How to Make a Branded URL Shortener for your Blog

3 minute read Modified:

There are many URL shorteners you can use to create tiny URLs for sharing on social media, but it's easy if you make your own branded short links.

Tiny URLs, otherwise known as short links. We’ve all used them to shorten URLs. Sometimes for sharing y2u.be videos. Or to make some 🧀 using amzn.to. Perhaps even to view someone else’s analytics data. And though some may lead you to believe short URLs can be dangerous, used thoughtfully they make a useful addition in your link building strategy. Learn how to make your own branded tiny URLs free in under 5 minutes.

Learn how to make your own branded tiny URLs free in 5 minutes.

Why Branded Tiny URLs are Better

Here’s why branded tiny URLs are better than regular short links:

When you create your own Branded Short Domain, you can expect to see up to a 34% increase in CTR when compared to standard bit.ly links.

https://bitly.is/2mkxskj

See the link? Would you really want to click that? Even though it’s secure, there’s no t3lling where it might lead. Without even knowing the benefits of branded short links any hesitation is proof in the pudding. Branded Tiny URLs are better.

Tiny URLs In Action

Now for a quick example. Click the following link for to get an idea of what a tiny URL is actually capable of:

Example: go.habd.as/free-url-shortener

Clicking the example will redirect you back to this very page, deep link to this section of the content, highlight the section header and track your click with Google Analytics using UTM tags created with the Campaign URL Builder.

Are you beginning to see the possibilities? Using your own custom URL shortener not only increases CTR on social media, they can help you to do all kinds of useful things.

Go ahead and make your own. It won’t take long. Instructions below.

Create Your Custom URL Shortener

Step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process of creating a free URL shortener for your blog.

What You’ll Need

  • A free Bitly Account. You can sign-up here.
  • A short domain name, and ability to modify DNS records.
How short? Very short. With subdomain, your *entire domain name* needs to be less than 15 characters. After all, tiny URLs are supposed to be, well, tiny.

Create a Short Domain

Login to Bitly and access Advanced Settings from the Settings menu for your account:

Account Settings Menu: Settings Option Highlighted
Account Settings Menu: Settings Option Highlighted

Then choose Branded Short Domains from the Advanced Settings menu:

Advanced Settings Menu: Branded Short Domains Option Highlighted
Advanced Settings Menu: Branded Short Domains Option Highlighted

From there, follow the on-screen instructions to set-up your short domain, then choose Verify.

Add Branded Short Domain Menu: Instructions Completed
Add Branded Short Domain Menu: Instructions Completed

Once verified, the Branded Short Domains menu will look like this:

Branded Short Domains Menu: Custom Domain Selected
Branded Short Domains Menu: Custom Domain Selected

You’re done! You’ve successfully created your free URL shortener and can start creating your own tiny URLs for your blog. Go nuts!

What You Learned

In this post you learned why branded tiny URLs are better than regular short links, saw some of the possibilities of using them, and received step-by-step instructions to create your branded tiny URLs. When used thoughtfully, tiny URLs make a useful addition to your link building strategy.