Companies share hundreds, if not thousands of links every day. While some marketers may think that generic short URLs are just fine, at Rebrandly we say they're a thing of the past- and that's exactly where they belong. Here are just a few of the reasons why branded links are more effective than short URLs.
Stats are not private
- If you use a link shortener like Goo.gl or Bit.ly, you can just add a + to the end of the URL and it will show the link stats.
- So your competitors can spy on you, and others can monitor your performance.
Generic short links can get blacklisted
- In general, many URL Shorteners use the same domain name and often have URL slugs made up of random letters and numbers. For this reason, generic short links can’t be trusted, because the web has no idea of telling what the destination URL is, and you cannot be sure of who created it - It may be hackers or spammers.
- With so many people using the same domain, it can get blacklisted. Read more about domain blacklisting here.
- The easiest way to check if a domain is placed on a blacklist is to visit MXToolbox - Here to can input your domain (or your IP Address or Host Name) and get an up to date status of your domain's health.
A misconception: branded links are longer, so I may as well just use Bitly
- Twitter doesn’t count the characters of your Branded Domain, so it doesn’t matter.
- All URLs are counted as 23 characters, so you should use the opportunity to have your brand name instead of the URL Shortener brand name. This increases link trust and can increase link clicks up to 39%.
- On Twitter: YourBrand.com/New-Blog is better than Bit.ly/abc123, and both will count as 23 characters regardless of their different lengths.
With most URL shortener services, you cannot change the destination URL
- This is a really important feature that can be very useful if you make a mistake, need to update your content at a later date or want to test different landing pages.
- There are many reasons why you may need to change your destination URL, and being able to do this easily saves you the frustration and time of having to create a new short link.
Common keywords are usually unavailable
- Many URL shortener services don’t allow you to customize/edit your keyword.
- A lot of the keywords generated are made up of random letters and numbers which don't add any value to your SEO ranking.
- When it is allowed, you're in competition with countless other users who may want to use that keyword too. For example, bit.ly/marketing is unlikely to be available, and there's no guarantee you'll find a similar keyword relevant for your needs.
- Using Rebrandly as your link shortener enables you to connect a branded domain, which means the first part of every link is customized for your brand. And since you're the only one using that domain, you'll be free to use the specific keywords that are the most important to you.
Difficult or impossible to brand
- The most popular tools to brand your links are currently:
- Bitly - The process is slightly complicated to do, as you need to purchase your domain from another site, then create your DNS record for your branded short domain, and then link it to Bitly.
- Yourls - To use this service for your branded domain, you first have to install their software onto your server as well as maintain it over time.
- Rebrandly - We allow you to simply register the domain for your branded links on our website. As soon as your domain is activated, normally under 24 hours, you will be notified via email, and you can start branding, sharing and tracking your links all from one central dashboard.
You are promoting the shorteners brand, and diluting yours
- Most URL shorteners make it difficult to connect a custom domain- instead you'll likely end up using a domain name that features their brand.
- This allows them to promote themselves through your link sharing, and you dilute your brand with generic short links.
With your brand, you have more trust
- Using branded domains with custom keywords made up of real words, you increase link trust.
- People can trust your branded links more because they recognize your company at a glance, and if you're willing to link your company name to the content you're sharing they can be confident that it's legitimate and secure.
- By using your own unique combinations of real words for your keyword, you can also highlight exactly what want to share with them, telling them more about where the link will take them.
- Due to this increased link trust, branded links are proven to increase click-through rates by up to 39%.
This Article is About:
- Branded domains
- Custom domains and keywords for your links
- Increased CTR
- Branded links vs short URLs
- How to Find the Perfect Domain to Use as Your Custom Link Shortener
- How to Find the Best Domain for Your Branded Links
- Blog: Custom Short Links versus Generic Short Links
- Video: Short URLs or branded links?