Did you know that social media has the lion’s share amongst all the digital marketing strategies?
It’s high time that companies consider social media marketing services as a crucial part of their marketing efforts.
It’s no secret that social media deeply relies on fine aesthetics. This is the era of graphics over content, larger followers base and shorter URLs.
Ever thought something as minute as a URL would make a difference to your business?
Well, it does.
And after reading this article, you may want to shorten the URLs you share. So, let’s begin with the basics.
What is a URL shortener?
A URL shortener is a tool that takes a long URL and converts it in a compact size. These abridged URLs are between 10-20 characters in length. They redirect the user to the originally intended page by a hidden redirect link.
There are 2 types of URL shorteners. The first one is standalone. These are not associated with any social media content management system. Services like Bit.ly and Goo.gl fall in this category.
The second one includes the ones that are already integrated into the social media system itself. You can use the shortened link of one social media platform on another one.
Why use a URL shortener?
Link shorteners are used by great companies like Amazon, which has its own integrated shortener. So, how does condensing a link exactly help? Here is a list of reasons.
- Cut short the hassle
- Make posts look good
- Receive click insights
- Increase shareability
- Keep thumbnails intact
- Compatible with SEO
- Trace dark social
- Aid customized branding
Let’s look at them in detail.
Cut short the hassle
Some links can be extremely long, causing trouble when you try to share them. Especially if you are working with a character limit.
When you try the text wrapping feature, it breaks the link, leaving users lost and unable to connect to the intended webpage. Moreover, it has been observed that the audience does not like clicking on long URLs.
They pose major inconvenience on social media as well. On certain platforms with limited character provision where the characters of the link get counted as text, imagine using a link as shown below.
Hence, when you are considering the pros and cons of URL shortener, consider this. If a link is too long, you’ll have no space to write anything else in the post, thus, rendering it vague. The link shown above has a character count of 146. Twitter now allows 280 characters but earlier the limit was 140 characters. So you couldn’t have been able to paste that one link in one tweet.
Do you really want to take such a risk?
Make posts look good
People prefer minimalism. Be it in design, writing, or links. And longer links just cause unnecessary clutter.
Studies suggest that social media posts with shorter links are more appealing to people. Shorter URLs are also easier to fit in social media profiles. Since they do not take up too much space, they don’t damage the appeal of your post or your profile.
This picture shows Amazon’s personalized shortened link address, amzn.to. When a reputed company like Amazon shortens links using URL shorteners, you know there is some significance to the act.
Receive click insights
We love URL shorteners with analytics. They provide information like audience demographics, engagement rate, and click-through rate – all in one place. Moreover, it’s real-time tracking.
In this way, you can check which platform brings the maximum number of visitors to your site. This data can also help you market your pages accordingly.
Additionally, you also get an idea of the kind of audience that usually goes through your links. It will also help you figure out where to promote your link, and amongst whom to circulate.
With the help of expert social media marketing company, you can boost the number of followers right up.
When the link is short and customized, people tend to trust it more. When they know it will redirect them to a trusted website, they are more likely to click it. This is so because it gives them a surety that they will find the information they are looking for.
And the more a link is clicked, the higher are the chances of people going through your content.
If they find it relatable or share-worthy, people usually share the link on their profiles. This way, an increased number of people will view your webpage.
Thus, you increase the possibility of reaching out to a wider audience by increasing shareability with URL shorteners.
Keep thumbnails intact
Concerned that the thumbnail/image preview of the link will change if it is shortened? Well, the images, descriptions, their thumbnails- they all stay the same. The shortened links are simply imposed on the longer ones, so they do not interfere with the content of your webpage at all.
Compatible with SEO
We know what you’re worried about.
Do URL shorteners impact your SEO?
Rejoice, because they don’t.
If the shortened link has a 301-type redirect, the SEO effect of your original link stays intact.
With the help of this redirect, while you change the characters in the link, they still consider the value of your keyword-based original link. Majority of link shorteners use this type, so your link is still search engine optimized.
While we are on the subject, shortened URLs may not affect your SEO but the latest Moz update might! Read all about it here.
Track dark social
Website referrals are difficult to track. They fall under the category of dark social in digital marketing. When people share links through email, text messages, and encrypted chats, one cannot track the clicks they get.
Studies show that nearly 59% of the online content is shared via dark social. Hence, it may become important for you to track these clicks down.
Believe it or not, tracking these supposedly hidden clicks is possible through URL shorteners. This is another great benefit of using URL shorteners.
By going through the clicking analytics, you can track down the referrals which had previously gone unnoticed or stayed hidden. If you hire an SMO expert, they will greatly benefit from this data.
Aid customized branding
We already talked about Amazon’s customized URL shortener. By customizing your link address to match your company name, you can advertise your company with every link.
For example, Time Inc. uses a vanity URL, “ti.me”. This is a minuscule way of branding, which can prove to be very effective. It shows authority, finesse, and attention to details, thus compelling users to pay attention.
Features to look for
There are many tools out there which can help you with the task. However, if you are planning to make their use for more than just condensing the link, you should be careful. These are the features that will come in handy:
- Exclusion of clicks from bots to show an organic count
- Use of HTTP 301 type redirect, so your SEO values remain intact
- Singular view of all links to provide a centralized dashboard
- Mobile deep links to detect apps and open links in the brand’s app itself
These tools usually have paid and unpaid versions, where the paid ones provide exquisite services. However, for a small business, an unpaid version does the job.
Tools providing customized shortened URLs
To cut down your work, we have listed some tools that help you shorten the links. Pick the one that you think suits your needs the best.
Rebrandly detests shortened links which make no sense and are just a series of characters and numbers.
Hence, they provide customized shortened links. They also let you edit your links even after you have created and used them.
For example: beauty.femme/lipstick gives you an idea of the company, and the product you can expect to see once you open the link.
Moreover, it is easy to remember and stands out amongst other cluttered links. This helps the links gain user’s trust, increasing the chance of them being clicked by a generous 30%.
Another benefit of such links is that you can add your SEO keywords to the link itself, helping in improving your website’s keyword values.
Bitly is the most popular URL shortener out there. The tool lets you shorten, share, manage, and track your links easily. With its analytics, you can keep track of the location as well as time-zone of each click.
The highlight feature of Snip.ly is that it adds a call-to-action pop-up on the webpage, which leads back to your website. You can also add a customized message for the user to see for the same. Moreover, it supports RSS feed integration.
This brings us to the end
As you might have observed, there are many benefits of URL shorteners. It can be a way of branding your company, improving your marketing strategy, and even getting more visibility.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick a suitable tool and get down to shortening the links right away.
P. S. don’t forget to customize them for extra credits.
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