Today’s guest post by Brandon Coppernoll touches on a topic more marketing professionals should pay attention to: the art of creating good marketing URLs.
Marketing URLs are becoming a lost art. Before Twitter #hashtags, Facebook pages and URL shorteners like bit.ly came on the scene, it was common to see a marketing URL during a commercial or on print and other materials.
I love marketing URLs. They allow you to create shortcuts to your web content while still keeping your domain in the name. If done right, they provide many applications to make your business better on the web.
When do marketing URLs make sense?
Marketing URLs are best used when your audience will be visually and audibly captivated. A good URL is descriptive of the content your audience will find.
For example, many Twitter users are so used to seeing short URLs we often don’t think twice when clicking a link from a reputable source. When your customers are watching television or reading a brochure, a URL that looks like goo.gl followed by a random sequence of characters can be tough to repeat to get to your web content.
Two good examples of when to use a marketing URL:
- Use when targeting deep content. Your audience will remember example.com/newcar instead of example.com/landing-pages/contests/new-car.
- Use when you want to track marketing efforts. Marketing URLs can hide your web analytics tracking code.
How to track your marketing URLs
Spreadsheets are a great way to keep track of URLs. The minimum information you track should include:
- Campaign – what is the URL for?
- Source – where will this URL be used?
- Marketing URL – what is the URL?
- Destination URL – where is the URL going? Be sure to record your web analytics tracking code.
- Dates – when did this URL go live, and when should the URL be retired?
Feel free to download this example Google spreadsheet for tracking marketing URLs.
Doing marketing URLs better
Understanding when to use URL shorteners and marketing URLs will gain you an advantage in converting your marketing efforts into leads and sales. Marketing URLs give you the benefit of advancing brand awareness and giving your audience the shortest path to you. Do you have a marketing URL plan?
Brandon Coppernoll is an interactive marketing and WordPress consultant in Muncie, Indiana, and he serves as the web solutions architect in University Marketing and Communications at Ball State University