Adding affiliate links to your website of social media pages seems like a straight forward task – just copy the URL generated by the affiliate program tools, and use it everywhere.
But some affiliate programs generate URL addresses which are, well, long and quite ugly, and in some cases can make users less likely to click on them.
In addition, some affiliate programs generate URL addresses that have domain names other than these of the advertiser, which can raise the user’s suspicion.
Adding clean and readable affiliate links is a best practice that can sometimes increase profits, and in most cases can be a great way to monitor the affiliate program’s clicks reports.
These are the best ways to create short and “clean” affiliate links:
1. Affiliate Program’s Own Link Shortener
Some affiliate programs and networks provide affiliates with a built-in link shortener.
Using the affiliate program’s link shortener will usually be easy to use and effective.
Bitly (or bit.ly) is probably the most popular URL shortening service worldwide, with over 600 million links shortened each month using Bitly.
Bitly enables affiliate marketers to shorten long affiliate links to short and readable links, that start with the well known bit.ly domain name.
In addition, Bitly provides affiliate marketers with clicks data for each shortened link, which can be useful in monitoring affiliate programs reports accuracy.
The basic Bitly account is free and should be more than enough for most affiliate marketers, enabling the creation of 1,000 new links each month, and unlimited clicks.
Rebrandly is a custom URL shortener, that enables affiliate marketers to use their brand name on every link they share, a feature that can increase click-through-rates.
Other cool features of Rebrandly are its “Link retargeting” capabilities, which gives marketers the ability to use retargeting ads campaigns on users that have clicked one of the shortened links, and it’s detailed analytics.
4. Pretty links
Pretty Links is a free WordPress plugin, well suited for website owners who want to all their affiliate links in an efficient and convenient way.
The pretty links plugin enables affiliate marketers to convert every affiliate link to a branded and readable link, increasing user trust and click-through-rates.
One advantage the Pretty Links plugin has over standard link shortening services is the ability to edit the links and change the target URL without changing the branded URL. This way affiliate marketers can update affiliate links in one place, instead of going back to old posts and updating links on each one of them.