It seems quite simple. Links shortener is to shorten the links – end of a story. What a difference which one you choose as it has only one job – give you a short link. Such thinking is a huge mistake and prevents you from many possibilities! There are so many types of tools on the market that offer much more than just shortening your link. There is huge power in such tools, which give many opportunities. It is worth looking for other solutions than those who come first to mind, like Google Link Shortener. It is worthwhile to review the market in order to find opportunities. Maybe you will find new favourite tools that will allow you to control links like never before?
So enough of glorifying links shorteners. Let’s be specific – what else, besides shortener your links, can you do with such tools? We will tell you how to use 100% potential link shorteners. Just keep reading. Below you will find some ideas, how to make the most of link shorteners.
But let’s start from the beginning when it is worth using such tools.
When should you use a link shortener?
In some cases, the URL shortening has a larger sense than in others. If you share links with a group of friends in private messages, it makes no sense to shorten them. Your friends will probably guess where given links can get them and if not, at least they feel safe, knowing that you do not send them any virus. Using link shorteners is a good option but in the case of business connections.
There is also no need to get your links to shorten if you are doing an internal linking. Once you link the anchor, there is no need to get additional tracking since you should have all clear as a day in your Google Analytics dashboard.
So when is it worth getting shorter?
- Suppose you are publishing across multiple different sites. Publishing one short link in several locations around the Internet allows for better tracking and polling information about its performance. Not to mention that a shorter link is much friendlier towards the receiver than two lines of random letters and numbers collected together. Moreover, if you need to change the link parameter, you will be able to do it once and do not change any version of the published link.
- When you are running an SMS campaign. If you invest in SMS marketing, saving characters should get into your blood. Text messages are only 160 characters. Let’s imagine that you have sent an unshortened link to your client. First, they will probably not open it because it looks unsafe. Secondly, you would not even have a place to explain what this link is, what is even more suspicious.
- If you want to add links in social media bios. The reasons are similar, it won’t look nice if you put a long line of random text in your bio. Moreover, often the bios’ text boxes have a character limit. So if you want to put something more than a link there, you need to get it shorter.
- When you are all about Twitter. Despite the fact that Twitter extended the maximum length of Tweets to 280 characters, it is not so much. Shortening the link will allow you to save your characters and give you room to briefly describing what the link is about. In addition, Twitter is a place for short signals. Hardly anyone did there up to 280 characters.
So now let’s focus on the main subject – why you need to use links shorter and how to make the most of it. Google URL Shortener won’t get half of these facilities. That is why you should aim to use an external tool. Ready to get some practical info?
Why should you use link shorteners?
You can mask your link
Link masking sounds a suspect, but it is not so. If you want to share some content and make a maximum simplify link, you should use a URL shortener. By masking links you can hide the domain source, and it’s not about cheating the recipient. If the domain has a long name, it takes your characters, and as a result, you can not, for example, tweet it. Sometimes it just better not show the brand name. What’s more, if you run an affiliate marketing program, links that your affiliates share with their followers should look encouragingly for recipients to click. Thus, they should not be too long because this does not arouse trust, and secondly, they may not fit in bios or in the descriptions.
You can track your links
To check how your page is performed, you should follow the links that you share. Similarly, if you run an affiliate program, you should keep your hand on the pulse and check which affiliate is doing the best and how many new clients visit your website with their link. And here come UTM tags with a huge help. UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. It is a short parameter that can be added to each of your links, and its superpower is to track traffic from individual sources. With UTMs, analysing your web’s traffic wouldn’t be a big problem. But you need to remember that if you want to make the most of these tags, you should describe them well. What do the UTMs consist of? There are five elements.
- Source which is the origin of incoming traffic. This is the only obligatory parameter to describe.
- Medium, which means the type of traffic like from the blog, from the newsletter, pay traffic, etc.
- Campaign i.e., a specific campaign tag, e.g.,. its name.
- Term is for keywords.
- Content is for mark each ad piece which is very useful if you are running ad campaigns.
Because of these parameters, it can seem that adding UTM to the link would get it very long. No worries, thanks to the right tool you can add well-described UTM tags and generate a shortened link. Doesn’t it sound perfect?
You can retarget your links
Retargetting is important for your business. Retargeting is used by about seven out of ten companies to increase brand awareness. It is crucial to know who is about your content and who’s not. What’s more, knowing who clicks on a given link can improve your content to fit your real target group. So how do you follow links’ audience? Thanks for adding to each link a retargeting pixel.
In a nutshell, what retargeting pixels are. These are small parts of the code that are loading once the side gets loaded too. It collects information on who clicked on a given link. All this information is gathered, creating your recipient database. You have access to this base at any time you want. So thanks to such information, you can customize your content or page design and make it more recipient-friendly. And as a result, your web would perform better, and you will get more views.
You can customise your links
Sometimes you want everyone who clicks on a given link to know that they go to your site. To improve the user experience or brand awareness, it is worth customizing links and adding the name of your company. You can shorten the link and add your brand name without any problem. By adding the name, the audience can be assured that they will ultimately reach your site, not just some random one. What’s more, you can also add CTA. Good call-to-actions can really improve the results of your site. Why not try?
There is also a possibility to customise your links’ thumbnails. Thumbnails are important because they provide the user to preview the destination of the link. If you design a good-looking thumbnail that will encourage users to click on it, and you’ll be able to see the results. What is more, it will ensure that there is no need to be suspicious about the website. And it’s a great success. Now it is time to rethink your web’ appearance. You need to meet customer expectations in terms of content to make sure your customer won’t leave it a minute after they get there.
You can generate a QR code
Sometimes it is better to send a QR code than a link. It could be helpful for example, while running an affiliate marketing campaign. Your affiliates share the code, and their audiences scan it and get to your web. Each of your affiliates can have their own personalized QR code, and the analytics works the same way as with regular links. You can keep an eye on your affiliates’ performance as easily as it comes with links.
A big pro about QR codes is that they are more tailored to mobile devices, they scan the code and get to the web. But on the other hand, if you had more visitors from desktops or laptops, this solution may cause some sort of problem. There is a way to scan a QR code on the laptop, but it needs special tools which are not very popular, and hardly anyone knows that there is such a possibility.
You can customise 404 redirection
It is a human thing to make mistakes. Many users do some mistakes while typing the web address. It is worth planning where they should be redirecting while some mistakes occur. And with some link shorteners, you can do it. Design where users should be redirecting while they do typos in your domain or click at the expired link. You can select your landing page or choose some subpages, depending on the mistake.
It is a great idea to design such an action. It builds brand awareness and helps you with getting more traffic. Sometimes customers remember how a given brand’s name sounded, or they simply have some associations and type them as a domain address. But it is not the right address. If ERROR 404 continues to appear, they will give up at some point. But if you set a redirection, they will ultimately get to your site, and you will gain new users. It is a win-win situation – they found you as they wanted, and you had new users.
Over to you
Getting your links shorter is a very useful thing, especially if you often share them across the Internet. If you start using the right tools, you will be able to do much more than get a short link. It really can accelerate the work and give you a lot of useful information that will allow you to improve the content you provide.
We have hope that these few reasons above encouraged you to choose the external URL shorteners. Why not track, retarget or mask your links when it is possible to do so with one tool. It is also worth using customisation options. When you try it once, you do not want to stop! And if you want to try, use RocketLink!