URL shortening services provide some handy features, especially in today’s world of 140 characters or less micro-blogging with Twitter. Plus with with need for tweaking for search engine optimization, good, strong URL strings are needed to make sure search engines get the message.
It will help if you’re familiar with Bit.ly and Yourls.org before reading this since those are probably the top two, at least in my book, I’ve been using them for a few years now. I’ve tried some of the others. Recently, I was on Quora and someone asked what features are needed in URL shortening services. If I had a wish list, this is what I’d love to see:[unordered_list style=”bullet”]
- Multiple campaign tracking for marketers with sophisticated update tools: When you’re working on longer-term campaigns, you’re going to be generating URLs to point from many, many sources that will need constant update over time. Now that process is manual.
- A/B testing URLs: http://Bit.ly doesn’t really allow one to play with the after-slash details like Yourls.org. Being able to bundle and test to see which ones work better would be terrific.
- Multiple domain support. Right now, you can create only one custom domain for http://Bit.ly and Yourls.org to use. If you need to create others, that means other accounts. A single platform support would be great.
- Integration with Google Analytics. This allows finer details and support.
- Support for personalization with integration into mail tools, etc. The link appears like it’s just for the consumer receiving the e-mail but it’s behind-the-scenes coding sends it to the right location.
- Geo-location specification targeting: Both http://Bit.ly and Yourls.org uses by country results. It would be terrific to be able to send targets from those countries to specific pages.
- Update forwarding URLs. Of course, Yourls.org already does this. http://Bit.ly needs to catch up with this one.