How to use bit.ly to shorten links
Bit.ly is a great tool you can use to shorten URL’s, making them look cleaner and take up fewer characters. This is especially helpful on Twitter, when you only have 140 characters! Watch the video to learn how it works and how to do it.
P.S. If you don’t have time or can’t have sound, we transcribed the video below!
Hi this is Sarah with Propel Businessworks, and today I am going to tell you what bit.ly is, what it does, and why you should use it to shorten your links. Most URL’s are a pretty long string of letters and numbers, like this:
Bit.ly takes those long URL’s and turns them into a shorter string of letters and numbers like this, so they don’t take up as much space:
Using bit.ly links is especially helpful on social media websites. Say I wanted to share the link that I just used in our example on our Facebook page. I would type in our comment and then copy the link in, which is just pretty long and takes up a lot of characters and a lot of space and just doesn’t look nearly as friendly. Instead of doing that, I can just use our bit.ly link, which just goes to the exact same web page, and it just is a lot cleaner and takes up less space, and it just is easier on the eye. This is also helpful on Twitter, where you have far fewer characters to work with.
And now to show you how to actually use bit.ly to shorten your links. First, go to the web address of the page you want to shorten and copy the URL from your browser, and then go to bitly.com to shorten it. You’ll see a blue box in the top right corner. Paste the URL here and click the orange “Shorten” button. Bitly will then take you to a page that has shortened your link, and from here you just copy and paste it to wherever you want to use it. It’s that simple. You don’t even need to have an account to do this.
Even though you don’t need an account to use bit.ly to shorten your links, it’s a pretty good idea to have one because you can do some pretty cool things with an account. For instance, you can customize the way that your bit.ly link appears. So we are going to shorten this link, bit.ly comes up and shows me the shortened link, and I can hit this little pencil button next to it and customize how I want the end of it to appear. I just hit “Enter” and now, the end of the bit.ly, instead of being a bunch of gibberish, is a customized phrase that is easily recognizable. People can be suspicious of links that aren’t obvious where they lead to, so doing this is a good idea to encourage a higher click-through rate. You just copy and paste this the same way you would another, regular bit.ly link.
Another great perk of having an account with bit.ly is the ability to look at specific stats and analytics about your bit.ly links. You access these by looking at the link you want to examine and clicking the grey “View Stats” button. This will take you to a page where you can see the specific analytics about that link. For instance, this is a link that we posted first in January. So this will show you the lifetime statistics of how many times it was saved, how many times it was shared, how many times it was clicked. This graph will show you how many times it was clicked on each specific day. And if you go down, you’ll get to see where people found your bit.ly link. For us it was mostly Facebook, our e-newsletter, and our website, and then how many locations it was clicked from, mostly in the United States.
Bit.ly is a great online communication tool you can use to take your business communications to the next level. If you have more questions or want to learn about online communications for businesses, just visit our website at www.PropelBusinessworks.com. Give us a call or shoot us an email if you have other questions – we’d love to talk.