A custom URL shortener lets you brand your links #matchurl

A custom URL shortener lets you brand your links #matchurl


If you want a custom URL shortener, you have two main options:


1. If the service offers a custom URL shortener and allows for branding, use it! It’s easy to get started and gives your fans an easy reference point when they share your link. You may already be using a third-party tool or free web hosting site that has its own link customization feature.


2. If customization is not offered, consider creating a vanity URL through bit.ly. Many of these services offer some level of branding with little to no effort on your part. Simply add a + sign between words in the existing shortened URLs and make something up! Don’t forget to include keywords! For example, if I wanted to create a new tracking link for Twitter, I might try something like this: http://bit.ly/social-twitter

I use the + sign because it’s short and easy to remember, not because it has any special meaning in the URL world. Plus, if someone uses my custom bit.ly URL, they can easily tell what social network is being tracked by noticing these words right away.


3. If you feel up to the challenge, consider setting up a custom domain. This is not for everyone…it can be complex and time-consuming. That said, if done right it offers a few big advantages:

1. You own your URL shortener and all links that are created using it

2. It looks more professional [in other words, if this was your business model/mission statement people would be impressed]

3. All links from different sources work together [for example, you could create a link in an email or blog post that automatically creates a shortened link on Facebook or Twitter.]


For help with creating custom domains, see Google’s documentation on modifying DNS records

Or take a look at [Insert company’s blog post here]



4. It’s useful to note that there are some disadvantages to custom URL shorteners:

1. Short URLs can be difficult for people to type, which means your Twitter link will get fewer retweets than a shorter one.

2. A custom URL may not work on some social networks where the full URL is visible (e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn). [in other words these social networking sites would display your domain name and not the shortened url]

3. A significantly longer bit.ly-style shortener may make tracking traffic more difficult if you use several of them . [for example, the article states that company A uses 5 different tools/services; tool/service has its own shortener]

4. The URL shortening service you choose may not be as reliable as bit.ly, for example. [note: this is due to the fact that there are so many free web hosting services and ISP’s out there]


5. Some social networks offer their own URL shorteners: Twitter uses t.co and Facebook has fb.me . These work cross-network, which means a link shared on Twitter could be tracked using Facebook’s internal link tracker (and vice versa). For more information about how these work with each specific network, see our analysis of how Facebook and Twitter use third-party bit.ly links or read through Microsoft Advertising’s post on making your own bit.ly shortener .


6. For more information on how to create custom domain URLs, see our article on creating a custom URL with Google .


Other Information: this is not about social media anouncements or job posts. This article focuses specifically on tracking links through the use of third party tools/services and free web hosting sites. For example, when you make a post on Facebook, you can insert links into that status update by using third-party tools/services such as Hootsuite. You may also want to track where your visitors are coming from by using different link shortening services including bitly. Lastly, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below. Thanks!



Article Example 2 - Branding Links Using a Custom URL Shortener

Dateline - May 8th, 2012

How can you use a custom URL shortener to help brand your links? Here are some suggestions that are sure to get you started on the right track using custom domains or other URL shortening services, such as bitly. Of course, if you want even more information about what makes these types of services successful for marketers, read all about it here .       

1. Take advantage of popular web hosting providers who offer custom domains. [the article uses the company Hootsuite as an example]

2. If you have a custom domain, change your default URL shortener . [for example, this article mentions that Hootsuite automatically creates a link using their own domain]

3. Build a brand around your shortened links by writing your social media messages in the same style and language each time . [this may be difficult for some individuals who have multiple ways of phrasing things; alternatively they could create different accounts under different names or use pseudonyms when creating posts on popular web hosting sites such as Facebook and Twitter.]

4. For ideas on how to create attractive URLs for your business, see our guide to making custom URLs with Google .

5. Customize your shortened links by using the same custom domain for all of your social media accounts . [in other words, consider creating a different short link for each outlet you use to create content; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.]

6. For more information on how to create custom domain URLs, see our article on creating a custom URL with Google .


Article Example 3 - Rebranding Links Using Link Shorteners (Custom or Otherwise)

Dateline June 6th 2012

Have you considered re-branding your links in order to increase online traffic? The process is simple when it comes to using link shorteners like bitly or another third party tool/service. are some helpful steps so that you can see the benefits of custom short URLs for yourself.


1. Consider creating a shortened version of your website or blog that you can rebrand as your own . [in this case, the article uses Hootsuite as an example]

2. Rewrite any posts from your social media accounts containing this particular link to include new branding before sharing with followers on Twitter and Facebook . [for example, write a status update about one of your posts/articles and then share it on social networking sites such as WordPress and Facebook]

3. If you’re using another tool or service to shorten links, think about how many shorteners you need before deciding whether to switch to something different . [for example, this

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