4 Key Elements of a Traffic-Driving Social Media Profile

Once you’ve created a social media profile, take the time to polish it to its full potential. Your efforts can help build your brand and reach your audience. You have almost total control over your profile’s content – it’s up to you to make the most of it. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for beginners who don’t know where to start.

Certain key elements in your profile can increase the effectiveness of your efforts. Your profile can attract or repel potential customers based on the elements you include. By making the most of these key elements, you will see better results, such as increased traffic to your business’ website.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to four key elements of a traffic-driving social media profile. In addition, we’ll show you how to ensure each element is used expertly on your profiles, and explain how Pretty Link Pro can help where appropriate. Let’s get started!

1. A Brand-Focused Username

A branded username as seen on Twitter

The Marketo username is short and branded, enabling users to find them on all social media platforms.

A brand-focused username incorporates your brand name, or some portion of it, and links you to your industry. It distinguishes your business’s social media profile from a personal one, as well. You should ensure that your user name is brand-focused, because it’s the calling card of your social media profile.

A brand-focused username helps users easily find you on other social media platforms. It also makes it easy for search engines to include all of your profiles in industry search results. Here are three steps that will help you to create the ideal branded username:

  1. Find the keywords related to your website. If the most obvious branded username is already taken, use keywords to come up with suitable variations.
  2. Come up with a few variations of brand-focused usernames. You’ll want a few options to work with, especially as you go into the last step of the process.
  3. Use KnowEm to learn which of your pre-selected usernames is available across the most platforms. For consistency, choose the username that is available on the most social media platforms.

Your goal is to use the same username across all social media profiles. This helps build your brand consistency and makes it easier for your followers to connect with you on all your active platforms.

2. A Brand-Building Profile Image

The HubSpot logo as a profile photo as seen on Twitter

HubSpot uses their well-known logo as their profile photo across all social media platforms.

Your profile image is the first thing that most social media users will see. As such, it needs to make a good impression. A brand-building image can help personalize your brand to ensure stronger connections with your customers. Plus, a trusted brand gets more traffic.

Choose the right image for your social media profiles by following the three steps below:

  1. Use your brand icon/logo. This is perhaps the easiest option, and the one that most branded companies choose. It’s a clear and recognizable representation of your business.
  2. Ensure the image is clear. It’s important that social media users can see your image and immediately identify it. If it’s too difficult to make your usual brand icon clear enough as a small image, use a modified version that incorporates brand colors.
  3. Follow platform sizing requirements for best results. You can use a free online photo editor (such as Canva) to create a photo that meets requirements.

Similar to your username, it’s a good idea to use the same image across all your platforms. You can keep your social media profiles cohesive by doing so. This consistency builds your brand’s credibility and professionalism.

3. An Engaging Profile Biography

Mike Volpe's Twitter profile bio

Mike Volpe uses mentions in his Twitter profile bio, while also keeping it direct and concise.

When a user clicks on your profile, you want to keep them there. An engaging biography ‘hooks’ the reader and furthers your branding. In addition, your profile bio can help qualify your leads: only those who are interested in the focus of your bio will click through to your website.

As one of the more complex elements of a social media profile, a bio can be overwhelming to write. Get off to a solid start with the two tips below:

  1. Be concise. You want to deliver the most important information about your brand, without boring the readers. Keep your writing tight and direct, and aim for fewer words when possible. Write freely, then trim to the essential words that convey your message.
  2. Use targeted keywords/hashtags/mentions. Depending on the platform, you can use these elements to call attention to your industry or your own work. Use 2–3 of the most relevant ones, and try to incorporate them into the bio itself.

As a good starting point, take a look at the social media bios of industry experts. You may find a pattern, or you may learn of an interesting new way to present yourself and your brand.

4. A Branded Website Link

A branded HubSpot link as seen on Facebook

A branded link on HubSpot’s Facebook profile page.

A branded website link, as you would reasonably expect, is a link that includes your brand name. It’s typically shortened from a longer, less reader-friendly URL. Branded links look more trustworthy and professional to readers and can lead to increased click-throughs.

With Pretty Link Pro, you can easily create a branded website link in just minutes. Aside from its variety of link shortening features, branded links are Pretty Link Pro’s specialty.

To get started, simply navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link on the left side of your WordPress dashboard. From here, you’ll be met with a number of options to design the most effective link for your needs:

Pretty Link Pro redirect and shorten links

You can choose the redirection type, add in the target URL (typically a landing page), and then create your own slug. Once you’re done, click Create. Now you’re ready to use your shortened, branded link within your social media profile!

Conclusion

Your social media profile is often the way that potential followers (and customers) ‘meet’ your brand. With that in mind, it’s important to make it as effective and engaging as possible. Maximizing your profile’s potential can build customer connection and engagement, increase brand recognition and credibility, and lead to increased site traffic.

In this post, we’ve introduced you to four key elements to include in your social media profile. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. A brand-focused username.
  2. A brand-building photo.
  3. An engaging profile biography.
  4. A branded website link.

Do you have any questions about how to improve the traffic-driving abilities of your social media profile? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Tips for Using Links Effectively in Guest Posts

Whether you’re a new or seasoned website owner, it can be difficult to increase your reach and build your authority. This is especially true if you spend most of your time working on your own website and little time working on outreach and lead generation.

Guest posting can help you build relationships and improve your brand presence. You also gain the additional benefit of link building. The value of link building alone should arguably make guest posting an essential part of your website growth strategy.

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of link building within guest posts. Then we’ll offer three tips for using links effectively in guest posts, and explain how Pretty Link Pro can help. Let’s get started!

The Importance of Link Building Within Guest Posts

Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites back to your own site. Getting quality links can be difficult, especially when you’re starting out. With guest posting, you get to choose websites related to your niche. You also get to choose the links by including them in your guest post.

