When you have pulled up your stats on ActiveRain, you likely noticed the last box that reports "Short URL Clicks," but do you know what that means? After all, the stats page is pretty self-explanatory up to that final box, but I suspect many Rainers want to know what short URL clicks are and why they are measured alongside the other important statistics.
Short URL Clicks Defined
First of all, what is a short URL click? Have you ever heard of URL shorteners such as bit.ly or ow.ly? They are tools used to convert very long URLs (article links) to ones that take up far less digital real estate. Many agents even have their own custom URL shorteners. For example, my company Joe Manausa Real Estate (JMRE) uses http://jmre.ws to shorten our website links.
Why Use Short URLs
We use URL shorteners so that we can share content across numerous social media platforms where space is a premium. Can you imagine trying to share a Tweet with this URL (https://www.manausa.com/blog/buy-home-large-down-payment/)? That long link takes up 57 characters, more than 40% of the old allowed Tweet length and 20% of today's limit. Do you really want a hyperlink taking up 1/5th of your message? That same link can be reduced to https://jmre.ws/8h4lf, which is only 21 characters or less than 10% of today's Tweet length limit. This is why short URLs are produced, as it makes it tidier when sharing to social media.
Are You Using Short URLs?
So now that we know what a short URL is and why they are used, the big question is are you using short URLs to promote your ActiveRain content? Sure, you could use the long, unabridged URL when you share, but it is not the best way to gain insight about your ActiveRain blog visitors.
You should use the Short URL any time you are promoting your ActiveRain content offsite in order to determine the impact of your offsite work. For example, if you shared your link on three other platforms, wouldn't you want to know if anybody was clicking through to read your article?
When we look at the image below from one of my latest articles, it tells a powerful story of the impact that social media can have on ActiveRain.
When I wrote the article above, I knew that I did not want to share an 86 character link (https://activerain.com/blogsview/5379644/top-ten-blog-posts-over-the-past-twelve-years) on my Twitter account. By using the Short URL from that article (https://activerain.com/droplet/5jJ6), I was able to shorten it by nearly 60% to just 35 characters.
I love how AR provides a short URL click count so that you can know how much traffic you've driven to your post from social media (meaning from outside of the traffic you receive from AR). That post I shared above has received 1,231 short URL clicks. Considering the post has been seen a total of 1,399 times, I believe 88% of the views came from my social media shares.
In other words, my article received 632% more traffic by me sharing it with a Short URL than it would have had I not shared it at all. Of course, I could have shared the long link too, but I would have had no idea how effective the share had been.
Sharing ActiveRain content outside of ActiveRain drives more users to the platform, and hopefully will expand the audience of people who see our content. Who knows, maybe they will arrive to read your article and spend enough time on your blog to get to know you! ActiveRain puts you in front of a lot of people, but if you do your part in the promotion phase of blogging, you too might receive 600% more traffic.