SmartLink domains will cease operation after December 31, 2020. To read more about the end of life for SmartLinks, please click here.
Without links, there is no internet. Links are the routes on the information superhighway, connecting everyone to everything, whether they’re hidden behind a button or typed into a web browser. People distribute and consume content through social media, email marketing, banner ads, and websites. And just like any efficient highway system, the routes between destinations should be logically organized and strategically named to maximize traffic flow.
But not all links are created equal. Some are long (even really long) and others are short. Some are made of random characters, while others make clear who is sharing the link or the content a person should expect to see when they click. Links are created to click — plain and simple. In a recent survey by Sapio Research, 60-80% of respondents opted for short links using real words rather than using long URLs or legacy short links with random character strings. That’s why we believe Smart Links, offered exclusively by BL.INK, will motivate your audience to click on and engage with your content.
What is a Smart Link?
Smart Links turn long, ugly links into short links with real words. Unlike other short links with random characters, Smart Links use real words to describe the content on the page to which you are linking. To create a Smart Link, simply plug in your long URL (even with long tracking codes attached), then BL.INK automatically scans the page to find the best short link options for you, and you can customize from there. Check it out:
Smart Links have built-in click tracking analytics, so you can assess link performance.
You can use Smart Links to tell your story and attract more people to your content.
When Should You Use Smart Links?
The answer is simple: whenever real words enhance and amplify your marketing messages. That’s because Smart Links are memorable and meaningful.
Tell a Story with Real Words
Having a clunky URL or a link that’s filled with random letters and numbers is wasting that “last inch” of available marketing real estate. Instead, use a Smart Link as an integral part of a story guiding the users towards action. You might even be able to string together words to complete a sentence, such as: “Find out more at read.news/our-brand.” Smart Links tell users where they’re going and what they should expect, which increases their likelihood of clicks.
Reinforce and Re-Use Your Keywords
Digital marketers think about keywords on their sites and ads all the time, and Smart Links are a great new place to add them, especially in the word-space after the “/”. For example, if you’re starting a seasonal line for your homemade quilts, your Smart Link might read “quilts.forsale/fall.”
Adding consistent keywords or phrases to your Smart Links allows you to communicate more effectively and transform your links into strategic marketing assets. Using BL.INK, you can organize your keywords into different tags to see which ones drive the greatest number of clicks.
Stand Out From the Crowd
Sometimes, doing something new and different can be enough in digital marketing. Today, most people use forgettable legacy short links. When you have a Smart Link so clear and simple that people could remember it from a radio ad, you’ve successfully stood out from the crowd.
Secure Your Data
Legacy short link tools often make link data publicly available, allowing click metrics to be discovered by competitors. But not with BL.INK. BL.INK is built from the ground up to let you control and analyze your data privately.
Smart Links are a surefire way to guide people to your website or landing pages. Our recent study revealed that up to 80% of users prefer short links with real words, as compared to both longer URLs and legacy short links. What marketer doesn’t want a more clickable link?
Measure Your Performance
Smart Links give you detailed data about your audience. Learn specifics about where your audience is, what time they click on your content, and even what device they are using. Click data can shed light on optimal ways to target your audience.
Smart Links also allow for unique tagging, so you can separate your links based on specific campaigns, timeframes, or even types of content (for example, newsletter emails, promo emails, social media posts, blogs, etc.). Tracking performance by tags allows you to see which content has the highest return on investment.
Where Should You Use Smart Links?
Within Long Content
Smart Links are a great way to give your audience a preview of what they are going to see when they click. In long-form pieces, such as blog posts and white papers, you can sprinkle in links to other related content and use the Smart Link URL to tell a story about where that link will ultimately take the reader. For example, in your long post teaching people about pet ownership, you could plug your professional coaching program with dog.school/coaching.
Serving as Calls to Action
The CTA is the thing that says “do this, now!” in any persuasive digital marketing initiative: “Learn more”, “Call today”, “Read this post”, “Download the e-book.” Using Smart Links, you can customize the keywords after the “/” so your link includes action words. For example, if you have a news blog, you could use the short link: yourtopic.news/today as your call to action.
In Email and Social Media Marketing
Emails and social posts are usually focused on the link, because you send the content out, hoping to draw the reader back in. Use Smart Links within the body of your outreach to persuasively direct readers where you want them to go. Combined with the click analytics and tagging in BL.INK, Smart Links can provide all the channel marketing data you need in one place. Easily, rapidly answer questions such as, “do emails, Facebook posts, or Tweets perform better?”, and “which topics get the most traction on Twitter?”
Link Smarter Everywhere, Every Time
Links can do so much more than direct your traffic, so use BL.INK to link smarter. Smart Links can help get your audience to the right place by telling them a story about what’s on the other side of their click.
BL.INK is the only URL shortener that offers Smart Links.