Promoting and sharing your most recent blog posts is crucial to your overall success as a blogger and company. Sometimes, however, little details can get in the way. For those of you unfamiliar with short URLs let me fill you in. If you take a look at the url at the top of this particular post, you’ll notice it is extremely long: http://blog.jibemedia.com/2012/10/16/generate-your-own-branded-short-urls.
The problem with such links is that certain social media, and other sharing sites, only allow you to enter in a limited amount of characters when sharing content. Twitter recognized this as a problem quite a while ago, as they limit their users’ posts to 140 characters. Because some URLs were eating up 80-90% of that limit, they started shortening your URLs “automagically” for you. Give it a try, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Services such as bit.ly and others were born to shorten URLs for you and solve the problem. When shortening a URL it usually comes out as something like this: http://bit.ly/PABB22. It’s short, sweet, and it works.
Recently, however, a post from Buddy Media claimed that “engagement rates were three times higher for Facebook posts that use a full-length URL, rather than a link generated by a URL shortener like bit.ly”. The root reason for this is most likely that users like to know where they are going to be redirected when clicking on links. What do we do then about Twitter? What control do we have when they are automagically shortening our URLs for us? The answer: Branded URL shorteners.
Fortunately, with a free service from bit.ly and access to your DNS records, you can solve this problem with a branded URL that is short! Users will have an idea of where they being redirected to, and your URLs will still be short and sweet. It’s the best of both worlds.
These are the simple steps:
Once bit.ly has verified that you own the domain, you’re all setup! Any URL you shorten with them from here on out will begin with your new domain name and be shortened at the same time. You win!