I have been needing to shorten my URL’s quite a bit lately, while at the same time keep track of how many clicks they get with some sort of statistics. I previously wrote a post about a website called ClickAudit.com (Hiding and tracking affiliate links), which has since stopped offering this very service, and think I need to just update you on what I am using now as my Clickaudit.com alternative.
I use websites like Twitter all the time, and see loads of shortened URL’s being used, and every time I see one I dont recognize, I go check out the website, to see what they have to offer. Some of the websites simply create a shortened URL, that redirects to your website link, these ones sometimes expire after a certain amount of time, so beware!
I absolutely hate tinyurl.com, and think the only reason it has been so popular, is because it was one of the first, and because it was super simple to instantly shorten a url, no login or account required.
That being said, one that I have come to really like is called Trim (http://tr.im), and is one of those ‘no hassle’ websites we all like. Its possible to sign up for free, and be using their services in no time whatsoever.
What I like about their service, is that you have a record of all your shortened URL’s, and can see stats on them at any time. Another great feature, is the option to automatically tweet your links as you make them, which is pretty sweet. For me though, the icing on the cake is the ability to custom make your url! Yep, you heard me, you can customize your URL, eg http://tr.im/FrancoisHarris will take you through to this blog!
Another really good one is http://bit.ly, which seems to have the same functionality as http://tr.im, also allowing you to also create a custom URL, and track the click through stats, as well as giving you the option to tweet your shortened URL. It also seems that bit.ly and twitter are good friends too, as twitter is using them for url shortening now.
One downfall Trim and Bitly both seem to have, is that I am not able to edit the destination URL AFTER it has been created.
I would like to be able to use affiliate links for instance, so that they are shortened and I can track the clicks, but what happens if I want to change the destination URL to a different provider, but keep the custom URL I have created? It would be far better to edit the destination URL, than to go through all my old websites, changing all the shortened URL’s. ClickAudit was able to do this, and it was one of their great features.
I do realize that these services are designed primarily for shortening the length of a URL, and NOT for tracking affiliate clicks, but why cant they be used for both?
I would love to hear what services you are all using, and what makes them so special, please feel free to post a comment.
Cheers for now