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originally posted on https://tools.plains.digital/blog/short-links

Are they safe? What’s the deal? Why am I here?

Short Links! What are They Good For?

Why should you give a 💩 about them?

Allow me to explain! At a very basic level, it’s pretty obvious. Look at that ad Miller Lite put out last year. The only time a painfully long URL was amusing, I’d bet – but not the only time you’ve seen an ugly, ugly link – I’m sure.

People are used to it, though, right? So what’s the big deal? Well, firstly, especially when something is attached to your brand and your business; if you can make it look more professional, why wouldn’t you? Allow me to show you an example.

Here’s the link to the original Tweet from Miller Lite.


👆🏽 Gross, right? It could just as easily be shared like this 👇🏽


If you can do this easily, why wouldn’t you? Well, you can! Now, let me give you a BRIEF overview on what this is all about, and then we’ll get to how it will help you make more money – fair?

What is a URL shortener?

A URL shortener is a simple tool that takes a long URL and turns it into whatever URL you would like it to be.

What is a URL Shortener? How to plug a URL into a URL shortener

It’s really that simple.

To be clear, a URL shortener is the same as a link shortener… is the same as a link shrinker… a link compressor… a URL condenser… I think that’s them all covered.

They are all different ways of saying the same thing, which is that we want to take something long and ugly, then make it short and cute. To keep it simple, I will stick with the term URL shortener from today until the day I die.

What is a Custom URL Shortener?

A custom, or branded URL shortener, is when you’ve connected your own custom domain to a URL shortener which acts as a base for all the short links you create. Instead of using a generic domain such as bit.ly or rebrand.ly, you can pick your own.

Easy, right? That’s as much as you NEED to know. I’ll go into more detail below, but if you don’t read any more about the technical stuff, you’ll be fine. Let’s get to the 💵💵💵.

Short, branded links look more appealing. They get clicked more. People click on your links more, they buy more, you make more money. This isn’t 🚀SpaceX over here!

Bit.ly is the biggest name in the game here, and they charge around $50/m for a STARTER package allowing you to create branded custom links. Greedy, that is.

As a digital marketer, bit.ly got thousands of dollars of my own money and my companies budget before I realised it was actually very simple to do myself, and then I realised it cost bit.ly very, very little money to provide this service.

It made me mad. That’s my motivation for doing a lot of things in this industry, I got robbed often enough I want to show people there’s another way!

SO. If you’re a client of Plains.Digital Inc. you can have access to this websites tools for FREE. Link Shortening is only one of the features available here, and would cost you $50/m to get from bit.ly. I offer it to my clients free of charge because what’s good for your business is good for my business. It’s just good business! If you’re NOT a client of Plains.Digital … you can be. Either way, reach out to me and we can see about getting you sending branded, clickable links in no time flat!

Link Shortening will make the difference between you spending money on Google Ads and you making money FROM Google Ads.

If you’re on your mobile phone, you can get my contact details here:


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See how slick that is? Ya ya do! If you want to learn more, keep reading. Otherwise, look forward to hearing from you soon 😀

What Can a URL Shortener Do?

URL Shortener

URL Shortening has come a long way since its inception in the year 2000.

Here are a handful of pretty slick things you can do with your URL shortener today:

Link Masking

Obviously shortening a URL allows you to mask the original web address.

This is bad for us as consumers in the sense that it allows for spammers and hackers to hide malicious links from us. Thankfully, with security protection features from Chrome and other browsers (you use Chrome, right? You should…) we no longer have to worry about malicious link masking.

Proper link masking might be where you take a URL from a strong piece of content that you are looking to share, and simplify it to portray a key point in your social message.

Other good reasons for masking a link might include:

  • Hiding, “beautifying,” or branding an ugly affiliate link.
  • Shortening a lengthy domain such as my upcoming book title: “playyourbusinesslikeapokerplayer.com” to something simpler like “bizpoker.link”
  • Tracking – maybe you are just masking the link so that you can track how many people click on this one specific link. This is a digital marketing best practice when sharing links online.

And don’t confuse link masking with link cloaking – which is presenting false information, most specifically to search engines – called spiders or bots – while redirecting humans to a different URL that has nothing to do with the forged content. This is a black hat SEO practice that can get your website banned from Google search results. Don’t do it.

Link Shortening

It’s much simpler to share a short and memorable URL than a lengthy one, especially when those lengthy URLs contain random numbers in them.

Which URL are you going to shout to a room full of people while giving a talk? The short one, or the long one?

Which URL would you link to in your presentation?

Which URL would you want to tell people at a networking event when you ran out of business cards? Me, I use https://tools.plains.digital/JDm🤠

Which URL do you want to put into a forum when sharing some new ideas?

Whenever you are sharing a link in a public setting, you should be using a link shortening tool to help pretty up the link and track the number of click-throughs.

Link Tracking

Link tracking has got to be the number one reason to shorten a link. We, as digital marketers and social media managers, need to know the fruits of our labors…

And we probably have to do monthly reports on our efforts too.

If we can’t prove our clicks – and hopefully conversions – then we have very little job security.

You can see how many real visitors clicked on a link versus the number of bots or spiders. This gives you a more accurate idea of real visitors coming to your site and the conversion rate.

You can get a daily breakdown, or even a geographical one. And there are a hundred other features worth checking out.

Link Retargeting

Have you heard of retargeting?

It’s why you get hit with Amazon ads right after viewing a product on its website.

Retargeting is essentially the act of adding a little pixel, or piece of code, to your site, so that when people visit, you can serve ads to them later.

It’s crazy profitable for marketers and advertisers, and I frequently refer to it as the lowest hanging fruit for any business.

But wait, there’s more…

Now users do not even have to visit your website to get tagged with this pixel, they simply need to click on a link. It’s an EASY way to increase your customer base and all your competitors are doing it already.

There’s even more reasons to use Link Shorteners, but I’m sure you’ve got more important shit to do than read about it all day, just as I haven’t got time to write it all out.
If you’re interested – book a meeting with me using the link 👆🏽 up there!