We have all done it at some time, and had to share a URL and it was the looooooongest address in history! OMG!
Of course these days, sites like bit.ly make shortening URLs simple. You just paste in the destination web address and out pops a nice short URL to use on your links.
For example, instead of dishing out: yourdomain.com/blog/how-to-sell-more-chicken-costumes-online
You could shorten it to something like: bit.ly/3aand53
Sites like bit.ly create random strings that become your new shortened link. If you haven’t seen them before, keep an eye on people’s website links, especially in social media bio’s and on affiliate pages. When it comes to hiding a web address, sites like bit.ly are super handy. You could quite easily hide the destination address: givemeallyourmoneyforthisproduct.com with a shortened URL link and no one would be the wiser until after they clicked on it.
So they do have their pros and cons, but they definitely come in handy when you have a long web address you want to share and post about.
Why just have a random looking shortened URL to share. Bit.ly lets you use branded URLs. What does this mean?
Simply, you can register any domain you want, and then use this as your share or base address. Then bit.ly will add the random string after this domain.
An example of this is our old design agency, Xmedia Digital Solutions. With a long domain name, followed by the name of the article, it became a bit messy sharing. So we shortened it. Our branded domain was xds.tips and to get to the blog, readers could simply type in xds.tips/Ad50nline <— notice I changed the random string too. This made sharing easier, as well as giving us a short URL for BIO links for platforms such as Instagram.
Learn more about setting up a branded domain on their support page, which you can find at the below address:
Create a Branded Domain on Bit.ly
It is very simple to get started with a branded domain.
Step 1. Get your domain name. This could be one you already own or a new one. I like to keep it short, as a long one kind of defies the purpose. You can also think about using a subdomain, such as tips.xmediads.rocks
Step 2. Create new A records for your domain or add a CNAME record for subdomains. In your domain’s zone manager, or the place you change DNS settings, you will need to add or update the A records. They need to point to 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
If you decided to go with a subdomain, you will need to add in the CNAME record and point it to: cname.bitly.com
Should you find yourself needing help to do this, firstly refer to the link above to the Bit.ly support page, otherwise, feel free to contact me or my team and we will sort it out.
Hope this helps you shorten your long links!