Ever looked in someone’s captions only to find a bunch of links labelled ‘bit.ly‘ ?
What is this? And why do people do it?
Originally made for convenience, as well as to shorten any long and or jargon filled domain names, link shorteners are becoming an evermore popular trend in the social media scene, where the entities providing you with these services aim to balance keeping you on their app/platform, with promoting businesses and business owners effectively.
The PROBLEM with this?
Link shorteners not only show people nothing of what they offer as they are too some jargoned code with numbers and letters. But worse, they surprise the client whose taken both automatically and immediately to a page they might not’ve otherwise clicked on.
While these make sense if you’re linking to something you do not own, or have previously explained… including them in your bio or captions which go to and are seen by people who may not even follow you in the first place can be disastrous for your clicks and conversions.
Why? Because of what Seth Godin calls ‘interruption marketing‘. A form of marketing that not only kills your conversions, it… dare I say it; makes peoples annoyed at your company. Even dislike them…
“so bit links can get me more clicks???”
“No. They get you WORSE clicks”
Not less clicks. Worse clicks. These clickers taken by surprise aren’t buying your product or service. (Unless your copywriting is that great). They’ve just been surprised or, interrupted. Even if you got them to click on your link, (which is the most important, and hardest part) they’ve clicked on something that changes its domain name directly before their eyes making them feel lesser like a person, and moreso like a customer in a funnel. Which, mind you, they are. But that’s not the experience we’re trying to put upon their lives through our product/service now is it?
The last thing we want to do is betray our customers trust, loyalty, and curiosity.
What about my clicks? This can kill your clicks too for the simple reason that people have no clue what they are clicking on… Is it going to be cars.com? monsters.org? realestateforidiots? or some inappropriate prank website or virus?
“In fact, relying on URL shorteners to aid the social management process can ultimately hurt social media in an organization and downplay its value by eliminating important social traffic data in Google Analytics. If your boss or client sees skewed results – fewer sessions and conversions from social media than should be attributed — it may be decided that social media is something he or she no longer wishes to continue.” – Megalytics
Keep your URLs clean, descriptive, non-redundant and easy to read.
Most marketers know that shorter web domains get more web visits. For instance, I could’ve taken this a step further by removing ‘the‘ from The Block Bard and leaving it as blockbard.com
Using the full URL promotes honesty, transparency, as well as decent digital hygiene. Which can only mean posting short URL’s does the exact opposite.
But the most important aspect of a business isn’t the number of clicks and traffic generated by its various sources; it is after all, its revenue.
And focusing on vanity metrics like followers, rather than conversions won’t do anything for you if they’re not engaged. And engaging.
Every source has it own measures of engagement, for example when making vlogs or short videos, you should care less about the likes, and more about the 3-second versus 1-minute views. As well as shares. Shares are free and they grow your engagement not only fast, but for free! (otherwise known as organic traffic). But if you are making a blog, then you’ll want to see that every reader stays at least a minute or 2 before disengaging. The longer they stay, the better your website (to that particular person or audience) and the more likely they are to trust you and buy from you. Maybe you’ve heard that the longer the sale drags on the less likely they are to buy. While this is true; we wouldn’t have things like FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) and scarcity of supply if it weren’t. The biggest difference is great companies don’t have to sell their product or service, because it is already in demand. Standing on a mound of trust that’s been nurtured since the day that person whose problems you’re going to solve at a profit first found your expertise in the industry.
“The reason engagement has not caught on like wild fire (except in white papers and analyst reports and pundit posts) is that it is a “heart” metric we are trying to measure with “head” data, and engagement is such a utterly unique feeling for each website that it will almost always have a unique definition for each and every website.” –Avinash Kaushik, author of Web Analytics: An Hour A Day
What does engagement with your business look like?
THE BLOCK BARD
Founder | Head of Copy
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