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How to set-up your own branded short URL service

4 February 2017
By Lawrence Ladomery | Digital Operations

Wouldn’t it be useful if you could have your own branded short URLs, bit.ly-style? Read on to learn how to do it in a matter of minutes.

No doubt you’ve seen them…

Twitter: http://t.co
Facebook: http://fb.me
Google: http://goo.gl
LinkedIn: http://lnked.in

And our own, of course — http://aut.fyi

(See what I’m doing there too… subliminally? Associating automatico to mega internet businesses.)

Short URLs are more just cool, they are super useful

They’re short. Obviously. Which is useful in a few different scenarios such as platforms where character real estate is limited, but also in print.

They can hide your analytic’s tagging.

An example; the URL I shared on automatico’s LinkedIn page the other day:

Those that did type the URL out (quickly) would have been re-directed to a URL pregnant with Google Analytics parameters:

http://www.automatico.com.au/solutions/smart-urls/?utm_campaign=SOL-SmartURLs-Jan17&utm_source=LinkedIn&utm_content=Post

Got it wrong? Short URLs can be edited too.

The other super-useful feature is that URL shorteners count clicks and offer some form of reporting. The one we use integrates with Google Analytics.

How to set-up a URL shortener

This is how we did it for our own short URL. Register a short, branded and meaningful URL.

1. We used domainr.com to help us find http://aut.fyi

2. Point the domain to a fresh WordPress install.

3. Install a plugin like Pretty Link (the PRO version is worth the $$$)

4. Install a redirection plugin to point your homepage to your main website, unless you want to publish a dedicated page for it

That’s about it.

Or get us to do it for you

You, or your IT department, may be too busy or just don’t want to have to bother with yet another piece of marketing tech.

Check out our Smart URLs solution: we can help you find a good short domain name, take care of the hosting,  set everything up and make sure it’s runs smoothly.

We’ll also share with you a guide to link tagging so that you can develop a logic convention to help your Google Analytics reporting, and a spreadsheet you can use to generate those long campaign URLs consistently.

Which is probably a more valuable resource than the actual URL shortening service.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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