URL shorteners have many advantages when it comes to content distribution. But what is their impact on your SEO performances? Here is a handy guide.
The use of URL shortening services has become very popular in recent years, especially for sharing links and content on social networks. The main advantage of using such services is that they allow you to share large amounts of text without having to worry about long URLs, which can be annoying or even impossible to remember. However, these services also have some disadvantages: they are not indexed by search engines and they do not help with link building. In this article, we will explain how they affect your SEO performance.
1. Do not use them as a replacement for keywords
The first thing to know is that URL shortening services are not good at replacing keywords. For example, if you want to rank for “keyword” on Google, you should try to include it in the URL of your page. This way, the keyword will appear in the address bar of users who visit your site. If you use a URL shortener service instead, the keyword will only appear once in the shortened version. It means that people visiting your website through a URL shortener will find it difficult to locate your pages containing this keyword. Moreover, if you use a URL shortening service, you won't benefit from any backlinks pointing to your page. As a result, you'll lose traffic and rankings.
2. Use them sparingly
There are two types of URL shortening services: those that shorten a whole URL and those that just add a suffix to an existing one . Both types are useful but there are pros and cons to each type.
If you're looking for a quick solution, then the best option is to use a service like bit.ly. These services make it easy to create a short URL for a specific page on your site.
As we all know, some social media, like Twitter, have a character limit so you have to be concise and relevant when posting a tweet. Using a URL shortener can thus help you to put more accurate information about the content that you are posting instead of having a tweet with a really long URL. It is also possible to brand a URL so that you know if the content has been shared by a company or a brand in particular. (oncrawl.com)
On the other hand, if you already have a lot of links pointing to your site, you may prefer to use a service that adds a suffix to your original URL. This way, you will still get the benefits of a shortened URL while keeping most of your links intact.
3. Choose carefully
When choosing a URL shortening service provider, you need to consider several factors. First, choose a service that offers both free and paid versions.
URL shorteners are definitely useful when it comes to making your URL look prettier, especially, as we mentioned above, when sharing your content on social media. But they can be also useful when you are producing other types of content like a print ad or an infographic and you want to insert your link in a nice way. Moreover, if your readers are using a mobile to view your content, they are going to enjoy a better user experience if they see a shorter URL in it.
4. Make sure you understand what they offer
It's important to know exactly what kind of services you are signing up for. Some providers offer different kinds of services depending on the length of your URL. For instance, bit.ly allows you to create a custom domain name that points to your shortened URL. On the other hand, TinyUrl doesn't provide this feature.
URL shorteners usually don't index your webpages. They simply redirect visitors to your own site where you can control how much information gets indexed. However, this isn't always true. So before you sign up for a service, make sure that they actually do not collect any personal data about your visitors.
6. Consider using multiple services
You might think that adding a new service to your list of URLs would hurt your search engine optimization efforts. In fact, many experts recommend using multiple URL shortening services because they offer different features.
For example, Bit.ly provides a tool called "Bitly Cards" which lets you create interactive cards that include a clickable image and text. The images can be used to share your content on Pinterest.
7. Use them wisely
You should only use URL shorteners if they serve a purpose. If you are trying to increase traffic to your website, then you should avoid using them. Shortened URLs are often associated with spammy websites.
8. Be careful with the type of content you post
The best thing about URL shorteners is that they allow you to shorten long URLs without losing too much information. However, there are certain things that you shouldn't do. For instance, you should never try to shorten a link that includes a video or a picture.
9. Do not abuse them
If you start abusing URL shorteners, Google could penalize your site.
For anyone curious about the behaviour of their content and how it was received by users, some URL shorteners, like the well-known Bitly, allow you to track the sharing activities of your post/tweet over a specific period. This makes it possible to determine whether your content has been shared enough times and whether people liked it or not.
10. Choose the right one
There are plenty of URL shortener services out there. It's hard to tell which ones will work best for you. To help you decide, here are 10 tips that will help you find the perfect URL shortener:
1. Check out the reviews
Reviews from real customers are the most reliable source of information.
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