How to Set Up Link Expiration in Pretty Link Pro

Link expirations are immensely useful, and it’s an interesting feature offered by Pretty Link Pro. However, the tool isn’t used as often as it could be due to a lack of understanding about how to use it best.

Fortunately, link expirations are a very simple feature that you can use across your website and social media platforms. When used appropriately, they can provide you with unmatched control over your links, and this enables you to provide different types of offers and content to your website’s visitors.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to link expirations and three reasons you should use them on your website. Then we’ll show you how to set up link expirations in Pretty Link Pro. Let’s get started!

What Link Expirations Are (And Why They’re Awesome)

An example of a link expiration from Creative Market email

As this Creative Market email showcases, when the offer expires, so too will the link.

Just as it sounds, link expirations are a type of link that ends on a set date, or after a pre-determined number of clicks. These are commonly used by marketers and bloggers, as they offer a simple way to protect content and offer limited deals to their followers and readers. However, link expirations can also:

  • Give you more control over your linking campaigns. With expiring links, you can choose how long a link is available, or how many people can click it.
  • Provide an easy way to make offers to your readers. Expiring links enable you to make offers to your readers for a limited time. This means you can keep the number of free offers you’re sending out in check.

Of course, link expirations can be used in just about any place on the web. For example, you can add them within emails to your subscribers, on social media accounts, and even on website forums.

3 Reasons to Use Link Expiration on Your Website

With a better understanding of how link expiration can benefit you, let’s take a look at some common reasons this technique is used on websites and why you should do the same.

1. You Want to Offer a Limited-Time Deal

Many marketers use discounts as a way to improve conversions and increase customer relations. Link expirations control how you offer those discounts, and once they’re in place, you can sit back and let the deal play out itself – you don’t have to worry about revoking access at a later time.

To use link expirations optimally, we recommend two steps. First, advertise the deal to your audience beforehand. Second, choose whether clicks or time will be your expiration parameter. For physical products with limited copies available, we recommend clicks. However, for sales or products with unlimited numbers (such as digital copies), you can choose either option.

2. You’re Trying to Combat Stealing

Another common use for link expirations is to prevent theft. Unfortunately, some customers may look to share exclusive deals or content with others. However, expiring links can help to cut back on this.

To implement this, we recommend password protecting the content found at one expiring link, then use another expiring link that’s shared and sends the user to a web page containing the password. It’s certainly a complex method, but this way, users would need access to both links – making stealing your content more difficult.

3. You Want to Add a Sense of Urgency

Whether you’ve got a new product coming out, or you just want to increase the number of individuals on your email list, a sense of urgency can work in your favor. In fact, urgency has been shown to increase conversions, and it makes your content seem more valuable.

Link expirations are a great tool for creating this urgency, and there are a few ways to achieve it. For example, clicks are more likely to promote scarcity of your products (and, therefore, make them seem more valuable). However, time-based expiration makes buying your product more of an urgent matter.

How to Set Up Link Expiration in Pretty Link Pro

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

If you’re ready to set up link expiration with Pretty Link Pro, you’ll be glad to know the process is simple and can be completed in a few minutes. Let’s take a look!

First, navigate to the Pretty Link screen on your WordPress dashboard. You can either select Pretty Link from the drop-down to view your existing links, or select Add New Link to create a new one. Once you’re in the link editor, scroll down to Pro Options and click on it to expand your choices. Simply check the box next to Expire to enable the setting:

Pretty Link Pro link expiration settings

You’ll now notice a few new settings appear. First, Expire After enables you to choose either Date or Clicks. Select whichever option is appropriate for your link, and fill out the Date or Clicks box below:

Pretty Link Pro link expiration settings

You’ll also notice the Expired Redirect checkbox. Once enabled, you can provide a URL that users are directed to once the link has expired – for example, a dedicated Sorry page, your blog, or even a social media account. If this option is not enabled, the user will be sent to a simple 404 error page.

Finally, go ahead and create or edit your Pretty Link. When you’re ready, click Create or Save, and the expiring link will be ready to use!