Link building – while not the only linking method – is an important strategy for website growth. There are two particular reasons why:

  1. It can improve your search engine rankings. The more backlinks pointing to your site, the better your rankings.
  2. It can drive website traffic. Because of increased Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings, your site gets more traffic.

Guest posting is a great way to build links to your site. It can also boost your credibility and expand your reach. Taking the time to create quality posts will lead to more accepted guest posts, more quality links, and more traffic to your site.

3 Tips for Using Links Effectively in Guest Posts

To combine link use and guest posts effectively, consider the three tips below. By using these tips, you can greatly improve your guest posting and link building efforts.

1. Use Shortened, Branded URLs

A branded link example as seen on Twitter

A branded link, such as the one shown above, ensures your website’s name is always on full display.

Shortened, branded URLs are those that have been edited to include your website name. When you use them within a guest post, you’re passively promoting your brand. Branded links can help to boost search engine rankings. In addition, they can be easily tracked, making it easier to determine which links are most effective.

Using shortened, branded URLs is simple with a program such as Pretty Link Pro. Aside from its variety of linking features – including management, automation, and sharing – the cornerstone of the plugin is its link shortening ability.

After you’ve installed the plugin and purchased a plan, all you need to do is head to Pretty Link (now found on the left side of your WordPress dashboard) and select Add New Link from the pop-up menu:

Pretty Link Cloaking Add A New Link

From here, enter the target URL in the corresponding box.  Create a unique slug for said URL, then choose a redirect type. You can select management and automation settings to customize your branded links further.

2. Link to Your Website’s Landing Pages

An ebook landing page on ProBlogger

The ProBlogger landing page is dedicated to selling e-books to visitors.

Landing pages are dedicated to a specific purpose, such as gaining list subscribers or selling a product. Landing pages are not blog posts. They are also separate from your homepage, which serves as the doorway to the rest of your website.

A landing page, as opposed to your homepage, is much more likely to turn an interested visitor into a subscriber or customer. Linking to an internal page (such as a landing page) can also improve search engine rankings. These links direct search engine bots deeper within your site, ultimately making your content easier to find.

Keep these two tips in mind:

  1. Only link to relevant landing pages. You don’t want your links to appear spammy. Relevant links will improve click-throughs and conversions (as visitors will know what to expect when they click).
  2. Limit your landing page links. This will ensure your posts aren’t too promotional. Keep the focus on your most important landing pages.

3. Share Link Juice With Industry Experts

Pretty Link Pro uses outbound links to authority sites frequently. For example, the above two links are directed towards HootSuite.

Essentially, ‘link juice‘ is the value associated with a link. When you share link juice with industry experts, you do them a favor. You also improve your guest post’s quality.

Sharing link juice can help you to expand your reach. Link to industry experts, and they may share the post with their audience. Linking to experts also gives your post credibility by backing your claims with information from known industry leaders.

You’ll first need to pick the ‘right’ experts. These are people you read and respect, who are also respected by other industry experts, and who have a decent-sized following. Link to their best content: posts that are relevant, thorough, updated, and highly engaging. Add an insightful comment that backs up or expounds on their link. This shows you’ve read through the link and understand how it relates to your post topic.

To further boost this strategy’s effectiveness, contact the industry expert you’ve linked to and give them a heads-up. A quick email doesn’t take much time, but it increases the chance that they’ll share your post on their website and social media. You may even build a valuable, long-term connection.

Conclusion

While guest posting seems like a big effort, it can pay off in multiple ways. Write quality posts and include relevant, branded links within them for best results.

In this post, we’ve offered three tips on using links most effectively within guest posts. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Use shortened, branded URLs.
  2. Link to your website’s landing pages.
  3. Share link juice with industry experts.

Do you have any questions about how to effectively link within guest posts, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments below!

An Introduction to Pretty Bar: A Pretty Link Pro Exclusive Feature

External links help to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and boost brand authority. However, they can also lead readers away from your site. This is the downside to external link usage, especially if you’ve done a lot of work to bring traffic to your website.

Fortunately, you can reap the benefits of external linking while also avoiding its main consequence: loss of readers. An exclusive Pretty Link Pro feature, Pretty Bar, enables you to use external links while keeping your brand present on external pages.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to Pretty Bar, including its benefits. You’ll learn three best practices for its use, as well as how to set up and begin using it on your website immediately. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Pretty Link Pro’s Pretty Bar

An example of what Pretty Bar looks like on a webpage

An example of how Pretty Bar appears at the top of a webpage.

Pretty Bar is one of eight redirection types offered by Pretty Link Pro. It works by cloaking the target link and adding a banner to the top of linked sites.

This unique cloaking feature has two major benefits.

  1. It incorporates your branding into external links. Your website stays in the forefront of your readers’ minds, even as they navigate to other websites.
  2. It makes it simple for users to return to your site. You get to keep your readers engaged with your own content while still sharing relevant links from external sites.

3 Best Practices for Using Pretty Bar on Your Website

While Pretty Bar can provide you with a number of benefits, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. Let’s take a look.

1. Know When to Use Pretty Bar

Pretty Bar is a useful tool that serves a specific purpose; in fact, knowing when to use it is almost as important as knowing how. In some situations, there may be other redirect types that are more beneficial for your needs.

Two criteria will help you determine whether to use Pretty Bar for your link. Before selecting it as the Redirection type, consider the following:

  1. Use it when you intend for site visitors to return. This is Pretty Bar’s main purpose. Using it when you don’t intend for site visitors to return will not benefit you or your visitors.
  2. Use it only with non-branded content. Don’t use Pretty Bar if you’re redirecting to an external site related to your brand (such as another website owned by you). It will seem redundant.

As shown above, there are many times that Pretty Bar will be the perfect solution for your needs. However, there’s one case where you’ll want to avoid using Pretty Bar (mentioned below).

2. Avoid Using Pretty Bar With Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are a major component of many websites. The main reason to avoid using Pretty Bar with affiliate links is that some merchants block cloaked links. Pretty Bar is a form of cloaking. Therefore, using it on affiliate links can mean a loss of sales.

