A link or URL (we use URL and link interchangeably in this article) seems like such a simple tool in the complex, fast-changing world of the Internet, but it is a fundamental building block of the digital world. If anything, its role has become more critical as we have evolved from simple web pages to mobile applications to involved online experiences. A link, when doing its job well, brings you seamlessly from one channel to another. From app to app. From one activity into another. So seamlessly that you don’t even notice it.
When managed correctly, the link can grow your business, optimize investment and build better customer experiences. So how do you manage your links correctly? With a link management platform that transforms your links from unwieldy, unreadable pieces of code, to shortened URLs packed with power.
WHAT ARE SHORT URLS AND LINKS?
Short URLs are links that have been shortened by a URL shortener service like DB.gl and are typically under 30 characters. These shortened links function just like a normal URL but because they are shortened they are much easier to share, manage, and analyze.
Here is an example of a what a shortened link looks like for the “Learn More” button on the DB.gl homepage:
As you can see, the link is much more manageable to share across channels, plus now you are able to easily measure link performance.
WHY SHOULD I SHORTEN MY LINKS AND URLS?
Shortened links provide a wide number of benefits:
- They are easier to share across channels both online and offline
- Shortened links can provide a comprehensive, integrated view of your digital marketing performance
- They help establish your brand across different platforms
- They can improve click-through rates
- They can be more easily updated and changed
- They also improve usability as users transition from platforms
HOW DO I SHORTEN URLS?
Shortening URLs is extremely simple and requires just a few moments of your time with these three simple steps.
- Copy the URL you want to share from your website, social media account or other location
- Select a link shortening platform i.e. DB.gl
- Enter your URL and create your shortened link (at DB.gl we call them DB.gl Short Links)
Below are the simple steps to create a shortened link with DB.gl…
After you sign up for a free account, you will see the panel with the “Shorten” button at the top of the page. Once you put your link and click on “Shorten” button it will shorten a link, you can customize and share your link across social channels, email, SMS, print, or anywhere else you can think to put a link!
In your account, you can track total clicks, where they came from, and when!
HOW DO I CHOOSE WHICH LINK SHORTENER TO USE?
We have written a comprehensive article about choosing the best link shortener, but here are criteria to help select the best link shortener for you:
- Custom branded short domains
- Link customization
- Link tracking and analytics
- Browser extensions
- Search engine optimization performance
- Link expiration
- Safety and security
- HTTPS support
- Mobile application
- Application integrations
- Mobile deep links
- Upgrade features
- Frame Page Redirects
- Splash Page Redirects
HOW DOES A SHORTENED URL WORK?
When you shorten a link with DB.gl, you are redirecting a click from DB.gl to the destination URL. We issue a “301 redirect”: a technique for making a webpage available under many URLs. A 301 redirect is the most efficient and search engine-friendly method for webpage redirection. Because DB.gl doesn’t re-use or modify links, we consider our redirects to be permanent.
HOW CAN I CUSTOMIZE MY SHORT LINK?
When you create your short link with DB.gl, you have four customization options:
BSD: If you have multiple Branded Short Domains, you can decide which one to use for the link. This is helpful if you’re managing different brands or teams and want to distinguish every link shared from each respective property.
Tag: If you tag your links with a tag like “Marketing Campaign Q1” or “Social Media” or “Product Marketing” or “Landing Page”, you can filter for all of the DB.gl Short Links with that tag later, which makes it easy to get a quick view of how all those related links are performing.
Title: Add a title to every new DB.gl Short URL to make sure that your links are organized and searchable.
The Back-Half: You can customize the back-half of every DB.gl Short Link to reflect the landing page, campaign, brand, product, and more. This helps the link pop when it’s shared, showing your audience what they can expect and prompting them to take action.
If you customized the back-half of your link or want to see your history of redirected URLs, you can click “Custom DB.gl Short Links” from the feature menu.
This is where you can view all of the data behind your customized DB.gl Short Links. You can take a comprehensive look at how different URLs have performed, giving you insight into which one did the best over time.
If you’re like Mashable and use DB.gl to track Instagram referral traffic, the redirect history can be an invaluable tool in figuring out which content engaged the audience the most.
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE LINK
Shortened URLs can help you track customer touchpoints from start to finish. By measuring engagement on each of these touchpoints, you can build a view of how your customers are interacting with your brand as they browse, research, engage, and buy. That lets you personalize your outreach and target your next campaign, so you can see how each channel is performing, from start-to-finish.