Conclusion

By learning how to use link expirations, you can leverage their useful benefits. These include better control over your linking campaigns, and a potential decrease in content theft by those using the link inappropriately.

In this post, we’ve offered an introduction to link expiration and three reasons you may want to use it on your website. Additionally, we’ve showed you how to set up link expiration using Pretty Link Pro. To quickly recap:

  1. Go to Pro Options on the Add Link page, and enable Expire.
  2. Select the Expire After option (either Date or Clicks) that works best for your needs.
  3. Optionally, enable Expired Redirect and add a URL to send users to an expired redirect page.

Do you have any questions about link expiration, or how to set it up with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

An Inside Look at Link Redirect Types (And When to Use Them)

When creating shortened URLs in Pretty Link Pro, you have a number of customization options. One option is redirect type, which lets you choose the best type of redirect for each pretty link. However, it’s only a useful tool if you know how and when to use it.

Knowing about the various redirect types can ensure you’re redirecting your visitors correctly. For example, some redirects are temporary, while others are permanent. Certain types enable you to track your redirects, while others are good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In this post, we’ll first discuss why you may want to use redirect types. Then, we’ll introduce four groups of the most common redirect types and explain how you can use them optimally. Finally, you’ll learn how to set redirect types in Pretty Link Pro – both for individual links and as a default setting. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Redirect Types (And Why You Should Consider Using Them)

In a nutshell, a redirect sends a visitor from one web page to another. It encompasses two situations:

  1. A redirection from one page of your website to another.
  2. Directing visitors from one website (such as your old one) to an entirely different one.

Redirects are very useful if you’ve updated your content but don’t want to lose traffic from old links. They’re also helpful for A/B testing, or when you’re running specific campaigns and want to send visitors to a special landing page.

There are various types of redirects, and all of them have different purposes. While some can be grouped together based upon general purpose, there are still slight differences you’ll need to consider.

4 Redirect Groups You Should Be Aware Of (and When to Use Them)

The redirect groups outlined below have one thing in common: they’re all offered by Pretty Link Pro! Let’s take a closer look at the redirect groups and what they can offer.

1. Temporary and Permanent Redirects

A redirect notice

You may sometimes come across a redirect notice, which will warn you that you’re being redirected to a new website.

Temporary and permanent redirects are similar in many aspects, but with a slight difference – permanent redirects enable the passing of link juice. You should use a permanent redirect if the target URL is not set to change (for example, if you’ve permanently moved a web page). However, use a temporary redirect if you’re unsure of the future URL status, or if you know the redirect is temporary (for example, when A/B testing or updating a live web page).

These are two redirect types you are likely to use often, so focus on using them correctly for the sake of your website’s rankings.

2. Cloaked and Pretty Bar Redirects

An example of what Pretty Bar looks like on a webpage

The exclusive Pretty Bar feature of Pretty Link Pro is one kind of cloaked redirection.

The main purpose of both cloaking and the Pretty Bar feature is to hide the link of the target URL. With cloaked links, you create a custom URL. With Pretty Bar, you essentially take the URL out of the picture and replace it with a graphic. However, if you’re an affiliate marketer, you’ll want to double-check that you’re allowed to cloak your links. Also, remember to keep your branding front and center. Properly brand your URLs, or use Pretty Bar (and be sure to include a logo and other eye-catching features).

Overall, we recommend you use these redirect types for your own campaigns (such as social media). They’ll help keep the focus on your brand, and you don’t have to worry about breaking program policies.

3. Javascript and Meta Refresh Redirects

An example of a meta redirect code

This is just one example of a ‘meta redirect’ code, which includes a five second delay.

The goal of both JavaScript (which requires the user’s browser to run it) and ‘meta refresh’ redirects is to incorporate a time delay. With either of these in use, the web page will redirect (or refresh) on a recurring basis. We recommend using them on dynamic web pages, as a refresh will be required for new information to be displayed. Also, only use them when necessary, as random refreshes can be potentially bad for the user’s experience.

