70% of Marketers Are Not in Control of Their Links
We asked around 4,500 people how they are using their links and the results we received were astonishing.
So it turns out that 70% of people are neglecting their links. Yes, you heard that right — 70%!
By not correctly managing links there are a number of opportunities that you might be overlooking. When you share a link online you can retain control of that link however, most people that we surveyed do not have this control…
The shocking part of this is that almost all people that we surveyed were involved in online marketing. Some worked in digital marketing, others in content marketing and a large number worked in social media marketing.
Links are the Backbone of Online Marketing
Every time you click, tap or swipe there is a link under that action. Links are all over our digital lives and when you share content with other people you use a link for just that. Billions and billions of links are shared every day. So why are links still so neglected?
It was not until we completed this survey that we truly discovered the extent of this problem. I asked my team to run to a survey to get the exact numbers and some alarming data was discovered.
But first things first, what do we mean when we say that it is important to be ‘in control of your links’ — are all links not the same?
To be in control of your links mean that you can do a lot more than just create, shorten and share a link. Let’s look at some examples.
You can do the following:
- When – You can check when you create and shared a link. You can also see if you’ve shared a link before to ensure you’re not creating a duplicate.
- Performance – You can check how many clicks your link is receiving.
- Edit – You can change the destination of the URL and edit the title of your link.
- Delete – You are able to delete the link.
- Redirect – You can use a branded link already created and redirect this link to another page.
- Add – You can add UTM parameters to your link.
- Personalize – All links can be personalized with a domain name and slash tag or being shortened in the shortest way possible if this is important to you.
- Categories – You can include tags and notes to easily find each link.
Therefore if you are not using a service that enables you to control your links in the ways mentioned above, once you share a link you will lose control. However, it must also be noted that not all URL shorteners let you control your links…
Below is a comparison of the leading URL shorteners, highlighting the different levels of control you will have of your links depending on the service you choose.
Now to the Good Bits. NUMBERS!
All numbers provided below came directly from our survey.
Where do you share links online?
It is no surprise that Facebook was the most popular platform for sharing, with 1.8 billion monthly active users they are certainly fulfilling their mission to give people the power to share. Twitter took the second place, which again is no real surprise as social media platforms were created to allow people to share. Interestingly, email was revealed in an important third place for sharing links.
It must also be noted that every respondent who shares links on a weekly basis stated that they share on more than one platform.
We asked our survey respondents how many links they shared on a weekly basis in order to determine how important the tracking of links is. We found that most people believed they share between 1-10 links every week. With the next largest category of 20-30 links being shared weekly. However, most concerning is the third largest group of people that share over 50 links a week.
This is the part of the survey that we were most surprised at. We asked if you track your links and nearly 70% of respondents said that they did not track their links… We firmly believe that this is a serious concern.
Despite the high number of links being shared weekly, 70% of people do not track their links.
For those regularly sharing content online this number would be significantly higher. People who stated they share 50+ links every week are losing control of a minimum of 2,600 links every year!
By not managing links it could result in the loss of control of over 130,000 links in a person’s digital lifetime — pretty scary if you ask me.
Links are what ties your online sharing together. Every time someone clicks on your links from your Facebook page to your blog for example there is a link. The same goes for every time someone clicks on your website, it is a link that is directing them, so why not be in control of this?
By not managing your links you are missing out on a number of opportunities.
Missed Opportunities in More Detail
Sharing links is about more than just getting your link into the public domain and forgetting about it. Similarly to social media or a website they have to be managed.
There are many benefits to managing your links. Let’s look at some examples:
A. Tracking Links
As mentioned previously links are what tie everything you share online together. They are a vital aspect of marketing online and therefore cannot be overlooked. You can track your links and gain great and insightful analytics.
When analyzing data it is important to have data from as many sources as possible to get a clear picture of performance.
B. Redirect Optimisation
You can redirect your following based on a number of variables. When someone clicks on a link depending on:
- Where they’re from – If they’re clicking form America, Australia or Austria for example.
- The device they’re using – Whether they are using a smartphone, tablet or PC.
- The language they speak – The site should be in Czech, Chinese or English for example.
- The number of times they click on a link – You can display a different page based on how many times a link was click for example a promotion may be displayed to someone who clicked on a link three times.
C. Changing Destination
Businesses regularly update their websites which can change the destination of their URLs. If you don’t manage your links all the links you shared prior to updating your website could be broken.
If you manage your links with Rebrandly you can go to the branded link you created for each section of your site and simply redirect them to your new site. This way every link you have shared to this point will still work.
D. Manage Links
When you share branded links you can categorize them by adding tags, notes and then sort from most recent to most click links. This makes your links more manageable and if you need to track or change anything with your link they’re easily found.
E. Delete Links
A lot of link shorteners allow you to archive your links but won’t allow you to delete them. However, it is your link. You created it and you shared it so at Rebrandly we have ensured that you can delete your links or put a time limit on the lifespan of your link if you want to. It’s about having complete control of what you are sharing.
F. Retargeting with Links
If you’ve done the hard work to get someone onto your site you can track them using cookies to retarget those users who have already visited your site. You can do this by using branded links, whereby you can apply cookies when a link is clicked.
What is Link Retargeting?
How to do Link Retargeting with Rebrandly?
G. A/B Testing
You can connect your links to other sites such as ClickMeter and run A/B testing. This is done by splitting traffic on your links. For example, by splitting traffic from two different landing pages to see which site gets the most conversions.
ClickMeter Links Radator (A/B testing)
Hear from a very small sectional of our 50,000 converts to Branded Links.
Naoise Gaffney Community Co-Ordinator at Dogpatch Labs:
We regularly share links via email and Social Media. However, we have not always tracked the links we share. It’s strange because we have always tracked our social media interactions, website traffic and what not but with our links. Now we use Rebrandly so we can customise our links and monitor their success.
Mark O’Toole, Chief Strategy Officer at Beachhut PR and PRII Young Communicator of the Year 2016.
In this day and age it’s important for every company to get its brand message right and reinforced to the right audience across every different channel -whether traditional or digital. Rebrandly is a simple and superb idea that supercharges your company’s brand awareness on social media, while offering valuable actionable analytics.”
What can you do to redeem yourself? How do you become part of the 30% in control of their links?
Here is a few big names that see the value of branded links and that are in full control of their links:
Now it’s your turn, tell us if you are in control of your links?
- 4 Reasons Why New Domain Extensions are Perfect for Custom Short Links
- 8 Best Free URL Shortener APIs for Creating Your Short Links
- Branded Links vs Short Links
This article is about:
- How many links do we share one
- Managing links online
- How we track the links we use
- Sharing Branded Links
Originally Posted: 4th November 2017
Last Updated: 22nd September 2020