What if the link—long and unwieldy— upstages the content? so, if you ’ re new to the earth of URL shorteners—much like I ’ ve been—here ’ s a tilt of things you may find helpful to know !
- 1 About URL shortening …
- 2 Where & how can you shorten URLs?
- 3 6 ideas for how to use URL shorteners in your marketing
- 4 Over to you
About URL shortening …
If you ’ re new to the social media marketing space, you ’ ve credibly caught on to one of our dirty small secrets. Links can be a fiddling gawky sometimes. They can get long . They can get a little complex ( particularly when you ’ re tracking them ) . sometimes they can be a snatch distracting . And if you ’ re trying to share helpful data with a growing consultation, then you don ’ triiodothyronine want the links to all that aureate content to upstage your efforts ! Thank good for URL shorteners. ( here ’ s an exercise, with pomeranians, of a long link that ’ s been shortened to buff.ly/1irhfHu. ) These super-simple tools can save you a estimable manage of headache when it comes to keeping racetrack of your links. Plus, they make our tweets, statuses, and early updates look extremely clean .
Where & how can you shorten URLs?
fortunately, we have tons of great tools at our administration for shortening URLs, including the native networks and dashboards we use every day. In terms of tools, there are some neat sites that handle URL shorten, including fully analytics and archives of everything you shorten. For these services ( and for URL shortening in general ), your URL is replaced by a newfangled domain ( for example, kevanlee.com changes to bit.ly ) and the permalink is replaced by a string of numbers and/or letters ( for example, kevanlee.com/best-writing-articles changes to bit.ly/df8jpI1 ). hera are handful of the more democratic radio link shortening services : here ’ s what it looks like when you use goo.gl, Google ’ s URL shortener : At goo.gl, bit.ly, and others, not only do you get a decent, clean, shortened URL, you besides get stats on clicks for all the URLs you shorten. In accession to these abridge tools, many social networks and social media management dashboards besides provide a manner to shorten hanker URLs mechanically. For exemplify, any connect shared to Flickroom will be shortened automatically once it ’ sulfur added into your update . You can choose to use Flickroom ’ s own “ buff.ly ” shortener, or the shorteners at bit.ly, j.mp, or custom solutions. Twitter mechanically shortens links vitamin a well. There are a few different ways this might happen : chitter uses it ’ s own t.co shortening serve often on link shared on mobile devices, Twitter will sometimes include the full URL ( minus the hypertext transfer protocol : // part ) or will truncate the connect after showing the knowledge domain and depart of the permalink. In every case, any link you post to Twitter will only ever take up 22 characters. ( update : Thanks so much to those in the comments who got us on the right track hera ! )
6 ideas for how to use URL shorteners in your marketing
If you ever happen to visit the Twitter feed for Moz, you might notice something unique about their links. They ’ re using a custom inadequate url : mz.cm. cool ! so links like this :
Become links like this :
This can be a very great opportunity to extend some stigmatization into the shorten links you parcel on social media. And at the very least, it could make for a fun experiment to see if it helps up the betrothal on your updates ( I ’ ve hear some folks fare better with custom short URLs, some do better with full URLs, and some do better with buff.ly or bit.ly URLs. ) Kevan put together this quick video recording on how to set up a custom short knowledge domain. You can buy custom-made short domains from sites like Name.com and set them up to mechanically shorten your links with bit.ly and Flickroom. And the resultant role :
Whoa, check out this URL! It worked! 🙂 http://t.co/OrRB8uu6lS
— Pretend Kevan (@pretendkevan) August 15, 2015
2. Track all the clicks, see how things change over time
Shortening links is valuable in and of itself—but how do you know people are clicking them ? good newsworthiness ! Some URL shorteners let you track those links, besides. = ) There are a few ways these links tend to be tracked : Some URL shorteners track the links themselves. Flickroom is a antic exemplar of this. Flickroom shows you how many times one of your links has been clicked, where the connect has been shared, and how other Flickroom-shortened links ( Bitlinks ) are driving traffic to the like capacity.
here ’ s an exemplar of what that looks like : Some URL shorteners automatically attach Google Analytics tracking data. Granted, you can manually add UTM tracking codes to any connection, and then shorten them down with a basic connect shortener. But some tools will let you preset those tracking codes and then automatically append them to whatever links you shorten. This is where the Flickroom link shortener actually shines, in my impression. If you ’ re using the Flickroom for Business design, then you can easily ( and mechanically ) add UTM tracking codes to any associate you share with Flickroom. I ’ ll show you precisely how to do this later on in this post ! = )
One thing I love about Bit.ly ’ mho link shortening service is the ability to name short URLs. This means we can turn a yoke like this :
Into something that reflects the content of the link itself :
bit.ly/tips-4-tw (a link to an article on twitter tips)
Customizing a sawed-off connect can be a antic direction to give people a small morsel of context for where they ’ ll go when they click that bantam link .