On the whole, it’s best to use this group of redirects sparingly given the impact to the user. You may find that other redirect types can still help you achieve your goals, without bothering the user unduly.

4. Tracking Pixel Redirects

A website advertisement

Tracking pixels can be added to web pages, emails, and even advertisements such as this one from Neil Patel.

A tracking pixel, while not technically a redirection, is a tool offered by Pretty Link Pro under redirects for the sake of convenience. This is a very small dot added into the HTML of a web page, email, or advertisement. When the tracking pixel is ‘pinged’ through user interaction, the action will be recorded. This is useful to learn which of your pages, emails, and/or advertisements are performing well. Also, they can also help you track conversion goals if placed on pages such as newsletter landing pages or a shopping cart.

While you could use other forms of tracking (such as analytics), a tracking pixel is the simplest method when it comes to collecting basic information (such as number of visitors to a web page).

How to Set a Redirect Type in Pretty Link Pro

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

Pretty Link Pro is a link shortener plugin with a variety of customization options, including link redirection. Setting a redirect type – whether within a new link or a previously created one – is simple. Just follow the instructions for creating your own Pretty Link (or select an already-created link from the Pretty Link Pretty Link section on your WordPress dashboard), and select the redirect type from the Redirection drop-down:

Pretty Link Pro redirect and shorten links

You can also set a redirect type for all future links created with Pretty Link Pro by navigating to Pretty Link > Options > Links. From here, choose the default redirect type from the drop-down, and click Update.

Conclusion

As you build your linking strategy, there will be a few things you’ll need to know. One is how to select the right redirect type for your needs, as well as how to use it accordingly.

In this post, we’ve introduced you to four redirect groups and explained when and how to use them. To quickly recap, the four main groups offered by Pretty Link Pro include:

  1. Temporary and permanent redirects.
  2. Cloaked and Pretty Bar redirects.
  3. JavaScript and meta refresh redirects.
  4. Tracking pixel redirects.

Do you have any questions about how to use redirect types on your website with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Ways ‘Urchin Tracking Modules’ Can Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

Keeping track of your business campaigns – including those on social media or within your email newsletter – is crucial for making the most of your marketing efforts. Without tracking you can’t measure, understand, and replicate successful campaigns. Unfortunately, some can be difficult to track.

That’s where Google’s Urchin Tracking Modules (UTMs) come in. This nifty tool can be used to differentiate your links, which makes it easy to keep track of all your campaigns, even those on social media and in your newsletters.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to UTMs and show you three ways they can help you improve your marketing campaigns. Then we’ll explain how you can easily use UTMs in conjunction with Pretty Link Pro. Let’s get started!

What Urchin Tracking Modules Are

An Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) code placed at the end of a URL

An Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) code placed at the end of a URL.

Simply put, UTMs are codes that are placed at the end of a URL. They can track various types of information, including the traffic source, the search terms, and medium (such as email or social media). UTMs started as a third-party tool, although they’re now a part of Google Analytics,

As a marketing tool, UTMs can be beneficial in many ways. You can:

Overall, UTMs are a great tool to have in your arsenal. They’re flexible and they’re easy to use, and what’s more they can be modified to your goals as needed.

3 Ways ‘Urchin Tracking Modules’ Can Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

UTMs can be an invaluable tool in your campaign planning and implementation. Let’s take a look at three specific ways they can help you to improve your marketing campaigns.

1. They Help Keep Track of Traffic Sources

Tracking your traffic sources – such as search engine results, referrals, and social media – lets you see where your campaigns are generating the most clicks. As a result, you can maximize your marketing efforts: focus on the sources that generate high-quality traffic, and avoid wasting time on those that don’t.

To track traffic sources with UTMs, you’ll need to use a ‘source parameter’. These are conditions that indicate what should be tracked, such as traffic sources, campaigns, and search terms. You can add the source parameter to your UTM manually, although we prefer a dedicated tool such as the Campaign URL Builder:

Campaign source box in the Google Analytics' Campaign URL Builder

Once the source is added, it will be incorporated into a URL containing the UTM code. Add this URL to your links (which we’ll outline in-depth below), and you’ll be able to see which campaigns are sending the most traffic, along with which campaigns need a bit more work.

