Tip 3: Branded shorten URL.
Gone are the days for copy-pasting the long, blog post URLs as-is while promoting it. Although I still love the non-shorten ones. Let me explain.
With the advent of url shorten tools, like bitly, tinyurl, etc. almost everybody started to use it. Initially it became popular with #Twitter, since there was limit on # of characters in a tweet. Over time, some mischievous minds took advantage of it by linking to wrong websites/pages that was more of a #SPAM; all in name of shortened URL. Since you can’t see it until you click, you anyways did the job for them.
While some marketers took it as an opportunity to add campaign tracking code in order to measure the #ROI of marketing; still once you click, you can see those appended character-set in the url. So what should better be done? Two things I find more user-friendly AND still win on the count of characters.
First, focus on having your own branded shorten urls instead of using a third-party tool. It gives boost to your branding, give confidence to your audience and no one has to worry about ‘clicking the wrong link’. Plus, it also helps in memory coding for your brand; remember brand recall and affinity?
Second, whenever possible provide ‘short url’ to your landing page, NOT the ‘shorten url’. It is as simple as www. <my website> .com/ <landing page>, instead of <branded shorten url> that may be customized.
Let’s test. What do you like more from the two: about.me/monika.arora or bit.ly/ContactMon — both do the same thing. Only difference is: former is more descriptive (and short), but later is more customized (and helps with traffic data but may mislead).
Again, it isn’t my OWN website but a service I use. So ‘shorten’ helps me more. But the same is not true for you. And don’t worry about traffic data, almost all analytics now understand Facebook, Pinterest, etc. traffic sources separately.