However, there is a way to redirect affiliate links without jeopardizing sales. This is known as ‘nofollow’ – an attribute intended to prevent the passing of your website’s ‘link juice’ to the linked site.

Adding the nofollow attribute to your links is simple. First, go to the Text tab in the top right of the WordPress editor. Find the link you would like to nofollow, which should look similar in format to this:

An HTML "dofollow" link in WordPress editor

Now, all you need to do is add a snippet of code to the link’s HTML. To do so, place your cursor between the closing double quote and the angled bracket. Next, add a space, then type rel=”nofollow”:

An HTML "nofollow" link in WordPress editor

The use of nofollow does more than just enable your site’s visitors to go to the affiliate site without issue; it can also help you to avoid link-related Google penalties.

3. Use Eye-Catching Features

The point of Pretty Bar is to keep website visitors focused on your brand. You can customize your Pretty Bar design with eye-catching features that make it easy and appealing for readers to return to your site. After all, getting visitors back to your site is the goal.

To best incorporate eye-catching features, focus on two aspects of the Pretty Bar’s design:

  1. Add an image icon to the bar. This is a great place for a branded image (such as business logo). Use this feature to maximize your brand presence.
  2. Use contrasting background and text colors. Contrast makes it easier for the website visitor to read, and will continually catch their eye as they scroll through the linked site.

How to Set Up and Use Pretty Bar on Your WordPress Website

One of the greatest things about Pretty Bar – and, really, all features in Pretty Link Pro – is how easy it is to set up and use.

To set up Pretty Bar, you can edit a previously created link (go to Pretty Link > Pretty Link) or create a new link (Pretty Link > Add New Link). Within the Edit Link page, you’ll be able to select Pretty Bar from the Redirection dropdown:

Pretty Bar in the redirection dropdown

Customizing Pretty Bar is just as simple as setting it up. To do so, head to Pretty Link > Options and select the Pretty Bar tab on the left of the Options page:

Pretty Bar options in Pretty Link Pro plugin

The plugin already has a default image link and background image selected. Of course, feel free to change these, as well as background color, text color, and so much more.

Conclusion

While external links are beneficial for your website, they can lead readers astray. To avoid losing readers, you want to keep your branding present even as site visitors navigate to external links. That’s exactly what Pretty Bar helps you accomplish.

In this post, we’ve highlighted the benefits of using Pretty Bar, as well as three best practices for use. In addition, you’ve learned how to set up Pretty Bar within Pretty Link Pro, and customize it to fit your brand.

Do you have questions about Pretty Bar, or how you can begin to use it on your site? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Detrimental Link Building Mistakes to Avoid

Linking to other sites seems like an easy enough task, but it’s one you should approach carefully. This is because improper linking techniques can hinder your link building efforts, which can negatively impact Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – and as a result, your site’s authority.

Fortunately, you can improve your site’s credibility and brand authority by avoiding and/or fixing a few of these mistakes. Even more importantly, with your newfound knowledge you can prevent them from being made in the future.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to link building and its importance. We’ll then highlight three of the most common (and detrimental) link building mistakes to avoid, and explain how you can do so, including with the help of tools such as Pretty Link Pro. Let’s get started!

The Importance of Link Building

In short, link building is simple: it’s a process that enables you to gain links from other websites to your own, and it’s something you’ll participate in whether you know it or not.

This is an important task, and one that has a significant impact on your website. For example, proper link building can:

  1. Improve your site’s search engine rankings: This makes it easier for others to find and link to your content, further improving your rankings.
  2. Establish you as an authority within your industry: Earning backlinks to your site from other reputable blogs will improve the value of your own content.
  3. Increase traffic to your site: This is great if you’re looking to improve your site’s readership, or increase conversions (including sales).

However, keep in mind that the mistakes you make with regard to linking aren’t just related to off-site content. How you implement linking on your own website can have just as much of an impact, so it’s important to get it right every time.

3 Detrimental Link Building Mistakes to Avoid

While there are a number of link building mistakes you should take care to avoid, some are more detrimental than others. Let’s take a look at three of them, starting with your anchor text.

1. Poor Use of Anchor Text

An example of an anchor link as seen on Neil Patel's blog

Neil Patel is always sure to optimize his anchor text to be descriptive and natural.

As anchor text is an important element of your content, its poor use (such as repetitive use of the same link or unoptimized text) can be detrimental to link building.

Both of these related mistakes can trigger a Google penalty, as Google may determine you are part of a linking scheme. This can be bad for your site’s SEO, and as a penalty may damage your brand’s reputation and can even undercut your credibility.

Fortunately, you can avoid the poor use of anchor text and its corresponding links with the help of Pretty Link Pro’s threshold setting in conjunction with the Keyword Replacement feature. In simplest terms, this feature enables you to automatically link to pre-set keywords within your posts and pages, but it sets a limit on the number of links it includes per page.

To set it up, navigate to Pretty Link > Options in your WordPress dashboard, then select the Replacements option. Enable Thresholds by ticking the checkbox, and customize your settings according to your needs:

Pretty Link Pro's keyword replacement settings

This means you can maximize and optimize the links you include within your content, which is good for both your readers’ experience and for your Google rankings.

2. Linking Out to Low-Quality Content

The headline of a low-quality blog post

When you link to content with a low word count, you can also lower the quality of your own site.

If you include outbound links within your content, Google references them when determining your website’s quality. With poor-quality links, Google will not treat your content favorably. This means lower Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings, which in turn makes it more difficult for you to gain backlinks to your site.

The best way to avoid this mistake is to know how to identify low-quality content. This includes pieces with a low word count (especially if other links on the topic are substantially longer), broken links, and duplicate content.

As for what you should look for, there’s plenty of available advice that will bear fruit. This will help you to easily hone in on higher-quality web pages, enabling you to link only to the best content.