2. They Can Enable You to Monitor Conversions

Conversions occur when visitors complete a specific goal. When you monitor them, you can learn which campaigns are most useful. For paid ads and other campaigns, monitoring conversions helps ascertain if you’re wasting your money (or shows you where it can be better spent). Putting UTMs in place makes it possible to monitor conversions from those hard-to-track campaigns. Here’s how:

Firstly, set your goals in Google Analytics. With the right measurement plan in place, you can use UTMs to track the goals you’re most interested in. For example, you can track destination, duration, or pages per visitor session:

The goal creation page in Google Analytics

Next, you’ll create your unique link with one or more UTMs included (as explained below). Once your link has had sufficient time to collect information, you can see how well it is reaching your goal from Google Analytics’ Campaigns tab (Acquisitions > Campaigns):

The Google Analytics campaign page

Here, you can track the conversion rate of each unique UTM-containing link for each of your established goals, and make changes based on the results.

3. They Will Help You to Compare Link and Advertisement Placements

Links and advertisements can be a significant part of marketing campaigns. However, their placement can play a large role in determining their success. One way to determine their best placement is with A/B (or ‘split’ testing). The typical process for doing so can be a bit complex, especially if you want to track other areas of your campaign at the same time. Fortunately, UTMs provide you with this ability with very little fuss. All it requires is a simple tweak to your UTM code.

Just as you can assign a source parameter to your UTMs, you can also assign one for content. With this parameter in place, you can differentiate ads and links for comparison:

The Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder

When naming each ad and link, we recommend keeping a running list in a spreadsheet or other document so you can more easily understand the results.

How to Use Urchin Tracking Modules with Pretty Link Pro

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

Now let’s look at how you can easily add UTMs to your links. Using Pretty Link Pro, not only can you shorten and brand your links, but also you can easily add custom UTMs to these pretty links.

To do so, build your UTM as explained earlier. If the UTM isn’t link-specific, you can apply it to any Pretty Link you have. However, if you’ve set a link-specific parameter, be sure to apply it to the correct link by choosing from your list, which can be found by navigating to Pretty Link > Pretty Link in your WordPress dashboard.

The Edit Link page in Pretty Link Pro

Next, simply add the URL which contains your UTM to the Target URL field on the Edit Link page. Your pretty link will remain the same!

Conclusion

With the use of UTMs, you now have the ability to fully track and improve your marketing campaigns. Doing so will maximize your current efforts, and can also lead to better campaign performance in the future.

In this post, we’ve introduced UTMs, outlined three ways they can improve your marketing campaigns, and shown you how to use them with Pretty Link Pro. To quickly recap, UTMs:

  1. Let you track traffic sources.
  2. Enable you to monitor conversions.
  3. Help you to compare link and advertisement placements.

Do you have any questions about how to use Urchin Tracking Modules on your website, or how to use them with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

3 Lesser-Known Benefits of Using a Link Shortener

Links that lead potential followers and customers to your website are key in helping you expand your reach and brand yourself as an industry expert. However, standard links are unwieldy and difficult to track once they’re separated from your site or social media profiles.

Link shorteners can help solve these problems. As a main benefit, they make sharing and branding links easy, which supports your brand expansion and trust building. You can also use link shorteners to retain control over your links. As a consequence, you have greater flexibility of use.

In this post, we’ll look at three lesser-known benefits of link shorteners and how each one can help your website. In addition, we’ll show you how to get the most from each link-shortening possibility, including with the use of Pretty Link Pro. Let’s get started!

1. Fix Broken Links More Easily

The HubSpot 404 error page

A 404 error page, such as HubSpot’s, is an indication that a page has been removed from the destination site, or moved to a different URL.

