I have noticed many major law firms and companies are not using link shorteners on social media, and so I wanted to explain why you should be using them.
Short URLs are more aesthetically pleasing and functionally more beneficial on social platforms, where long URLs hamper ease of reading a post.
- If you don't use a link shortener, you will waste valuable character count with a long URL in your social post.
- If you don't use a link shortener on LinkedIn for example, the platform will shorten it for you using its own built-in tool, creating a LinkedIn custom URL.
- URL shortening services make hyperlink text look more attractive. Normally, website URLs take up lots of space. They’re often long strings of random letters and numbers, and can be distracting and aesthetically unpleasing.
- Shortened links make the reading experience smoother and make it easier for your viewers to share content.
- Shortened links also compliment UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes, which enable you to track clicks across specific campaigns, keeping analytics from one platform (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) separate from the others.
- One of the most important uses for link shorteners is to obtain statistics about your social media marketing efforts.
Link shorteners provide analytics to show you who has clicked your links, and they’re often available through a centralized dashboard view. This valuable data on your posts should be integrated into your content strategy to help you create more of what resonates with your target audience and less of what doesn't.
Today many web sites are built in such a way that link shorteners are used as soon as the user takes a specific action, such as when they click on a share button.
Almost any social media management tool integrates shortlinks, and almost always these are used to gather statistics.
Which link shortener tool should I use?
- Bit.ly is a link shortener (not a social media management tool) used by many individuals and companies. It provides analytics for every link you shorten with it, including detailed data on where your post has been shared or linked, how many clicks a post received, where the traffic came from geographically and so on.The free tool allows you to shorten URLs by simply pasting the link. From there, you can instantly copy and paste this link to your website as much as you would like.Becoming a registered member allows more options, such as customizable links, and the ability to track statistics for specific links. Registering for Bitly Enterprise provides even more features, like creating campaigns and more secure links.
- Buffer and Hootsuite are social media management tools that enable you to post links on various social networks as well as to schedule posts. In the free version of Buffer, this ability is limited to 10 posts per day. Both platforms give you statistics on a per post level.
Now for the super cool part of this article....
Did you know you can increase your brand awareness by using a custom link shortener (using your own domain)!? I don't know why most companies don't do this - but they should!
You can easily do this without having to do any coding yourself.
Branded links are shortened URLs containing the name of your brand or services. They're an alternative to generic short links and can help you stand out from your competitors.
To use branded links, you can register a shortened version of your existing domain, also known as a “vanity URL.” These addresses make your links shorter, descriptive and more attractive.
Some link shortening services offer this option – I think the easiest one is through Bit.ly. They even give you this option for free as long as you need less than 500 links per month.
To use this option in Bit.ly, log-in, go to advanced settings and select Branded Links. The DNS changes you need to make are also detailed there.
Branded links are most commonly used on social media, but they can also be used in many other marketing activities.
For instance, you can include them directly in your website's content or in email promotions. Since they're easier to remember, you could even use them for offline marketing, at live events or in podcasts.
Branded links can encourage clickthroughs on social media. They're not only highly descriptive but can appear more trustworthy to your followers. In fact, they receive up to 34 percent more clicks than non-branded links.
Using branded links in your communications can help you build a consistent brand identity. When your URLs incorporate your business's name, you can boost brand recognition among your target audience.
Link shortening services are an underestimated tool for marketing and help ensure your organization is maximizing its social media post character count and looks social media savvy. You will be well ahead of the curve if you implement these at your company. Remember, the branded social media links help to increase your conversion rate on social and applying them throughout your marketing content nurtures a consistent brand identity.
Be an early adopter of the custom branded shortened links to differentiate yourself.
Try it out and let me know what you think. Don't hesitate to reach out if you need help with this!
