Getting Creative with Branded URLs and Shortlinks

You’ve got a website and domain. It might be a long url, or even a medium length one. In my case, I’ve got https://www.regularsteven.com/. It’s length doesn’t matter too much if it’s memorable or easy to type. That’s the URL or brand that you’re wanting people to type out in the address bar or Google.

Shortlinks for Social

When it comes to Google and traditional marketing, the domain and URL does its job. When it comes to social media, it’s pretty common-place to use a tool like bit.ly for simple URL click tracking across social channels. Don’t get me wrong; there are ways to get this analytics (data) by other means (such as on or off-platform analytics – such as UTM tracking codes or social media stats), but the simplicity of centralised link-tracking is compelling.

Custom Shortlink Paths

There’s a very simple way to add your own bit of personalisation to a bit.ly link.

Many people don’t do this, they just have bit.ly/bldjslfjsa7 – or wherever the bit.ly tool may generate. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s in no way pretty. That said, it’s easy ass to add your own little touch.

Here’s an example I used recently, using stock bit.ly functionality. But in this link (as screened on the right), I’ve opted for “Customize”, and added “/PortMelby” to give it a little customisation.

It’s easy as.

You can see the bit.ly link in there. I’ve got the tracking on the code, but it’s still branded bit.ly.

Custom URL Branded Shortlinks

It’s possible to add your own domain as a short-link in bit.ly, free and pretty easy. That said, you need to have a short domain. And short domains are harder to get than long domains… There’s simply less of them. So, an old adage… Constraints drive creativity.

Having a bit of creativity with domains opens up opportunities for short domains. As a personal example, I opted for the ‘number plate approach’. That is, using numbers instead of letters, that look close-enough. I obviously couldn’t get “steven.com”, but look what I could snag? 5teven.com 🙂

Adding a little subdomain means I can use 5teven.com for some random projects, and the subdomain ‘by’ is allowing it to be 100% bit.ly stuff.

Numbers for Letters

This is really common with number-plates. So why not domains? Just remember, it’s not like you’re asking people to type it out, but it’s just for sharing.

  • 5 for S
  • 3 for E
  • 0 for O
  • 1 for 1
  • 4 for A

Jump on a domain registrar and see what you can find. Using GoDaddy, for example, it’s pretty simple to think of options. Say your name is Nick. Nick.com? GONE. But a little basic change?

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s pretty handy.  There’s a bunch of top-level domains that are available and with a bit of creativity, you can probably get something that’s more ‘you’ than ‘bit.ly’.

Looking for help?

If you’ve gotten this far but not quite sure what’s next or how to go about it, feel free to hit me up. I’m freelancing and available for help on a range of things digital. I love this stuff, dig finding solutions and helping people get their digital presence sorted.

Give me call on 0433 68 0619 (In Australia) or email hello@regularsteven.com.

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