3. Failing to Track Your Links’ Performance

Pretty Link Pro's "Clicks" screen

A Clicks report, as seen on Pretty Link Pro, can help you gauge how your links are performing.

Link tracking (that is, the number of click-throughs, the amount of shares, and more) is a helpful way to determine how your links are doing, both on your website and across the web.

Of course, if you aren’t tracking your links, it’s impossible know how they’re performing. This makes it difficult to improve them, and can also mean you’re wasting time and money in the wrong areas (especially when it comes to to paid ads and guest blogging).

With Pretty Link Pro, you can easily remedy this mistake with the plugin’s built-in tracking feature. Simply enable link tracking on the Options page, then utilize the Reports feature to create specialized reports (or view your link’s performance):

The Pretty Link Pro link settings page

What’s more, you can customize how the plugin tracks your links (and reports them to you) by changing the reporting style and excluding IP addresses (so they aren’t included in your report).

Conclusion

Making mistakes when it comes to link building can have a significant impact on your website’s performance. However, avoiding the most detrimental mistakes, will mean you’re doing what you can to prevent Google penalties and boost your site’s overall search rankings.

In this post, we’ve highlighted three detrimental link building mistakes you should avoid. To quickly recap, some of the mistakes you may currently be making include:

  1. Repetitive use of an anchor text and links.
  2. Linking out to low-quality content.
  3. A failure to track your link’s performance.

Do you have any questions about link building on your website, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Benefits of Internal Linking (And How to Use This Technique Effectively)

While you work to create the best possible content for your readers, you may find yourself relying heavily on external links to provide depth and back up your claims. While these links certainly have their place, there are a number of things they can’t do effectively for your website, such as improving search engine rankings and promoting your own content.

That’s why you’ll also want to use internal links on your site. Doing so can provide a number of benefits that external linking alone won’t help you with. These include increased visitor engagement and better ranking in search engines.

In this post, we’ll first introduce you to the basics of internal linking, its benefits, and its typical uses. Then you’ll learn three tips for implementing internal linking effectively on your website. Let’s get started!

What Internal Linking Is (And How It Can Benefit Your Site)

Internal linking simply means adding links to your content that point to other parts of your own website. This is the opposite of external linking, which occurs when you link to off-site content.

Using internal links is important for a number of reasons, including:

In addition, internal links have a wide variety of uses, which makes them a versatile tool. For example, they can add further depth to your latest content, and expose new readers to your older (but still relevant) content. There’s really no downside to implementing them, as long as you follow a few simple strategies.

How to Use Internal Linking Effectively (3 Simple Tips)

By now, it should be clear that internal linking can provide your website with an array of benefits. Let’s take a closer look at how you can implement this technique most effectively.

1. Use Optimized and Relevant Anchor Text

Anchor text incorporated into a paragraph

As demonstrated by Kissmetrics, anchor links can be incorporated into your content to maintain flow while also providing value.

Anchor text is the text that ‘anchors’ a link, which readers click on to visit the linked page. Since most anchor text is incorporated into your content (unless, for example, it’s part of a menu), it’s important that it is optimized and relevant. This means the text should fit naturally into the words around it, letting the content maintain its flow. While you do want readers to click on your links, you don’t want them to be too distracting or seem forced.

To ensure that your anchor text is as optimized and relevant as possible, consider these tips when adding internal links:

  • Keep it natural: Aim to create anchor text from words that are already present, and avoid shoehorning in unnatural phrases (such as awkward keywords).
  • Vary your use of anchor text types: This will help you avoid generic anchor texts (such as “click here” or “find out more”), and will improve the flow of your content.

Finally, it helps to think of anchor text as a link descriptor. When readers scan your content, you want them to be able to look at the linked text and predict exactly what kind of content to expect when they click through.

2. Link to High-Quality Content

An example of a link to quality content

Neil Patel regularly links to quality content that backs up his claims and provides more depth for his readers.

In general, high-quality content is that which both contributes value and builds your site’s credibility. Linking to quality content enables you to provide more depth for your readers, as well as to promote other content within your site. In addition, the more links a web page has pointing to it, the higher its pagerank – this is a key factor in Google search rankings.

What constitutes high-quality content can be quite subjective. However, there are a few universal rules you can follow when choosing the best internal content to link to:

  • Focus on actionability: Actionable content provides more value to your readers. While you should try to make your current article as helpful as possible, you can also link to other actionable content on your site to provide greater depth.
  • Keep it relevant: This means linking to internal pages that are directly related to the content at hand, and that contribute further to your current article’s depth and value.

An easy way to get started is to first look at your site’s most popular content. While it may not initially be of the highest quality, you can further improve on it and use it as pillar content across your site.

3. Track Your Internal Links

Pretty Link Pro's "Clicks" screen

With Pretty Link Pro you can track user clicks, which makes it easy to keep an eye on internal link performance.

Tracking internal links is similar to any other link tracking process. Generally, the number of clicks on a specific link are tallied and made available for review. This is beneficial because it helps you figure out which links are performing well, and which should be altered or moved to a more prominent location.

Fortunately, when you shorten links using Pretty Link Pro, you can automate the tracking feature. That way, you can quickly start to benefit from the insight that link tracking provides. You can even create link reports and export them for further analysis. In no time, you’ll be implementing internal links that increase your user engagment and page rankings.

Conclusion

Internal links are just as important as external links when it comes to optimizing your site and encouraging visitors to stick around. Therefore, using these links on your website is essential if you want to improve its credibility. Plus, they offer further depth and value to your readers.

In this post, we’ve introduced you to the benefits of internal linking, and offered three tips for using this type of link effectively. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Use optimized and relevant anchor text.
  2. Link to high-quality content.
  3. Track your internal links with Pretty Link Pro.

Do you have any questions about how to effectively use internal linking on your website? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Tips for Effective Link Promotion on Niche Forums

Promoting links on niche forums is a great way to interact with your target audience. However, you may be poorly promoting these links. Needless to say, poor communication with potential customers can kill your business. Unfortunately, this is just one of the issues of poor link promotion.

