Are Shortened URLs a Good thing or a Bad thing?

shortened urls

There are many reasons you may consider using shortened URLs and this could be a good or bad thing depending on what you are using them for. By shortening a URL you can use it on Twitter and other social media sites much easier. You can also track the clicks that come from the link form these sites as well.

It can be very annoying to try to type in a full URL that is a mile long and it can look very tacky as well. Even though using shortened URLs may save you some time it might not be the best marketing strategy to use. Is there a good time to use a shortened version of a URL or is it always bad to use these types of URLs?

Shortened URLs – The Disadvantages

Many sites now will give you the ability to shorten your URL and many webmaster believe in using them. However, there are also many that believe these are not a good idea and they have some very valid points. The disadvantages may be more than you are willing to take on and if this is the case you may have to look into a better way to market without shortened URLs.

Disadvantage #1 – Branding

Probably the biggest thing you lose when you are trying to put up your own website and you are trying to become a big name in your industry is the branding from your own URL. The shortened URL will not help you brand your business in any way.

Disadvantage #2 – Confusion

If you want to confuse your visitors or potential visitors give them a shortened URL to click. It looks like a scam right from the beginning and you may lose the chance to even sell your product or service to the people that see this URL. It is not all that clean and this can cause issues for those not familiar with what shortened URLs are.

Disadvantage #3 – User Friendly

Often times as marketers and webmasters we forget that the general public does not understand the things we do like we understand them. If you have never seen a shortened URL before you may find it to look very much like spam. This is not what you want and it is not very user friendly.

Why Avoiding Shortened URLs is a Good Idea

Besides the above disadvantages you need to understand these shortened URLs are more likely to be hacked and you may even lose a good amount of your traffic to a hacker with these. Plus if you decide you are going to use one service to shorten your URLs and they close their doors you lose all the hard work you have done.

The only good time to use a shorter version of a URL is when you are tweeting or using it on another social networking site. If you can avoid using shortened URLs make sure you do as they don’t bring you many advantages.

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