. One thousand links and 1000 hits per link are included in the free plan. There's also a custom domain, Zapier integration, and branded links included. Premium subscriptions start at $48/month and include numerous users, more links and clicks, priority support, and device/language/location monitoring.
Ow.ly is a link shortener included in every free Hootsuite account. It was created by the social media management company Hootsuite. You can distribute your links and analyze their performance data right in the Hootsuite platform with Ow.ly, which allows you to shorten every single link you share across all of your social media networks. For those who currently use Hootsuite as their social media management software, Ow.ly is an excellent alternative.
One drawback of this application is that it provides no information about Ow.ly's functionality, such as the number of recorded clicks. Within the platform, there is a UTM builder available.
Ow.ly is best for Hootsuite users or those interested in utilizing Hootsuite to manage their social media presence. The most significant thing is that it's completely free, making it an excellent option for those just getting started with Hootsuite
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about link shorteners.
What are Link shorteners?
Basically, a URL shortener is a tool to shorten long and distracting links. Instead of sharing lengthy links, you can use a URL shortener to make your links shorter yet more impactful and pleasing. Link shortener, URL compressor, link compressor, and many more are just the same thing. It is just that people have different ways to refer to the same thing.
Why should I use a link shortener?
Long links are annoying. If you are sharing links on platforms where you can only post content with a limited number of characters like Twitter, long URLs can and will eat up the entire post. In addition, long URLs generate fewer clicks compared to short and pleasant links. Long URLs can also upstage your marketing tactics.
For business, here are four of the best reasons why you should use a URL shortener?
1. Long URLs are not suitable for offline marketing. Since the audience can not interact with offline adverts, using long URLs is pointless. But if your link is short, memorable, and easy to type, people are more likely to visit your site.
2. Long and messy are distracting and can divert people’s attention, affecting the effectiveness of your marketing tactics.
3. People are more likely to share short links.
4. Short links are easier to track.
Are URL shorteners safe?
URL shorteners are safe to use. On the other hand, short URLs represent some security challenges since they are vulnerable to brute force attacks, and hackers can guess several abbreviated URLs. Furthermore, visitors to the truncated URL must trust the sender of the URL because they have no idea where they will be routed when they click it. Some corporations prohibit the use of shortened URLs at network gateways.
It is advisable to use a URL shortener tool that gives branded link alternatives for businesses. Visitors are more likely to trust branded links. Branded links may also produce a lot more hits and engagement than generic short ones. Most importantly, branding your links is a great approach to boost your website’s authority and brand recognition.
How does the URL compressor track links?
In marketing, tracking links and URLs are frequently used to determine the efficiency of marketing efforts and campaigns. It's practically hard to figure out where your website's traffic is coming from without a tracking connection. Tracking links can assist you if you've ever questioned why your traffic rose, where your most recent buyers came from, or the success of a marketing offer.
Click tracking works by replacing the link in the body of an email with a link to your link shortener’s server, which then redirects the user to the ultimate destination. When someone clicks on the link, they are transferred to the link shortener service’s domain, where the clicks are recorded, and the user is subsequently forwarded to the original destination.
What is the benefit of a URL shortener?
A URL shortener can also offer you additional benefits besides providing you with a short and pleasant link that redirects your target audience to the same landing page. This is particularly great for businesses since it can dramatically boost their website’s referral traffic. Here are a few of the benefits of using a URL shortener.
-It improves social media and email deliverability.
-It helps secure crucial data.
-It helps you track statistics of short links to improve the marketing strategy.
-It allows you to retarget links to drive customers back.
-It increases brand recognition and the audience’s awareness of your brand.
-Short links generate more clicks
-They are great for offline marketing
How long does a short link last?
Short URLs, in general, do not have an expiration date. On the other hand, short links have a restriction on the number of clicks they may generate. This click restriction might be set on a monthly, annual, or lifetime basis. Because the quantity of produced clicks is refreshed every month, it's advisable to utilize a URL shortener that employs monthly click limitations, such as Hero.link.
Limitless premium link shortener deals are also available, allowing you to create an unlimited number of clicks. Businesses that are typically generating large amounts of clicks per link will benefit from it.
How does a short link redirect visitors to the same page?
A URL shortener is a service that generates a one-of-a-kind short URL, usually around ten characters long, that is mapped to a longer URL and connects to the precise address. The data is commonly maintained in a table or hash map as key-value pairs, with the keys being the short URL and the values being the longer URL.
You used Hero.link to shorten your link, for example. For the link, the program will produce a random unique code that comprises both numbers and letters. For unbranded and uncustomized links, the produced code will be appended to the domain name to form a short URL like "hero.link/a1b2c3d4". The primary URL will then be transferred to the database's short URL.
Anyone who visits the short URL will now be forwarded to the same landing page as those who visit the long URL.
Are short links always unique?
Short URLs are always unique since there is an enormous number of possible alphanumeric combination codes. If a collision occurs, the service will usually generate a new code until it finds a connection that hasn't been utilized yet.
Why are branded links better than generic links?
The most straightforward reason, probably the most convincing, could be that the audience trusts branded links more than generic ones. Since they trust branded links, it is more likely that they will click such links. HEnce, branded links generate more clicks and are more effective when it comes to promotional activities. In addition, branded links can also offer increased brand recognition and brand awareness.
Are short links bad for my website’s SEO?
If your short link service uses other redirects than 301 redirects, it can harm your website’s SEO. So, to avoid compromising your SEO, ensure that your short link service only generates links that use 301 redirects.
People commonly think that a link shortener is just a simple tool that generates short links. However, that is an understatement. Link shortener can offer many features that can genuinely upgrade businesses’ marketing tactics. It is now more developed and can offer handy promotional tools. Many businesses can now be ahead of the competition through a link shortener. Unfortunately, many business proprietors are unaware of these things.
Alongside a lack of knowledge towards URL shorteners, many people also believe that using link shorteners is detrimental and unsafe. But that is always not the case. A link shortener can only pose adverse effects to the website if it uses redirects that are not 301. Notably, it is still a proprietor’s role to check if a link shortener service uses what type of redirect and if this redirect can harm their website. In addition, a short link is only bad if it redirects web users to a malicious landing page.
Link shorteners are beyond what many people think of them. Many businesses are already aware of how powerful link shorteners are and now enjoying the benefits. Link shortener is a simple yet powerful marketing tactic that can help you reach your marketing goals. So if you require an upgrade in your marketing, Hero.link is always ready to assist you. Our link shortener service also includes features that can sure step up your marketing game. Feel free to reach to us. We are glad to team up with you!