URL shorteners has been around for quite some time now. They are used to make long URLs more manageable by “masking” it and replacing it with a very short version. They are not widely used back then but with the advent of “character limited” social media services (ie: Twitter), URL shortening services started popping out left and right which evolved it further as a service.
Today, one of the most popular services is bitly and it offers a lot of features when it comes to managing all of your links. Actually, it’s not about shortening links anymore, in fact, it’s now mandatory to have this service specially if you care about your click data and seo performance.
Listed below are 5 reasons why you should start using url shorteners.
1. Link Management
By using URL shortener services, you get total control of all your shared and non-shared links via an intuitive management dashboard. All url shortening services have this as a basic feature so you don’t have to worry if you’re using a different service on your links.
The management dashboard gives you a bird’s eye view of the many different metrics attached to your links performance.
In the early days of URL shortening services, it only does one thing and one thing only – and that’s to shorten long URLs. Today, services like this offers a LOT more and one of those features is so powerful, it’s one of the reasons why these type of services is mandatory to have if you have an active online presence.
It’s called link tracking. What it does is it basically attaches a lot of different data in your links that will help you track its performance. Listed below are some of the useful data that will be recorded and compiled every time your link is clicked.
Total Clicks – Shows you how many times your link was clicked.
Referrers – Shows you the sites where your link was clicked or shared.
Location – Shows you the country of origin where your link was clicked.
URL shorteners are good and all but it’s kind of a bummer since by default, it removes your branding on the generated shortlink and replaces it with the service’s brand. The good news is, if you know how to tinker with your domain settings, you can actually purchase your own custom domain name and use it as the default url for all of your generated shortlinks.
Don’t know how to setup your custom domain for your shortlinks? Then you’re in for a treat. We actually posted a guide on how to do this yourself at kika.mk/BrandedBitlinks. See how the link I posted is branded? Pretty cool right?
URL shorteners back then are being frowned upon by some people since it affects your overall SEO. It removes everything about your link that makes it hard for google to crawl it and record the necessary data about it – well, not anymore.
URL shorteners actually helps your SEO by increasing clickthrough rate and by promoting sharing of your links. Some URL shorteners also allows you to set SEO keywords in your generated shortlinks which Google will thank you for.
Still not convinced? Then watch this short 1 minute video from the intelligent folks at Google regarding the state of URL shorteners https://youtu.be/QMkltd6dZzU.
5. Everyone Is Using It
URL shorteners are being used on almost every websites today. It’s so mainstream that sometimes it’s second nature for people to click through once they see it on a webpage.
It’s also so popular, Google created their own service called goo.gl.
I hope this article helped in explaining the benefits of URL shorteners when it comes to your online presence. It not only makes your links more manageable, it also helps you track its performance for SEO purposes. With so many url shortening services available, it’s up to you to decide which ones to use. They work pretty much the same way so you’ll be right at home once you start using the technology.