The good news is that effective link promotion isn’t hard to achieve – in fact, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is! With a few basic tips, you could improve your linking efforts, gain more website traffic, and increase your conversions. You’ll be able to ensure quality engagement on your chosen forums, and your efforts will go some way in establishing you as a credible industry resource.

In this post, we’ll share three tips for effective link promotion. You’ll learn how to use each tip effectively, as well as how Pretty Link Pro can play a key role in effective link promotion. Let’s get started!

1. Choose the Right Niche Forums

Bodybuilding forum homepage

Bodybuilding.com is an example of a niche-specific forum – in this case, fitness.

A niche forum is an online community that focuses its conversations around a particular area of interest. When it comes to choosing the right niche forums to promote your links, there are two things you’ll want to consider. First, you’ll want to find forums where your audience hangs out. Second, you’ll want to select forums that enable linking.

For effective link promotion, choosing the right forums to participate in is important to receive suitable benefits (for example, by sending traffic to your website). This also contributes to your credibility – after all, your advice, insight, or product won’t be recognized if you’re posting in the wrong places.

To choose the right niche forums, there are a few techniques you can implement. For example:

  1. Explore the forums in your niche: Search “‘your niche’ + forum” in Google, then perform an audience analysis to determine whether the forum contains your key demographic.
  2. Use your website visitor demographics: Working in the opposite direction of the above technique, this will help you to find likely forums your audience uses.

At this point, you should now have a narrowed list of forums on which to focus your efforts. However, before you jump in let’s take a look at the next tip, which gives you a better idea of what to link to.

2. Link to Purpose-Built Landing Pages

The List Building School landing page.

List Building School uses a landing page that highlights one product (in this case, their e-book).

A landing page is a dedicated section of a website that focuses on a particular product or service. In terms of niche forum linking, landing pages tend to be a more effective target URL than home page links, especially if you’re hoping for page visitors to perform a specific action (such as purchasing a product).

The main benefit here is that you’ll appear more helpful to forum readers. A specific link can offer more value (assuming it’s relevant), and this lends itself to credibility.

When linking to landing pages, you’ll want to follow two crucial steps to ensure your links are viewed as valuable additions to the conversation:

  1. Use relevant links. This means only adding landing page links that are directly related to the conversation taking place.
  2. Use a ‘pretty link’. Especially on public forums, where anyone can join and take part, it’s important that your links are descriptive and non-spammy. A pretty link (also known as a shortened or branded link) can help you to achieve this, as they enable you to add a detailed slug that directly describes the landing page’s focus (and, therefore, the link’s target).

In terms of credibility, providing relevant and shortened links is one of the best ways to go. Speaking of shortened links, let’s take a closer look at how to properly use them on your forum postings.

3. Use Branded, Shortened Links

A branded link as seen on PlayStation's Twitter page

Branded links can be used across the web, even on social media. PlayStation does so effectively on their Twitter page.

Branded, shortened links are those that are transformed from long and mysterious to short and focused. This is a crucial step in your link promotion efforts, as it makes your links (and you) appear more credible. This means more clicks on your links, which can mean more traffic, and possible conversions down the line.

In addition, branded links are also less distracting and more pleasing to the eye. Readers tend to scan websites, making branded links a great asset because they’re short and clear on what the link contains.

Fortunately, creating short, branded links is simple when you use a dedicated plugin – such as Pretty Link Pro:

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

Once you’ve purchased a plan and installed the plugin on your WordPress website, the link creation process consists of three main steps. After that, incorporating the links into your forum posts is a breeze. Simply copy the newly-created URL, and add it to the anchor text within your post. That’s it – utilizing shortened links on forums as part of your link promotion strategy is easy!

Conclusion

Link promotion is an effective marketing technique that can drive traffic to your website. Niche forums offer an optimal environment for link promotion, and provide you with both a target audience and platform for sharing your insights. In addition, they can also offer unique benefits – such as building authority and credibility for you and your business.

In this post, we’ve provided you with three tips that can help improve the results of your link promotion campaigns on niche forums. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Choose the right niche forums.
  2. Link to purpose-built landing pages.
  3. Use branded, shortened links.

Do you have any questions about effectively using niche forums for link promotion? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Techniques to Improve Your Business’ Branding

Many businesses fail to brand effectively, and because of this, they could be impacting their potential income. Unfortunately, this can lead to issues – both now and in the future – with brand awareness and credibility.

Fortunately, whether your business is new or not, there are a variety of branding techniques you can use to reinforce your business’ identity. These techniques are easy to implement and could be just what your business needs to become a recognized brand in your niche.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to branding and what it can do for your business, including a deeper look at its benefits. You’ll then learn four techniques you can implement immediately to bolster your brand’s awareness. Let’s get started!

What Branding Is (And How It Can Benefit Your Business)

Branding isn’t just about having a prominent, memorable logo. It’s a business strategy that is used to develop solid relationships with your target market and establish strong connections within your chosen industry. A  good branding strategy will increase the value of your company overall, and makes the acquisition of new customers easier.

Zappos homepage

Zappos is a well-reputed brand, largely due to their stellar customer service.

Branding has many upsides, but with a solid strategy in place, there are two key benefits:

  1. A growth in industry reach: Branding provides you with a way to stand out among your competitors.
  2. An increase in brand credibilityBranding can improve consumer perception and, as a result, credibility.

Often confused with marketing, branding is a related yet separate strategy. In a nutshell, branding is what remains after your marketing efforts have swept through. It is associated with the reputation of a company and how effective you are to deliver on the promises you’ve made to the customer.

4 Techniques to Improve Your Business’s Branding

Many businesses fail to brand properly because they assume its an overwhelming endeavor, or they simply overcomplicate the process. However, branding is simpler than you think, and with these techniques, you’ll be wondering why you never did this sooner.

