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What is a URL link shortener? How to make URL shorter with BSG

Olena Kozhevnikova
12 May, 2021

Digital communication ubiquitously contains links to facilitate the user’s way to resources. Hyperlinks in the advertisements, instructions and notifications are full of parameters making them look messy, complicated (especially when it comes to tracking) and distractive. People are inherently reluctant to open lengthy URLs. Said challenges are solved with the URL shortener ― it transforms an unwieldy access address into a short, trustworthy and easy-to-share, leading to the required destination. Since its launch in 2002, such services have been multiplying and accumulating useful features.

If you share a third-party web-address, you will not know where the clicks come from. Overcoming this challenge, uniform resource locator shortener accurately tracks the incoming traffic. Which addresses were clicked? How many times and when? What were the users’ device types, OS, languages? Major reason companies create a URL link using a shortener is to retrieve the click data, to monitor the marketing performance. Information collected partly resembles Google Analytics, but short URLs enable tracking clicks on someone else’s sites. Good bulk SMS provider allows not only to minimize URL, but to customize it too. You can edit the link to easily remember it.

You may wonder, are tiny links permanent, i. e. is there a risk that your shortened URL currently redirecting to a certain page will redirect the recipient to another page in future? Many services offer short links with a certain validity period, but the BSG short URLs never expire and are not reusable.

How does URL shortening work?

To access functionality, you need SMS and/or Viber channels. Activation is at no cost. Your URL is handled and replaced by a new domain (e. g. bpo.su), and the permalink is replaced by an alphanumeric string (e. g. wt5) containing tracking information. You can shorten a link either when you set up your SMS or Viber campaign, or get your own URL on the dedicated page. Select the BSG ShortUrl service from the dropdown list in the Products section. Click + to add your original link. In the opened sub-window, enter the original hyperlink, select domain, enter its name (invisible for recipient), and click Save.

The stats are viewable in the table containing all your shortened links: ID, name, type, creation date, number of clicks, IDs of the message and campaign where they were used. In the right column, you can edit, delete a link, or promptly create a messaging with it. This opens the standard window for creating a campaign. You can sort your links in ascending or descending order by name, creation date, IDs or type. You can also filter out your uniform resource locators according to the fields’ content: select the corresponding menu item, specify search conditions and click Apply.

To view the detailed click-through information, switch to the Clicks page in the ShortURL section. You’ll see a complete click-through list with the logs ― the click date and device parameters.

Why use a URL shortener?

Firstly, you need to adapt to the character limits: 160 characters for SMS, various limits for messengers and social network. Though, for instance, you don’t need to shorten a link for Twitter ― this platform has made allowance for that. Short links save the message space; thus, using an international SMS platform such as BSG, you send more useful information without overpaying. Needless to say, short URLs look more elegant and do not divert the reader’s attention away from the message text itself, and boost sharing.

Memorable, readable and typable links are invaluable when users can’t click it right away: for business cards, print ads, podcasts. If you suppose to advertise on printed media, to customize a URL is a good common sense, as well as if you need to spell it out or to obscure referral tags.
Certainly, as with most things, there’s no one-stop solution: the preferable URL shortening service for you hinges upon your marketing strategy needs. BSG offers fast, user-friendly, free shortener, with analytic-focused dashboard and precise metrics ― a smart way to bring users straight to your business website.

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