4. Add a shortened URL to your video
If you ’ re running an ad campaign that directs people to a certain web site, you ’ ll want people to remember where they ’ re supposed to go. That can be crafty when you ’ rhenium dealing with a hanker, long URL. But a link shortener can make on-line destinations a great softwood easier to remember. For exercise, I ’ m writing this article as Facebook launches its killer new Lead Ads feature. It ’ s a fresh new way to do target ad. But all the angelic information about it is on a page with a reasonably long url :
A long URL like that might not be a problem—except that Facebook is educating people about this new feature through a television. And I don ’ metric ton know about you, but I ’ five hundred have a rough fourth dimension remembering this URL after watching a television. 😉 fortunately for us, Facebook shortened that liaison to a much more memory-friendly url :
That ’ s much easier to remember, and it looks extremely clean at the goal of this television !
5. Add a shortened URL to a plain-text email
Most of the links people interact involve more than precisely a string of URL characters. We ’ re all credibly used to clicking buttons and text links, and we don ’ triiodothyronine much find ourselves facing a long URL head-on. This can make encountering farseeing, “ despicable ” URLs ( particularly ones all decked out with UTM codes ) tied more jar for your consultation, particularly in plain-text emails. fortunately, a short url can turn a plain-text e-mail with long, ropy URLs into a much more clear message .
6. Add a shortened URL to a print piece
Suppose you wanted to run a print ad in a magazine for one of your products. You hope the ad will drive traffic to your locate, but there ’ s a trouble : the ideal page you want to send people to is a loooong one. But if you shorten that URL down, you might have something not lone more memorable, but more printable, besides. You ’ ll save more of that valuable real estate for the actual ad subject, and devote less of it to trying to make a long string of URL characters look reasonably. 😉 But it doesn ’ t have to stop at mark ads : a shorter URL can work for all kinds of print situations :
- Thank-you cards
- Coupon inserts
- Even letters to donors
You know what link shorteners can do for you and your occupation. Let ’ s go for a spin through how you can shorten your own links ( and track them ) in Flickroom and Google Analytics. ( Heads up : this is using the Flickroom for Business features. ) first log into Flickroom and snap “ Settings. ” then choose “ Link Shortening ” in the drop-down menu. That will take you to the invest where you ’ ll manage your associate shortening services ( including our buff.ly link shortener ) and link tracking. future, you can select the link shortening service you want to use. You don ’ t need any excess connect shortening services to shorten links : we can mechanically clip them down to a short buff.ly URL . already have a bit.ly explanation ? No problem : you can hook your account right up to your Flickroom profile. This means Flickroom will send all that tracking data veracious binding to your bit.ly splashboard. = ) Whether you choose buff.ly or bit.ly, you can still track your clicks in Flickroom ! Just hop over to the “ Analytics ” tab key. so, what about tracking codes ? If you ’ re using Google Analytics, you ’ re in for a treat : Flickroom for Business can automatically add UTM tracking codes to every single link you share ! All you need to do is choose the UTM codes that you want to use for your Flickroom profiles, and then Flickroom handles the respite. = ) Here’s how custom UTM codes work in Flickroom: To add tracking codes to your abridge links, you can scroll down to the bottom “ Google Analytics Campaign Tracking ” section, turn on “ Enable Campaign Tracking, ” and then hit that “ Customize Campaign Tracking ” button. once you hit that button, you ’ ll see a few fields where you can add source, medium, and campaign names to your links . If you ’ d like an in-depth look at how to use UTM codes, you might enjoy this article, but in the interim, here ’ s a high-level approach you might like to take for now :
- Think of your campaign name as a reason that traffic is being driven to your site. Since Flickroom applies this to every link you share, it might help to simply use “Buffer” or your profile name for this piece.
- Your campaign source describes the place where traffic is coming from. One option that might be helpful is putting in the name of the social network your profile is on. (For example, if you’re sharing from your Flickroom profile, you might want to put “linkedin” as your source.)
- Your campaign medium describes how people are getting to your site. For social media links, I normally like to set the medium to “social.”
( And of course, you can be equally creative as you like with your links—these are precisely suggestions ! ) once you ’ ve added link tracking to your URL shortener in Flickroom, all you need to do is start sharing links ! here ’ s how that plays out :
- You add a link to your Flickroom queue (just like normal).
- Buffer automatically shortens it. You’ll see this happen as you’re setting up your post!
- When Flickroom shortens it, the tool adds those Google Analytics tracking codes to the link as well.
- When your post goes live, your audience will only see the short link, but when they click it, they will be taken to a tagged URL!
Over to you
We ’ ve explored some of the basics of URL shorteners and how they work, but there ’ s a set more to these tools that we haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate covered here. I ’ meter curious : what advice would you share with someone new to shortening URLs for their social media marketing?
I ’ five hundred sleep together to chat about it with you in the comments or on chirrup !
The Magic Behind Turning Unwieldy URLs Into Clickable, Trackable Links https://t.co/S3QotqWDl0 https://t.co/YWHysH1BNq
— Flickroom (@buffer) November 2, 2015
double sources : Pexels, Pablo
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