I am a self-professed app junkie and proud of it. For years I’ve been looking up apps to do this or to do that and trying to always find the next best thing. I used to love going to SXSW simply because all the newest apps and features would be released during that time. I left the festival with 20 new apps on my phone and 50 new signups. I know nuts! Although I love trying out new apps, switching 100% to something new is still rather difficult. I am set in my ways and change is hard. This year though I have managed to switch several platforms and have not looked back. I switched from Canva to Stencil, and CloudApp to Droplr. Project Management and Contact Management apps are the hardest to switch and yet there is so much to benefit. I switched over the years from Harvest to Freshbooks and then this year to Dubsado. Each jump has up-leveled my business in different ways. For project management, each app I believe has a unique way to approach things. I have switched from Asana to mostly Trello and most recently I added ClickUp to my arsenal. I find ClickUp especially helpful for managing goals and priorities and tasking each day, while I still use Trello to manage projects in collaboration with others. I am on the verge of making one more switch! I have used bit.ly for years and recently stumbled upon rebrand.ly and have enjoyed the features so far! My little side note about apps but let’s get into branding links.
So what is bit.ly and rebrand.ly and there are many others like tiny.url and Google’s URL Shortener. Recently, I believe short URLs have had bad reputations as hurting SEO but in fact, they don’t and have many benefits for your brand. This video and article, Will a URL shortener help or hurt your SEO? – OnCrawl describes the way link shorteners work and how they are treated as 301 redirects by search engines and SEO.
Twitter’s need for short URLs is the most famous reason for URL shorteners. Though now Twitter shortens all links themselves and increased the characters of all tweets to 280 characters. So why use a URL shortener or in a modern setting a branding URL?
The focus for modern URL shorteners boils down to several things:
- Link branding – staying on brand with all URLs you share
- Link retargeting – helping set pixels so users return back
- Link tracking and analytics – tracking different networks and campaigns with different URLs
- Embedding UTM parameters using a URL Builder – tracking various campaigns for Google Analytics
They offer so much more than just a random short link that most did 5-10 years ago. Until I discovered Rebrand.ly I thought that adding a custom domain was the extent of my URL Shortener power. I think it is beneficial to think of these tools now as Branded Links instead of just URL Shorteners.
Bit.ly is great starting out and you can set up a custom domain for your branded links and do a limited number of custom slugs for things. Setting up your custom domain is fairly simple with great tutorials available, How to Set Up Bitly Branded for Your Custom Domain in 12 Mintues or Less: 12 Steps. The free version though holds several things back and to upgrade it is a whopping $495 a month on their low plan. That is 10x more than all their competitors! It may be time to move on and get to know a new tool!
In comparison, Rebrand.ly tools have a very flexible free option with 5 branded domains included and when one is ready to upgrade their plans start at a reasonable $29 / month. Still need some other options to check out the article, The 6 Best URL Shorteners and How to Choose The Right One?
I think a major difference between bit.ly and rebrand.ly is that rebrand.ly focuses on branded links and not just short links. They encourage from the beginning the purchase of a branded domain (with great prices! I got two new domains for $4 total) and include 5 branded domains in their packages for small businesses. In modern times it is assumed that we all have multiple domains for our brand. After all to build up a brand we don’t want someone having a similar name and taking over.
“Rebrandly is the easiest way to create, share, and manage branded links. It offers companies and individuals the possibility to brand and shorten the links they share using a specific domain name of their choosing.Rebrand.ly
A branded link is memorable, pronounceable and completely customizable. With a branded link, companies and individuals increase their brand’s visibility because the brand name is embedded in the link- even when it’s being shared by others. They improve link trust, and in fact branded links can help to increase the click through rate by up to 39% when compared to generic short URLs. Important brands and influencers are adopting branded links as the best alternative to generic short URLs.
By utilizing branded links, brands are more effectively representing the content they share because they are associating themselves with it from the start. This builds trust on behalf of the audience because it makes it clear that what’s being shared is really endorsed by the brand itself.”
So how do you get started with Rebrand.ly? It is so amazingly simple and straight forward. The tutorial above has 12 steps for Bit.ly, Rebrand.ly has 4! How to Create Branded Short Links in 4 Quick and Easy Steps
If you want a super cool short domain like momte.ch or my new domains momswag.net, cousett.me, techie.mom check out Domainr to find your perfect domain and then namecheap, hover, or i want my name for domain registration. Also, check out this infographic (a few years old) with all the domain extensions now available. With 882 extensions you can find something unique and cool to promote your brand, Wow! All 882 domain extensions.The Big 2017 List Infographic. What will your short and / or branded URL be?