Link shorteners allow you to track performance

Link shorteners allow you to track performance

09.Nov.2021

Link shorteners are tools that make links easier to share on social media.

For example, instead of sharing a hyperlink for this article, I could paste the following URL into Facebook: https://www.tutsplus.com/articles/link-shorteners-allow-you-to-track-performance/.

URLs are messy and cumbersome; link shorteners shorten them by looking up keywords—like "url" or "shorten"—in their URL string and replacing those words with an assigned keyword (https://hsh.io/E).

Shortened URLs may be used in place of longer ones because they take up less space, which is especially important for social media posts character limits per post (Twitter's limit is only 140 characters) and they have a higher CTR because users are able to see more of the URL in their feed.

This means that link shorteners allow you to track campaign performance, since a long string of numbers will become a unique identifier for each click on your shortened URLs.

Create a variety of shortlinks using different UTM parameters—the initials stand for "Urchin Tracking Module" and were coined by the developers at Google Analytics.

These variables can include things like:

- Source (where someone clicked from)

- Medium (the way they got to your site)

- Term (what keywords or phrases they searched)

- Campaign name (so you know what it's for)

- Content (the specific page or post they landed on)

Source tracking is especially important because it allows you to see the web properties—like a country, platform, browser, and device—that your campaign reached. With this information, you'll be able to calculate the campaign's ROI [return on investment]. You can also compare clicks from news sites or social media sites to see which one brought in more traffic.  

If you're using Google Analytics, there are a number of free tools that will create UTM parameters for you automatically. Free tools include:

- Google URL Builder

- Free online version of Bitly

URL shorteners may seem similar but they have their own unique benefits. Free tools like Google URL Builder or Free online version of Bitly are great for developing UTM parameters since they allow you to experiment with different variables. But these free services aren't ideal for tracking because they either limit your number of shortened links (Google) or offer only a few categories (Bitly).

Subscription-based tools offer more features—like detailed analytics and custom keywords—which make it easier to track campaign performance across platforms.

Paid options include:

- Analytics URLs - Free trial available, pricing starts at $5/month

- Linktrackr - Free trial available, paid plans start at $3.50/month

- Uber.link - Free trial available, pricing starts at $9/month

- Linkbun.ch - Free trial available, paid plans start at $4.99/month

- Lightlink Free trial available, pricing starts at $9.90/month

If you're sharing links on multiple platforms—like social media and email—it's a good idea to use a tool that offers a variety of tracking methods including: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bitly, Facebook Pixel and more [ARTICLE END]

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