Hey! How are you doing today? I would like to talk to you about a WordPress plugin that I’ve recently become a little obsessed with — Shortlinks by Pretty Links. I use it to shrink and track links, particularly affiliate links, but the biggest reason I like it so much is because you can customise links to match your own blog or website.
With a number of benefits and no negative points to report after a good few months of usage, I reckon it’s about time I shared my new little secret with you …
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Shortlinks by Pretty Links
1 – Shortlinks by Pretty Links is free.
There is a paid version of the WordPress plugin, but I haven’t yet needed to pay anything for what I’ve used Pretty Links for. There are more advanced options on the website, with various pricing options, but the free one has given me the option to create my own customised short links and track them. That’s pretty much all I’m looking for right now. I will, of course, let you know how I get on with it/whether or not I upgrade.
2 – Pretty Links makes your links look memorable, simpler & more professional.
Link A: best-ecig.co.uk/SmokHelmetOffer [affiliate]
Link B: https://scripts.affiliatefuture.com/AFClick.asp?affiliateID=337815&merchantID=6638&programmeID=19061&mediaID=0&tracking=&afsource=60&url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.ukecigstore.com%2fsmok-helmet-tank.html
Doesn’t Link A look a million times better than Link B?
Link A has been created using a link generator on an affiliate site + Pretty Links.
Link B has been created using a link generator on an affiliate site alone – without Shortlinks by Pretty Links.
3 – Pretty Links makes your links Instagram-friendly.
Again, referring back to Links A and B above, Link A is going to be so much easier for your followers to retype into a web browser than Link B, making it perfect for Instagram. Links that are posted in Instagram captions are not functioning links — it serves no purpose to insert a link there … UNLESS it is one that will be easy to remember and then type into a web browser.
Even if you were to post the link in the space for a web address on your Instagram profile, Link A still looks a lot better than Link B does. Readers/followers are much happier tapping on a link that looks like Link A than Link B. The latter looks spammy and untrustworthy.
> Always alert your readers/followers that the link is an affiliate one. I type [affiliate] next to the link to make it perfectly clear.
4 – You can use Pretty Links to cloak your affiliate links for Facebook posts.
It appears that you CAN use affiliate links on Facebook. Different websites will have different chat conversations/emails/forum threats with Facebook advisors saying different things, though, and I urge you to do your own research and form your own final decision on the matter. It’s YOUR Facebook account after all; if it goes wrong, only YOU can be help responsible.
For more information, check out this [external] blog post: A GUIDE TO USING AFFILIATE LINKS ON FACEBOOK
I DO post affiliate links to Facebook, but I cloak/cover them with Pretty Links first. It hides the fact that they are affiliate links to Facebook but doesn’t *appear* to go against the terms and conditions of using the social media site.
Again, make sure that you state the link is an affiliate link.
5 – Pretty Links will help you to keep track of the numbers.
One of the things I love the most about Pretty Links is that it helps me to track my links — seeing how visitors and unique visitors the link receives. Some affiliate sites have interfaces that are beyond difficult to understand (I think), so seeing the two simple and clear numbers, side by side, really helps to make my life easier. I can see how many people click. The ones that are clicked time and time again — the ‘popular’ ones — should be shared multiple times. (But not too often, obviously; you don’t want to become spam.)
How to Use Pretty Links
I downloaded Shortlinks by Pretty Links for free directly from WordPress, as a plugin. Once activated, you’re ready to start making all of your links look beautifully professional, and all with a few clicks.
I use Shortlinks by Pretty Links a lot to ‘neaten up’ affiliate links (and, sometimes, review links too if they’re super long), particularly on Facebook and Instagram. Here are a couple of examples [taken from the Facebook page for my vaping website, best-ecig.co.uk]:
The affiliate link, best-ecig.co.uk/PumaOffer, is much simpler, cleaner, and more professional-looking than the alternative which, for the record, is this:
I know which one I prefer; don’t you?
For a step-by-step guide on how to create and track beautiful links using Shortlinks for Pretty Links, you’ll need this blog post right here:
- A Guide to Using Shortlinks By Pretty Links
Reading the Clicks
For the most part, I actually think using the plugin is super easy, as is reading the information given — clicks and unique clicks.
Some links are more popular than others, as you can see, but I would use that information for future social planning. The link that has 45 clicks (43 unique clicks) was a time-sensitive sale/offer, but once I saw that the post had received relatively high traffic in a short space of time, I figured out that it was a good idea to share it a second time around, a few days later.
If you click on the clicks — the blue link — you are given more in-depth information, including timestamps, IP addresses, the referrer, and a few other details, all of which are available to download as a CSV file.
I used the timestamp information to figure out the most popular time to re-share the popular links a second time. Almost all of the clicks were around 7 pm onwards, for the link that received 45/43 clicks. This was regardless of what time I posted the original Facebook or Instagram update. (Two Facebook posts + two Instagram posts were shared with this link, and all four updates were posted to their respective social media accounts at different times.)
** That particular offer was only on for one week, but had it been a longer deal I would have promoted the link further, only picking 7 pm update times for best results. Experts suggest that you get the best engagement from MOST social media platforms within the first three hours of posting an update. Facebook does seem to give you more in the way of later-on or next-day viewing, however.
I think I’ve done too much talking for today, but I hope you found this blog post on Shortlinks by Pretty Links helpful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to shout them out in the comments below.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog if you enjoyed reading. I’ll keep revealing all my secrets if you do …
Have a fab day![Feature image photo – Bich Tran from Pexels|Edited]