1. Keep an Active Social Media Page

Zappos Facebook business page

Clothing company Zappos effectively uses social media to stay in touch with their customers, which build brands reputation.

An active social media page is one that your business uses regularly, both to talk to and reach customers. This is beneficial for branding because it provides you with a key engagement platform to generate leads and sales.

While keeping an active social media page isn’t difficult, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Share your latest content. While the ‘old-fashioned’ way of manual posting is perfectly fine, an automated tool (such as Buffer and Hootsuite) will be much more efficient.
  2. Get involved in the conversation. Use monitoring to keep an eye on popular topics of conversation, and use social listening for better engagement.

The power of social media is amazing, but its use can be time consuming. However, branding in the age of social media is extremely beneficial – making it a smart investment.

2. Use a Branded Email Address

Jorden Roper Writing Revolt contact page

Jorden Roper of Writing Revolt uses a short, branded email address to make contact easy.

A branded email address is one that incorporates your business’ name and URL. They are effective because they provide a sense of reassurance that your business is legitimate, they improve credibility, and they also provide a good first impression.

Here are just a few tips to keep in mind when creating your first branded email address:

  1. Keep it short and memorable. Use a simple username (the part before the @). Ideally, your username should be your name.
  2. Make it visible. Include your branded email on your website’s contact page, in the sidebar of your blog, and in the bio of your social media accounts.

This branding technique may seem inconsequential. However, even this seemingly small change can add an additional layer to your branding strategy.

3. Partner with Like-Minded Businesses

Apple and SAP business partnership announcement

Like-minded businesses, such as Apple and SAP, partner regularly as a way to improve their business operations and expand their target audience reach.

The main benefit of partnering with like-minded businesses is exposure to new audiences. This improves your business’ discoverability, and can significantly contribute to your brand’s credibility.

If you’re just getting started, here are a few ways to improve your odds of establishing such a relationship:

  1. Know what you want from a partnership. This means knowing exactly what you’d like to achieve by partnering.
  2. Know what you bring to the table. To begin, perform a SWOT analysis to get an understanding of your business (and perform one on your potential partner too).
  3. Contact the right people. Find the right people, and you’ll have a much easier time of being heard.

Even if you’re a startup, you’re bound to have something to offer to bigger brands. Therefore, it’s important to hone in on this from the very beginning and utilize it effectively.

4. Shorten and Cloak Your Links with Pretty Link Pro

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

A link management plugin such as Pretty Link Pro makes link shortening and cloaking a breeze.

Link shortening and cloaking are techniques that can be used to personalize business links. You can effortlessly improve brand awareness by incorporating your business’ name into each link address.

If you’d like to get started with shortening and cloaking your links, it’s easy to do with a link management plugin, such as Pretty Link Pro. This plugin – which offers more than simply link shortening – enables you to easily shorten and cloak all of your links. They can then be used on your website, shared across your social media accounts, and utilized anywhere else on the web.

Conclusion

In short, proper branding can skyrocket your business’ recognition. This can build credibility and, as a result, lead to more customers and increased sales. It’s such an important aspect that to ignore it could be the difference between success and failure.

In the above post, we’ve introduced the importance of business branding, as well as four techniques you can implement to grow your business from being unknown to becoming a distinguished entity. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Keep an active social media page.
  2. Use a branded email address.
  3. Partner with like-minded businesses.
  4. Shorten and cloak your links with Pretty Link Pro.

Do you have any questions about how to improve your business’ branding, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Reasons Pretty Links Can Help to Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a big deal for online businesses. It can boost targeted traffic and improve website credibility, both of which could contribute towards significant growth in business conversions and sales. However, you may be undermining your site’s potential through the use of inefficient, outdated, or incorrect optimization tactics.

One way to improve your search engine ranking is with the use of  ‘pretty links’. These are shortened links with a customized URL that can improve the visibility of your brand, and they offer a number of benefits. When used properly, they can also provide you with the ranking boost you need.

In this post, we’ll show you three ways that pretty links can boost your search engine rankings. Then, you’ll learn how Pretty Link Pro can provide you with almost all of the link shortening features you could need, as well as how to set up pretty links with SEO in mind.

1. Pretty Links Provide Built-in Branding

Tech Crunch Twitter post with branded link

TechCrunch utilizes branded links on their Twitter posts.

Branding is a marketing technique utilized by all manner of businesses. It’s used to expertly position a brand (for example, your business) in the marketplace, and can help to establish you as a well-known authority within your niche.

Branding is an important part of marketing and can greatly influence search engine rankings – as long as you know how to leverage it. For example, a well-reputed brand will receive more traffic to their site, and gather more authentic backlinks as a direct result of marketplace exposure. This will improve your search engine rankings and place your site higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

When it comes to branding, pretty links can be an effective tool. In short, they replace the original link (the target URL) with a version of your own brand name (known as a branded link). These links can be recognizable in their own right (think of bit.ly or goo.gl, for example), expand your reach across the web, especially on social media, and improve your business’ credibility.

2. Pretty Links Help Pass Along Link Juice

ProBlogger guest post declaration

Guest posting is a popular way to receive link juice from higher-authority websites.

Have you ever wondered why backlinks are so highly regarded by search engines? It all comes down to ‘link juice’ and the power it possesses. Link juice is a term that refers to the passing of value from one website to another. When you link out to a site, you’re passing along some of your site’s value, and the same occurs (in reverse) when another site links to you.

However, ‘link juice’ can only be made possible with backlinks. These are essentially links to your website from another place on the internet. Websites with authentic backlinks rank highly on search engines. This is because the more backlinks your site has, the more likely it is that your content is valuable and of high quality. This will greatly increase your website’s chances of being on top in the SERPs.

Where pretty links come in is how they pass along link juice. Every link – pretty or not – passes along link juice, as long as it doesn’t contain a ‘nofollow’ attribute. This attribute is typically added to links on social media networks, and can mean the difference between building backlinks and not.

