Ever wonder if people are clicking on what you share on Facebook? Or if blogging on Active Rain is helping your business, or just wasting your time?
These are some of the questions a URL shortener can help you answer. Instead of guessing whether your marketing is working, a URL shortener can help you better understand what works, and what doesn’t.
What are they? How do they work?
A URL shortened link enables you to see when people click on your marketing links that are on other websites. When someone clicks on your link that’s been shortened, the click is recorded and the user is quickly forwarded to the intended URL. The person who set up the shortened URL (you) can see where and when the link was clicked. This is really helpful for understanding your marketing efforts when you don’t have access to analytics.
Knowing this click data can help you begin to understand things like:
– The best time of day to share content on social media sites.
– Whether people are interacting with your marketing efforts.
– The types of headlines and content that seem to interest your followers most.
Let’s try it
Click on “Shorten URL” and you’ll see a new link appear.
This new link is what you’ll now use in your marketing efforts. Now when someone clicks that link you’ll know it.
Below is an example of what that might look like. Below you can see that at 1:49pm, 7 people clicked on our link. Pretty awesome!
You send out your e-newsletter every month to 400 people. Using a URL shortener you learn that only three people clicked on your content.
Hmmm, that’s a bit low. Wonder why.
How can you improve?
Perhaps what you are sending isn’t relevant to your sphere. Perhaps your emails aren’t being opened.
Could you write a better subject line? Could you alter the types of content you’re including? Or should you work on something else that will be more impactful to your business?
The most important thing is that you don’t blindly do what “you’re supposed to.” Just because an agent on Active Rain “got the listing” doesn’t mean you will.
Trust the data, not anecdotal stories.
8 places you should use short URLs to get smarter about your marketing
1. Email Signatures
3. 3rd party sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Active Rain, Yelp, etc
4. Blog posts
6. Web Advertising
8. Print materials like listing flyers, postcards, door hangers, etc
Keep in mind that when using a URL shortener on print collateral it will be much harder to gauge effectiveness because people will still have to manually type in a URL for you to see any meaningful feedback. But let’s be honest, flyers disappearing from the yard sign isn’t exactly meaningful feedback either. For all you know the neighbor kids are taking your flyers to build paper airplanes.
So while not perfect, a URL shortener on a flyer or postcard can give you some feedback, and some feedback is better than zero feedback.
Double down on what works
URL shorteners aren’t a silver bullet by any means, but they are a tool that gives you some insight into your marketing where you didn’t have it before. Instead of blindly following “what works, maybe” use data to discover what actually works.
And when you figure that out, double down and forget the rest.