Not all URL shorteners are created equal. While they all do the basic job of shortening links, if you’re only sticking with the basics, you’re missing out on the opportunity to showcase your brand and increase click-throughs on your content.
Here are a few differences you’ll want to be aware of:
Research shows that people prefer short URLs made from real words. In a 2018 research study conducted by Sapio Research, 60% – 75% of respondents chose short links with real words, rather than the alternatives. In fact, 90% of all respondents preferred either short links using real words or traditional long links. Only 10% of respondents selected legacy short links using character strings. BL.INK allows you to make URLs with real words, while Bitly doesn’t.
Your link data is public with Bitly unless you pay extra. That means if you’re on the free plan, anyone—including your competitors—can look up the analytics on your link or your entire campaign. BL.INK, on the other hand, keeps your data private no matter what plan you’re on. Your data is your data, period.
BL.INK offers a free domain that you can use with your free plan. Use this domain to create branded short URLs—made from real words—with BL.INK’s free plan. There’s no need to pay enterprise pricing to have branded links the way you would with Bitly.
Bitly limits you to 14 characters in your branded domain. Those 14 characters go fast, especially if you’re trying to use your business name or describe the content. While we know you want to keep your link short, BL.INK doesn’t artificially limit your options.
BL.INK pricing is more flexible and accessible for businesses of all sizes. Bitly offers different plans, but their options are free or expensive. Their plans aren’t listed on their site. You have to give them your personal information before you can even see the price. At BL.INK we offer a wide range of plans, so you can scale incrementally as your business grows. We’re proud of our plans and our prices, and they’re easy to find on our site.
Unbranded Bitly links can be a security risk. According to Sucuri, in 2014, Google blacklisted bit.ly links for a short period of time, because someone was supposedly using a shortened link to push malware. Short links like bit.ly/123abc don’t give you any idea where the link will take you, so there’s no way to know if it’s a hacker, spammer, or phishing link (which is why hackers, spammers, and phishers love to use them). Basically, because the short link masks where the link actually goes, it creates a huge trust issue. One of our customers says it best:
“When I started, we were using bit.ly. Ironically, we were constantly telling people, ‘Don’t click on unknown links. Don’t click anything that could be suspicious.’ And yet we were pushing out all our content with unsecure bit.ly links. People were starting to call us out for that hypocrisy. ‘You’re telling us not to click on links we’re unsure of, and yet you’re promoting all these links and we can’t tell what they’re about.” It was a huge realization that we had to ‘walk the talk.'”
—Current BL.INK Enterprise Customer
On the surface it may look like all URL shorteners are the same. But now that you’re seeing the big picture, you have what you need to make an informed decision on a platform that shortens your links, improves customer trust, keeps your data private, and offers a plan that’s just right for your business now.
Get started creating links that truly click. Sign up for BL.INK today!