Broken links are those that no longer work, usually due to the removal (or movement) of the linked URL. Fixing them helps you continue attracting visitors to your content. If the link is offsite, fixing it can be difficult. However, if you used a link shortener when adding the URL, the fix is quick and easy.

Fixing broken links helps ensure that your content stays relevant. In addition, it keeps your content available for readers. As a result of not fixing such links, your business could seem outdated, which can lead to a loss in visitors and damage your brand’s credibility.

Fortunately, fixing broken links with Pretty Link Pro is simple! First, navigate to Pretty Link > Pretty Link in your WordPress dashboard, and select the broken link from the list. You’ll be brought to the Edit Link page. From here, simply go to the box entitled Target URL:

The Edit Link page in Pretty Link Pro

Click within the box, highlight the URL, delete it, then paste in the new target URL. Click Update, and your broken pretty link is now fixed!

2. Create Homogenous Shortlinks for Social Media

A social media branded shortlink

A branded shortlink, such as Mashable’s, can be easily used to create homogenous shortlinks for all of your social media profiles.

Homogenous shortlinks are created with the same general elements for a set of links that look similar and are more easily recognized (in this case, a brand name). They help make your social media strategy and brand experience more consistent.

Consistency in branding can make your brand more trustworthy and valuable. In fact, only 19% of companies are currently creating consistent content, even though brand consistency has been shown to increase revenue by 23%. Being consistent in your branding across social media gives you a huge leg up on your competition.

As you create shortlinks for your social media profiles, follow these tips to be as effective as possible:

  • Use a brand-focused name URL. For example, mybrand.com/facebook or facebook.com/mybrand.
  • Keep the link style consistent. As you create shortlinks for each of your social media profiles, keep the style consistent. For example, mybrand.com/facebook, or mybrand.com/twitter. This makes it easier for followers to find you on other platforms.
  • Try to match your brand’s social media username. Create shortlinks that match your brand’s already-established social media username. For example, @mashable could use mashable.com/facebook and mashable.com/twitter.

Consistency in your social media presence has a direct impact on your brand’s image – use it wisely! Finally, build consistency and trust with homogenous shortlinks, and keep engaging your followers and customizing your content for each platform.

3. Track Your Website’s Conversion Goals

A Pretty Link Pro conversion report

A conversion report can help you to track progress so you can further tweak your goals and adjust your strategies.

Whether you’re a marketer hoping to make sales, or a blogger looking for newsletter subscribers, conversion goals matter. However, without tracking these goals, you won’t make much headway.

The very point of setting goals is so you can use them as an endpoint. Tracking conversion goals helps you better understand your site’s performance, so you have the information to improve your current strategies.

With Pretty Link Pro, this process takes just a few simple steps. To get started, you’ll need to have your Tracking Style set to Extended Tracking (which you can find under Options > Reporting). Next, go to Pretty Link > Pro Reports. Click Add a Pretty Link Report, and you’ll find yourself at the Edit Link Report screen:

The Edit Link Report page in Pretty Link Pro

To track conversions, you’ll need to add two different pretty links to the report: Your landing page under Select Links to Analyze in this Report, and your goal page (for example, a newsletter signup form) under Select Your Goal Link.

When ready, click Create to generate a report. You can further customize what you see by changing the data range of the report, or altering the pages you’ve specified. You can then tweak your current conversion strategies based on the results provided, using them to inform and improve your site’s content, social media engagement, and even link building strategies.

Conclusion

While link shorteners have the obvious benefits of shortening and branding website links, they also prevent broken links, help you build brand consistency, and assist you in reaching conversion goals. When used to their fullest extent, you can ensure that you’re getting the most from your links (both on-site and off-site).

In this post, we’ve highlighted three lesser-known benefits of using link shorteners. To quickly recap, a link shortener can enable you to:

  1. Fix broken links.
  2. Create homogenous shortlinks for social media.
  3. Track conversion goals.

Do you have any questions about using a link shortener, such as Pretty Link Pro, on your website? Let us know in the comments below!

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!