Stefanie Marrone advises law firms of all sizes, professional service firms, B2B companies, professional associations and individuals on the full range of marketing and business development consulting services designed to enhance revenue, retain current clients and achieve greater brand recognition. She also serves as outsourced chief marketing officer/marketing department for smaller firms. Over her nearly 20-year legal marketing career, she has worked at and with a broad range of big law, mid-size and small firms, which has given her a valuable perspective of the legal industry. Connect with her onLinkedInandfollow her latest writing on JD Supraas well as her blogThe Social Media Butterfly
They Lead to a Higher Click-Through Rate. People are used to seeing shortened links on social media. Due to this, using shortened links will increase your click-through rate. It's one of the simplest changes you can make to your posting strategy in order to increase the effectiveness.Why do we need to shorten links? ›
URL shorteners are some of the most understated tools in internet marketing. Not only do they clean up long links to ensure an unruly URL isn't upstaging your content, but they also track the results of any landing page, providing you with powerful metrics on the effectiveness of your links.What is branded link shortener? ›
A branded link is – a shorter version of a URL you want to share online built around a brand name or related term. It is also known as a Vanity URL.Why are shorter URLs better for SEO? ›
Short URLs will help you to avoid having to make corrections (301 redirects) to them afterwards and make them more memorable. Avoid the use of dashes, hyphens or numbers in the main URL domain (everything before .com & .Why are links so important? ›
If the content of a page makes someone talk, it indicates authority, credibility, and/or trustworthiness. Thus, links on pages are like votes of trust, credibility, and authority. The more links a page gets, the more votes they are getting, which can improve their ranking.How does a link shortener work? ›
Basically, when the URL shortener gives you your shortened URL, it "remembers" the full address. When other users go to the shortened URL, they will be automatically redirected to the full address. The webpage will still exist at the longer URL—the shortened URL is simply a shortcut to make the link easier to manage.Is it okay to use link shortener? ›
You have no control over the privacy policies of link-shortening tools so when users click on shortened links you post, it could threaten user privacy. Stop using the tools, and you remove that risk for you professionally, while protecting your users' privacy.How do branded links work? ›
A branded link – a shortened URL built around a brand name or related term that helps to associate the company with the links, content, and information you share online. And they work.What is the most popular URL shortener? ›
Bitly is one of the most popular and best all-around URL shorteners. The free account offers customizable back-half links, plus link history and reporting for individuals. But the premium editions excel with a complimentary custom domain, branded links, bulk link shortening, link redirects, QR codes and a UTM builder.Do URL shorteners affect SEO? ›
If you are using a URL shortener from a reputable provider, you should not expect any negative SEO benefits. Using an SEO shortener allows you to create concise and aesthetically pleasing links, while also being able to gain additional information about your performance.
A large part of increasing Domain Authority comes from link building, but the quality of links matters much more than the quantity. One high quality link is worth more than 100 links from low quality sources. In fact, too many links from low quality sources can even harm your site.Why are links important for a business? ›
Links (both from other websites as well as the links within your own site) are important to SEO because there is a direct correlation between quality/quantity of links to your site and how much search traffic your site receives. For small businesses, more links = more search traffic = more customers.What is the purpose of link in marketing? ›
Links are valuable in audience development. Securing a link on another website gives another audience direct access to your website, and can pass referral traffic. Links are valuable for marketing. A link is a vote of conﬁdence from one website to another.Why are links so important for SEO? ›
Building links is one of the many tactics used in search engine optimization (SEO) because links are a signal to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation. Therefore, sites with more backlinks tend to earn higher rankings.How long do link shorteners last? ›
Bitly links never expire. If you use a custom domain to shorten your links they will continue to work as long as your DNS is still pointing at Bitly and the custom domain is attached to a Bitly account.Why shortened links should not be guessable? ›
If URLs are too short, they're easily guessable using brute-force techniques, which can expose users' data and identities.What websites are used to shorten long links? ›
Bitly. Bitly is a powerful (and popular) tool for shortening URLs. The free service lets you shorten links using the Bit.ly domain name, while the premium service lets you use your own custom domain name. Bitly has features like link retargeting in the paid version.Which of the following is the biggest risk when using URL shorteners? ›
The security risk with a shortened URL is you cannot tell where you are going when you click the link, you have to trust the sender. As a result, some organizations teach their employees not to trust shortened URLs, or simply block them at their network gateway. This poses a problem for the OUCH!Should you use shortened URLs? ›
Using link shorteners also creates accessibility issues. Most link-shortening tools produce links which are a random mix of letters and numbers that tell users absolutely nothing about the content of the link, or where it is hosted. That's another user trust issue: people like to know where they're going.What are the key benefits to clean URLs? ›
A clean URL is less intimidating to a human user. They can look at it and get an idea what the page is about. Clean URLs are also more sharable. Being short and meaningful, they are more pleasing to the eye and more likely to be shared on Twitter, Facebook, or other sites, and via email.
An overly long URL can cause both usability and search engine issues: Any potential benefit you may have by including keywords in the URL will be diluted since it's such a small percentage of the total URL text. Longer URLs are truncated by search engines, in web browsers, and many other areas.What is the most important part of a URL why it is important? ›
The domain is the most recognizable part of a URL, and refers to the main website page or brand domain that all other pages are linking to. Simply put, it is the name of your website.Why is it important to keep the work site clean? ›
A clean, well-maintained, and orderly site boosts your workers' productivity. Working in a site full of scattered debris and rubbish is troublesome. Tools and materials can get lost in the mayhem. A well-maintained site is more conducive for work, making your workers more productive.What is the most helpful part of a URL? ›
However, this element – the URL's 'protocol' – is more important than you might think. The protocol tells your browser how to communicate with a website's server, in order to send and retrieve information. In other words, it's what enables a URL to work in the first place.How important is a short domain? ›
The benefits of short URLs
Short domain names are easier to read, since they're so concise, and they're also easier to remember. Also, since they take up less room, they are easier to include on any printed material, like business cards or brochures.
They don't expire. What does happen though is that, especially if you're talking about a large website that's growing regularly, then the pages that links are on over time they get like even deeper and deeper within this website.What is the best URL length? ›
So somewhere around 50 – 60 characters is a pretty good number to shoot for. If you go way beyond (say 80+ characters), this is likely to have a negative impact on your ranking.