Url Shortening, 5 reasons why it’s useful

shorten your urls

In this digital age, there is an increasing need for businesses to embrace the power of digital marketing by creating an online brand presence and using it to reach out to their target audience. Whether it is content or email marketing, marketers now find themselves using a plethora of URLs each day to disseminate content in order to build up brand authority and provide value to their audience. On average, fifty thousand links are being shared on Facebook every minute (Source: IACP Center for Social Media)

All outreach efforts must be tied to a marketing goal, whether it is increasing brand awareness or the number of lead conversions. Digital marketers must look beyond shortening their marketing links just to make them compatible with social media platforms; they must also be able to track and optimize their URLs with respect to their specific marketing objectives.

How is sharing links on Twitter contributing to my goal of increasing brand awareness? Which social media channel is driving the most lead conversions?

Previously commonly used link shortening services are being overlooked because of their failure to offer the goal-orientated data needed by marketers to make informed decisions. Clickmeter strives to fulfill this need, and here are five reasons why it should be your first point of call for your shortening your URLs.

1. Shortening your URL

URLs can be a tricky business. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is still a key part of digital marketing and as such most businesses choose to incorporate their relevant keywords into their URLs without understanding the limited SEO benefits. Not only is the format is not particularly user-friendly, owing to them being long-winded and full of keyword linking symbols, but keyword stuffing is no longer a beneficial practice. This is largely due to its use as a common spamming technique. With search engines now focusing on providing high quality and relevant content to their users to minimize bounce rates, keyword stuffed websites are overlooked they provide the opposite – meager quality and insignificant content.

The other problem posed by full-length URLs is that they are not social-media friendly either, and this makes your customers far less likely to share them. This is especially true of Twitter, where there is a 140 character limit imposed by the platform. Shortening it means that you can ensure it fits nicely within Twitter’s 22 character cap on URLs.

Not only does ClickMeter provide a URL shortening service, but it also allows you to manage and edit your links so that you can replace the destination URL without changing the shortened version of it. This means that the previously shared shortened URL is still active wherever you have shared it, saving you from the precocious job of changing them over or re-sharing the new link.

2. Comprehensive tracking of views, clicks, and conversions

ClickMeter offers a fully comprehensive real-time tracking service which is absolutely crucial to help your business understand your customers. Standard tracking can examine everything from customer location through to their browser type. For example, not only can you see what country a customer may be from, but you can also narrow this down to regions and even individual cities. Other traceable information includes IP addresses, times of access, languages used and whether or not they have accessed your link via a mobile device. You can even customize your own parameters giving you true flexibility of analysis.

Using ClickMeter will also provide you with extensive conversion tracking. A click on one of your promotional links counts as a conversion if it leads the customer to an interaction that you count as valuable. This valuable interaction does not necessarily have to be a purchase, and ClickMeter enables you to set custom parameters to suit your business needs, such as signing up to your mailing list or requesting a quotation. This tracking will monitor your marketing links, allowing you to determine if they are effective.

ClickMeter Blog Article: How to Track Email Conversions

Other components of this service that they offer include conversion values and configurable cookies, allowing you to utilize the tracking power of ClickMeter to benefit your business.

3. Split testing and optimizing your conversions

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide between landing page designs as you are unsure which will be the most effective for your marketing campaign. However, this problem can be circumvented with the use of a links rotator. When using this service, users who click on your link will be sent to one of the multiple landing pages dependent on the modifiable criteria that you set. From this, you can then use the tracking element of ClickMeter to establish which landing page is performing better, by seeing which has more conversions. Again this is a guaranteed method with which to gauge the success of your web pages and marketing strategy.

Another function offered by ClickMeter is the option to direct users to different landing pages based upon how many times they have clicked on that specific link. For example, the first click could lead them to your basic landing page. If they were to click again it would demonstrate an increased interest in your business that would be more likely to yield a conversion, and so you may wish to direct them to a landing page with a limited time offer or discount to compel them to make an impulse purchase. Again this is a customizable feature of ClickMeter than you can manipulate to suit the requirements of your business.

4. Checking the health of your links

The promotion of products or services online is almost always done by way of URL links. If you are regularly marketing online you are probably creating dozens and dozens of links, which we quite often forget about shortly after making them. As we know, once something enters cyberspace it is pretty much guaranteed to be available online somewhere forever, but with the production of so many links over a large period of time, it can be problematic to ensure that that they are all ‘healthy’. By healthy we mean that they are working properly by directing traffic to the correct URL.

ClickMeter offers a Link Health Monitor which works to check the quality and viability of all of your links. It is an automated programme which assesses them for a variety of problems including errors from either the browser or servers, incorrect syntax (format) present in the URL, or whether it has been included on any of the major blacklists. If your URL is blacklisted it means that any email campaigns that feature it will probably be directed to the spam boxes of your potential customers where they are unlikely to see it. Certain firewalls may also block users from seeing your web pages. If the Health Link Monitor detects that your links have been blacklisted you will be able to approach the blacklist service directly to request for their removal.

5. Upsell your brand through dedicated domains

Having a dedicated domain or (domains) for your links creates a number of benefits for your company. Links that illustrate your brand as opposed to a third party domain look much more professional and are less likely to be considered spam, which will yield more clicks and conversions. They will also upsell and increase the visibility of your brand, as well as being better optimized for indexing by search engines.
In order to take advantage of this feature you will need a spare domain name, or alternatively, if you wish to use your main company name, then you could create a third level domain such as interjecting the department or service you wish to link to, for example, www.advertising.yourdomain.com. Third level domains add clarity to domains and make them more user-friendly.

ClickMeter will work with any domain and once you have set it up, it will be able to be accessed through your link creation menu.

For a fully comprehensive service that allows you to track and monitor your shortened URLs to establish the true effectiveness of your marketing campaign, then look no further than ClickMeter.

Related reading:

This blog post is about:

  • URL shorteners
  • Link shorteners
  • Custom link shorteners

Originally published: May 4th, 2015.
Updated: January 9th, 2019.

Alvin Lim
He is a Singapore-based digital marketer who specializes in Lead Nurturing & Analytics. He enjoys helping businesses to optimize their digital marketing strategy in accordance to their strengths