It takes a lot of time to create an engaging piece of content, whether it is a flyer, social media post, blog post, business card, or advertisement. When creating content, the primary goal is to generate some sort of action. Arguably, one of the most valuable actions a customer can take is to visit your website. If, however, your post includes a long and complicated link, you may miss out on some clicks and shares that you otherwise would have had. In this article, we're going to discuss URL shortener services: what they are and how they can benefit your eCommerce business. Let's dive in.
So, what is a URL shortener? A URL shortener is just what it sounds like, a service you can use to shorten a URL or link. It takes a long and complicated link and transforms it into something simpler.
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If you’re using links to spread the word about your business, but those links are long, unclear, or complicated, people are less likely to use or click them.
Let’s take, for example, social media. When someone considers clicking through to your website, the first thing they’re going to look at is the content image (if applicable). If that image catches their eye, they may consider pausing long enough to read the copy. The third and final thing they’re going to use to evaluate the trustworthiness of your post is the link itself.
If you’ve grabbed their attention long enough for them to get to the link, you have likely earned a click. But if your link has a lot of symbols, miscellaneous words, excess characters, or uses a generic/unbranded URL, the person may pause before clicking to think about it.
If they have to pause and think, they are not likely to click. So let’s talk about how to avoid that problem.
As we touched on, there are many benefits to considering a URL shortener in your business strategy. Here are five of the biggest benefits:
The first benefit is simplicity. A URL shortener takes something complicated and makes it easier to share and use. Let’s compare the two below links:
A tracked link built through Google for this website:
A tracked link built through a URL shortener:
Which one looks simpler to you?
- Ease for print marketing. If you include a link on a business card, for example, the recipient will need to type the link into their browser to use it. If that link is long and complicated, they are not likely to take this action.
A shorter link also uses less ink to print, the savings for which can easily add up with bulk printing.
- Simplicity for text marketing. When sending an SMS text message campaign, you are typically charged by the amount of data that your text message uses. Every character is data that needs to be processed over the network, so reducing characters can reduce your costs.
A long link in a text message also looks cluttered as it takes up a bulk of the 160-character limit.
URL shorteners offer built-in traceability. The software that you used to shorten the link collects data on its use over time. This is data you can use to refine your marketing efforts, re-target, or segment your audience.
You can learn things such as:
- How many clicks the link has received
- How many unique people have clicked the link
- Where they clicked the link from (both the geographical location and the referral source, such as Twitter or an email campaign)
- What device they were using when they made the click.
With this valuable data and insight, you'll be able to re-target people who have expressed an interest in you and what you offer more effectively. This will allow you to increase conversion and improve the efficiency of your marketing funnels.
Internet users are familiar with shortened links. In some areas, a long link can look lazy and unprofessional or sloppy and otherwise untidy. Therefore, shortened URLs can increase your perceived professionalism.
A shortened and branded link offers a tidy professional look and also improves the click-through rate by an average of 34%. This is because a branded link offers built-in trust signals — namely, a recognizable URL.
Unbranded shortened links, on the other hand, are a security concern for many people (if they don’t already have a built-up trust in the source of that link). Because of this safety concern, there are entire services built around decoding miscellaneous shortened links to check them for safety. Small businesses are heavily impacted by this issue because they are usually dealing with audiences that aren't yet familiar with them.
To avoid the concern of a generic link, you can use branded links. This will improve the click-through rate and offer you a more professional and trustworthy appearance.
We have all vowed to remember and visit a website that caught our eye when we returned home from an outing, only to have that memory fade as soon as we walked in the door. Using a custom shortened link can increase the likelihood that your audience remembers it for longer.
You are more likely to gain traffic and improve memory retention if you keep it simple, readable, and verbally shareable. Regardless of whether you’re looking to share the link on social media, over the phone, in print ads, on business cards, on physical signs, or across billboards.
As we already touched on, a branded link is much more likely to generate clicks. Short links also have the added benefit of shareability – they are easier for the user on the other end to read, copy, and share in their own posts.
This increased engagement will help your content and website gain exposure with less effort from you and your customers on the other end.
If you share content on the internet, a URL shortener is for you.
Any business, blogger, influencer, entrepreneur, marketer, writer, artist, etc. can benefit from URL shortening software. If you hope to create more efficient content that generates results, it is a great tool to have in your back pocket.
You may now wonder, “how do I get started with URL shortening software?”
There are many URL shortening services available to you. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages. There are some you may be familiar with, but which one is the best?
In our opinion, WayURL. Here’s why:
- Start for free. WayURL offers a basic plan that gives you unlimited links completely free indefinitely. You never have to upgrade if you don’t want to.
- Completely customizable. With a premium plan, you can create custom landing pages to promote your product or service and create custom-branded URLs.
- Powerful insights. The data and insights offered are robust and allow you to share, measure, target, re-target, and optimize performance.
- Much more. Check out the website by clicking here to see what else WayURL offers.
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