Stats are not private
- If you use URL Shorteners 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.
- So, with so many people using the same domain, it can get blacklisted. Read more 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: A Branded Link is Long, so I’ll rather 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: MyCompanyName.com/Unique-URL-Slug 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
e.g. If you make a mistake and input the wrong Destination URL, if you change content and need to redirect your short link to any updated URL, if you want to test a different landing page, if you want to use the short link later on for another marketing activity with a different Destination URL.
- 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 or NO keyword - short.link/keyword
- Many URL Shortener services don’t allow you 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.
- If they do allow it, you are in competition with that keyword e.g. bit.ly/marketing will be used by many other people.
- Having a Branded Domain lets you customize the first part of your link, allowing you to be unique and not in competition with everyone else. Using bit.ly/marketing, you are the same as everyone else, but with a Branded Domain you ‘start from the beginning’ and stand out.
- By inserting your own unique combination of Keywords, you can stand out more, and you can also improve your SEO.
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.
- Rebrandly - This is the easiest service, allowing you to simply register the domain for your Branded Links on the Rebrandly 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 the Rebrandly website.
You are promoting the shorteners brand, and diluting yours
- Most URL Shorteners make it easier to use their Brand Domain instead of yours.
- This allows them to promote themselves through your link sharing, and you dilute your brand with generic links.
With your brand, you have more trust
- Using Branded Domains with Keywords made up of real words, you increase link trust.
- People can trust your Branded Links more because you are using your Brand Name from the start.
- 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 Rate by up to 39%.
This article is about:
- Branded domains
- Custom domains and keywords for your links
- Increased CTR