However, URL shorteners (including Pretty Link Pro) typically use permanent redirects, which bypasses any ‘nofollow’ attributes added to links. This is useful for building backlinks that are copied from your social media profile, or any other site that automatically adds a ‘nofollow’ attribute to links.

3. Pretty Links Are Easier to Share

Richard Branson Twitter post with pretty link

Pretty links, such as the one tweeted by Richard Branson, are easy to share across all social media platforms.

Aside from link juice, users who share links can also help to expand your reach by delivering your content to new audiences, which can contribute greatly to your overall growth.

While sharing isn’t a direct search engine ranking factor, it does heavily contribute to your site’s general standing. This is because a short, memorable link is easier to share and the more shares your link gets, the greater the number of backlinks you’ll receive, which will impact your ranking positively.

Pretty links are easier to share, mainly due to their size. For a start, the shorter the link, the less chance of transcription mistakes occurring. Of course, their size also makes them possible to share on social media platforms with character limits, such as Twitter. Even on platforms without character limits, short links could be better perceived by your target audience, and more likely to be clicked and shared.

How Pretty Link Pro Can Help You Boost Search Engine Rankings

Screenshot of Pretty Link Pro.

As a premium URL shortener, Pretty Link Pro enables you to professionally shorten links. However, this plugin does more than just shorten links – it also enables redirects (including both permanent and temporary ones), and provides the ability to track and monitor clicks and other statistics.

To begin reaping the benefits of pretty links, you’ll first need to purchase a plan and install the plugin. Then, all you need to is follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to improving your website’s search engine rankings.

Conclusion

Pretty links provide you with a number of benefits, including a pleasing look and easy-to-implement link tracking. In addition, they can also help you expand your reach and boost your search engine rankings.

In this post, we’ve showed you three ways pretty links can boost your site’s search engine rankings. To quickly recap, pretty links can:

  1. Provide built-in branding.
  2. Pass along link juice.
  3. Make sharing links easier.

Do you have any questions about using pretty links to boost search engine rankings, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro (And Why You Should)

Traffic numbers can be a strong indicator of your business’ success. After all, the more eyes on your site, the more potential leads your business has. However, the tracking process can seem complicated, and you may find yourself overwhelmed by the steps involved.

Fortunately, Pretty Link Pro enables you to easily integrate a tool such as Google Analytics, and track traffic and other website metrics in a flash. With this information, you can make the necessary changes to your website and begin to improve your business’ competitive position.

In this post, we’ll first introduce you to Google Analytics, including why you should consider using it. Then, we’ll show you how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, and offer a few tips for using this integration to the fullest. Let’s get started!

What Google Analytics Is (And Why You Should Use It)

Google Analytics audience overview report

The Audience Overview screen is one of Google Analytics’ most popular tracking features.

Google Analytics is a free service that generates in-depth statistics about visitors and sources of website traffic, and also tracks measurable data such as website conversions and sales. This can be a useful tool for affiliate marketers, or any website owner who’d like a behind-the-scenes look at their website.

There is a wealth of information available to you with Google Analytics, but here are a few specific reasons to use it on your site. You can:

  1. Track traffic. A solid understanding of your site’s traffic sources can help you to better target your audience.
  2. Notice trends. Trends – such as web browser usage and bounce rates – can provide you with an understanding of your audience and their needs.
  3. Maximize marketing effortsWith a look at audience behaviors and other such data, you can alter your current marketing plans to get more in line with reality.

In comparison to its competitors, Google Analytics is a mature program, offering advanced features and extensive resources. And as we mentioned, it’s also free!

How to Integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro

For this step you’ll need to have installed and activated the Pretty Link Pro plugin first. To begin the integration process, download a suitable Google Analytics plugin to your WordPress site. Google Analyticator enables you to see your statistics within WordPress, and is supported by Pretty Link Pro:

The Google Analyticator plugin.

Next, go to Pretty Link > Options > Link Options within your WordPress dashboardTo enable Google Analytics, simply check the box next to the Google Analytics option, which makes the option available every time you create a link with Pretty Link Pro:

Enable Google Analytics in Pretty Link Pro link options

Finally, keep in mind that links can only be tracked if they are one of the following redirect types: cloak, pretty bar, javascript, and meta-refresh. Once you’re up and running, you can look to leverage your integration’s power and flexibility.

How to Get the Most from Your Google Analytics and Pretty Link Pro Integration (3 Tips)

Now you know how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, let’s take a look at three tips to help you make the most of it.

1. Understand What Google Analytics Can Do For You

Google Analytic's traffic source feature

One of Google Analytics’ many features is traffic source tracking.

Google Analytics has an extensive list of metrics, and discussing them all could fill several books! To use the tool optimally, you’ll need to at least be familiar with the basics. Some of Google Analytics’ most useful metrics for affiliate marketers relate to e-commerce, and you’ll also find handy features such as audience segment reports. However, there’s much more on offer.

If you’re unsure which metrics to pay attention to, here are a couple to get you started:

  1. Unique Visitors and Page ViewsTogether, they provide a clear indication of the true levels of traffic on your site, and tell you what visitors are looking at.
  2. Bounce Rate. Visitors who aren’t compelled to click through to links will ‘bounce’, so this metric dictates whether you need to reassess your content at a base level.

While the plethora of metrics and features on offer can seem overwhelming at first, time and experience will ultimately enable you to make sense of it all.

2. Integrate (And Track) Your Website Goals

Google Analytics create new goal page

In Google Analytics, you can create your own website goals.

Goals are a key element for your website’s success, and will provide you with clarity and direction. Google Analytics also include features related to goal setting and tracking – and they’re a breeze to use.

To begin, follow these simple steps:

  1. Create your goals in Google Analytics. In short, you’ll need to go to Admin > Goals on the left side of the Google Analytics dashboard. From here, click New Goal, then select a pre-built template or create a custom one. Select the goal type, enter in the details, and click Save.
  2. Track your goal’s results. By navigating to Conversions > Goals > Overview, you can look at your goal’s tracked results, and make adjustments as needed.

