What is a link shortener?
Most URL’s are long and ugly. Tracking codes can add an incredible amount of code into the link. You have seen them. The ones with a “?” and then a long string of numbers and letters. You want this tracking code for reporting. It allows you the chance to see where traffic is coming from, for testing, and for affiliate programs.
But when you place them in social media, the long coded link can be distracting at best and unusable at worst. Think of Twitter. The long link can easily take up most of your 140 character message. With a link shortener you can get a very short link to display and still keep the tracking.
How does a link shortener work?
You just copy and past the long ugly URL into the link shortener and get a more presentable link that can be used almost anywhere.
There are several options for using a link shortener for shortening links. Many programs have them built into the process – for Twitter, Hootsuite, Facebook, etc. And there are others that can be used separately, such as TinyURL and Bit.ly.
7 reasons why I I use Bit.ly:
- Easy to use. I have been using Bit.ly for several years. I have always found the service to be extremely easy to use. I just copy in the link and out comes the short link. There aren’t so many options that clutter up the basic function. And I don’t continually get hit with messages to upgrade to a paid plan. I like that.
- Tracking. The tracking is the most valuable feature. The stats give plenty of detail on activity for my bit.ly short links. I can see metrics on each link as well as the entire program. The data includes referrers and locations. And the reports can be presented with various dates, such as the past 30 day, past hour, etc.
- Customization. The customization of the shortened link is great too. For example I could take the bitly http://bit.ly/1rPfUIa and customize the tracking code to say something more descriptive. Such as http://bit.ly/twbootcamp. This gives me instant recognition of the destination of the URL. However, the customization you choose has to be unique for all bit.ly’s – for obvious reasons – so you need to be creative sometimes.
- Consolidation. All of my bitly links appear in my one account. So I can easily see how all of my links are doing without having to check them out individually.
- Bundles. You can also create bundles of links. This is great for tracking project level metrics.
- Apps. Bit.ly has also built a few apps and extensions which can be used in your browser. This allows you to quickly create a shortened link from anywhere you land on the internet.
- Stability. In all of the time I have been using bit.ly as my link shortener, I don’t recall any time that the service was down. It is something that I just don’t have to think about.
And one other thing I like about Bit.ly. I can check out the stats on anyone else using it. All you do is copy the bit.ly link into a browser and add the “+” symbol at the end. Up comes their stats. How amazing is that? So if I see a bit.ly shortened link out there and want to see if it performing well, I just check. It has provided some very interesting information.
Are the other services as good? They probably have many of these features as well. But once I started using Bitly, I realized that I didn’t have to try them out. This link shortener has worked for me. So I could move onto more important tasks.
Click here to check it out for yourself: http://bit.ly/1r6TZQq A bit.ly link to Bit.ly!
Have fun shortening things up!
PS: If you want to learn more about how to generate leads online – and to have a reason to be creating a ton of bitly’s click here to check out the program I have been using successfully.
What do you think?