Using branded short links helps to build brand awareness and recognition; branded links signal what the content is and ensure that it is from your brand, increasing link trust, confidence, and clickability.
Creating Branded Links
To create a branded link, users must first set up a custom branded domain. Check out this article on how to set up a custom domain.
Once a domain has been added, select the domain from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Click the arrow, and select the domain from the drop-down menu.
Then, hover the cursor over the New Link button and click Branded Link.
Paste the long URL into the first text field.
In the second field, edit the keyword (the word after the “/”) to further customize the link. If this field is left blank, BL.INK will generate a random keyword.
Optionally, enter a link description and add tags for the new Branded Link. Tags can be added according to social media channel, email type, campaign type, client, language, location, and more.
Adding tags will make organizing, searching, filtering, sharing, analyzing clicks, and reporting much easier. If tags are not added to the link while it's being created, they can be added later. For more information about tags, click here.
Now copy and share the new Branded Link!
Other Field Options to Note When Creating Branded Links:
- Select this box to receive an email notification for the first 10 clicks to monitor engagement.
- Redirect Type:
- The default redirect in the BL.INK Platform is a 307 Temporary Redirect. This can be changed to a 301 Redirect by clicking on the Temporary Redirect (307) field. For more information and questions around which redirect type to select, click here.
- If this link should only be active for a specific period of time, users can enter an expiration date to the right of the Archive field. Once the Archive date has been reached, all click traffic will be redirected to the home page destination set in Admin > Root pages.
- Users may also click on Archive to change the option to Delete on a specified date instead.
Deleting the link will permanently remove all of the click analytics for that link when it has been removed. Proceed with caution! Once a link has been deleted, there is no recovery option.
- Link Masking*
- A masked link will not show the visitor the destination long URL - it is 'masked'. Instead, only the short URL created will show in the browser's address bar. This can help hide the UTM tagging structure and add another layer of general security.
Link masking utilizes IFrames, and may not work with certain websites. Make sure to test the link after it has been created to ensure the destination site works with this feature.
Archive/Delete* option and Link Masking* option are only available on the SMB plan and higher.
Editing Branded Links
Once a Branded Link has been created, it can easily be edited. To edit a single link, make sure that the correct domain is selected from the drop-down menu at the top of the BL.INK dashboard.
Click Links and then My Links in the menu on the left side of the page.
Locate the link in the list of links.
The keyword can be searched from the filtering options at the top of the page to quickly find a link.
Click the edit (pencil) icon to the right of the link.
Make any changes, and then click Save in the upper right.
If the destination of a link has been edited and saved, but the short URL doesn't appear to redirect to the new destination, the lag could be due to the redirect type chosen. If the default redirect is set to "Permanent (301)," most browsers will cache the destination and it is possible that any changes will not be reflected in a timely manner. A cached link will usually expire within 24 hours.
Clearing the browser cache should prompt it to load the new destination. Additional ways to test a link include trying a different browser or trying it on a smartphone or tablet.
If "Temporary (307)" is set as the default redirect type, it can avoid delays in redirect updates. This setting ensures that short links always call to our platform and do not cache in a browser. This is most frequently used when the link destination may change periodically or where the need for more accurate analytics outweighs the need for SEO value.
For more information on the redirect types, check out this article.
To update the default redirect type, follow the Edit Branded Links instructions listed above.
If you have additional questions, please submit a ticket.