What Is Tracking and Why Use Short URLs?
Tracking: One of the most important aspects of advertising is known as tracking. Tracking means monitoring the results of your advertising and other mobile marketing efforts so that you can determine what works and what doesn't. Then, based on the results of your tracking efforts, you can analyze your previous strategy and improve your next advertising campaign so you can get more people to respond to your advertising message and get the results you want.
Over the years, tracking has developed into a science. There are very precise ways to measure results employing complex software and formulas, and there are simpler ways that rely on what you can learn through trial and error, such as A/B testing. A/B testing means utilizing two different ads and simply comparing which one performs best in a focus group.
In the online world, the more complex methods are involved in what are called analytics. Businesses can hire a third-party company that specializes in providing analytics to perform the tracking for them. With the popularity of mobile marketing and mass SMS messaging, it's become necessary to track how people respond to the mobile advertising messages received on their phones.
For businesses that use mass texting services to send coupons or special offers to their customers, one of the simplest ways to track the effectiveness of these efforts is to require the customer to show the message to their waitress or clerk at the time of purchase. You just keep a running count, and the results are obvious.
Another tracking method that's been used for years in print advertising is the use of codes. A different keyword can be used for each ad piece you use to ask people to send a text message to join your mobile club or receive a special offer. That way you can determine which ad gets the most opt-ins.
The benefits of tracking for businesses that employ mobile marketing strategies are numerous, and every seasoned marketer will tell you that you're wasting your time and money if you don't put methods for tracking into place. The primary reason for tracking the behavior of your contacts, is that it's the only way you can learn how to make changes in your campaigns in order to make them more effective - which ultimately translates to more sales.
Commonly known as web addresses or links, a Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, can be quite long. To prove the point, go to amazon.com. Look up a product, and look at its address in your web browser's address bar. Here's the link to one of my favorite books:
Can you memorize that? Good luck! Can you fit that in a tweet at Twitter? No. Twitter only allows 140 characters, and that link is 186 characters long.
Long URLs are responsible for thousands of programs that shorten the URL and still take you to the same web address. This is done by Internet magic known as a "redirect". In effect, the short URL is redirected to the original long URL.
If you went to Amazon as suggested, return there now and look on the right side of the page below the "Add To Wish List" button for the word Share. Click on the envelope beside the word and look at the link you'll be sharing. It's only 26 characters long now. That is the short URL for the long URL up above. Here it is:
Why do you have to be concerned with short URLs? Because even in mass texting services, a text message is limited to 160 characters. Obviously you have to create short and to-the-point messages, and if you want to include a link to your website, a map, or any thing else, you'll want the shortest link possible.