The more website goals you set, the better able you’ll be to meet your personal and business goals, such as higher traffic and more conversions. So it pays (sometimes literally!) to spend some time here.

3. Create Custom Reports

custom report creation page in Google Analytics

Custom reports are similar to goals, but with a bit more flexibility.

Simply put, custom reports are ones that you define yourself. They enable you to set specific parameters for your reports based on web browser, traffic source, and even location.

As with the other steps, creating a custom report in Google Analytics is simple:

  1. Choose the best dimensions and metrics. There are a variety of dimension-metrics combinations you can utilize. You can experiment and even change them as you go along.
  2. Interpret the results. This will help you to get an idea of where your site is currently, and make plans for the future.

Similar to goals, custom reports offer you a valuable look at the actuality of your current website situation. With this insight, you can then make the tweaks necessary to reach your goals.

Conclusion

Proper tracking of your website’s traffic – along with a few other analytics – can help you to better gauge your site’s goals (such as improving traffic sources and boosting your income). Overall, this can help you to make the changes necessary to meet and exceed them.

In this post, we’ve showed you how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, and optimize their integration. To quickly recap:

  1. Get acquainted with Google Analytics’ offerings.
  2. Integrate (and track) your website goals.
  3. Create custom reports.

Do you have any questions about how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

A/B Testing: What It Is and How To Do It With Pretty Link Pro

When setting up your website or sending out email campaigns, it can be difficult to know how readers will perceive different aspects of your design and content. This is true for many things, including link placement and usage.

With A/B testing, you can get as close to mind reading as possible. Ultimately, with a better understanding of your audience’s behavior, this technique will enable you to increase your conversion rate, and as a result, increase your profits.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to A/B testing, specifically using links. We’ll show you how to use this testing to get a better understanding of your audience, resulting in a boost to your business’ bottom line, as well as how Pretty Link Pro can be used to A/B test your links. Let’s get started!

What A/B Testing Is (And Why You Should Use It)

Pretty Link Pro A/B split testing

A/B testing set up in Pretty Link Pro.

A/B testing (also referred to as ‘split testing’) is a method used by marketers to test out different aspects of their marketing strategy and implementation. A/B testing is a more controlled form of split testing, where only two variants (A and B) are tested at the same time.

There are numerous benefits that marketers can reap through the use of A/B testing. Two of the mains benefits are:

  1. It gives you insights into target audience behavior.
  2. It helps you to tweak your current practices to better provoke desired audience behavior (e.g. making purchases).

While there are alternative techniques available (such as experimental design), A/B testing is one of the simplest and most direct methods for improving conversion rates. This makes it a good option for marketers, as it can provide you with clear results with very little effort on your part.

How to Use A/B Testing to Improve Your Business (3 Key Tips)

Whether you’re new to marketing or a veteran in the field, A/B testing can drastically improve your business methods. Let’s take a look at how!

1. Compare Link Placement Methods

As a marketer, you depend on your readers to click the links on your website and in your email campaigns. What you may not have considered is the importance of where you place such links. Consider, for example, that a 2016 study revealed how links placed in the “top-left region” of an email newsletter had a “higher impact” than those placed elsewhere.

Studies like the above are just the tip of the iceberg; you only need to consciously observe your own behavior on websites to quickly realize how link placement drives what you click on and what you choose to ignore (or even miss entirely).

Fortunately, A/B testing enables you to gain access to data that can show you where links should be placed for maximum impact. More specifically, you can test two different placements of the same link, and run a test that determines which placement attracts the higher percentage of clicks. Once you have concluded the test, you can adopt the optimal placement, and enjoy higher Click-Through Rates (CTRs) as a result.

2. Track Your Links’ Conversion Rates

Conversion rates tell you how many of your site’s visitors (or email readers) have picked up on the cues you’ve used in an attempt to ‘convert’ them. This may mean they click a link that brings them to a product’s sales page, or sign up for your email list, or even just follow your social media page.

Tracking these links is vital to understanding your readers. If you want to know what makes them click, you need to have solid evidence to back it up.

Among other things, A/B testing enables you to track link conversion rates. How can these results help you?

  1. It helps you to better understand your audience.
  2. It enables you to improve future practices, increasing your conversions easily.

Don’t make the mistake of relying on CTRs alone. Conversion rates are a more important indicator of your business’s success, and their tracking enables you to improve upon them.

3. Test Different URL Destinations

Not all landing pages are created the same. However, if you aren’t testing the destinations, you won’t know which ones are better for your business.

Testing different URL destinations – and variations of each – can improve your business significantly. Most of all, this can lead to:

  1. Increased understanding of visitor needs. The pages your sites visitors react to more positively will, ultimately, tell you what they’re looking for from you and your niche.
  2. More effective landing pages. A/B testing will show you which landing pages are more effective for sales or other conversions.

Landing pages are the main platform for your sales pitches. This is why it’s essential to tweak them to perfection based on your visitors’ needs and behavior.

How Pretty Link Pro Can Help With A/B Testing

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

As a link shortening plugin, you may think that Pretty Link Pro’s features end there. Among its wide variety of other features, Pretty Link Pro also offers A/B testing.

One of the greatest things about Pretty Link Pro’s A/B testing feature is how easy it is to set up! In just a few minutes, you can create split links for all the website and email links you would like to test. Then, once users have begun using the links, you can check out the results by clicking Split Test Report under the links you’re testing on the Pretty Link page.

Conclusion

Links are the foundation of your marketing efforts. That means it’s vital to know the best practices for their use on your website, on social media, and in your email marketing campaigns. With A/B testing, you can do just that by learning about – and taking advantage of – audience actions and behavior.

In the above post, we showed you how to use A/B testing to improve your business. To recap, you can:

  1. Compare link placement methods.
  2. Track your links’ conversion rates.
  3. Test different URL destinations.

Do you have any questions about A/B testing, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!