Posted Thursday, December 2, 2004
Got a great website? Got a long, drawn out URL link to go with it?
Then you've probably experienced the agony of telling someone that long, drawn out URL string.
Imagine what that link looks like on your business card, in your signature file, or in your resource box. Looks pretty bulky and long, doesn't it?
If so, then it's probably time to give your link a "facelift." The best way to do this is with a redirect URL, or simply, a redirect.
First, for the uninitiated, a URL is the destination address of your website. Generally, it begins with 'www.' or 'http://'.
A redirect is a shorter URL address, or string, that when clicked, will still take you to your designated website.
Redirects have some great features.
They can add to the simplicity of your URL. They can also help make your string more memorable. They have the ability to camouflage your existing URL string.
And, best of all, you can find them offered for FREE. But, there is a small trade off. You must agree to some sort of ad promoting the company that is providing the redirect, such as a popup or some sort of promotion page.
Here is an example of the simplicity of a redirect.
First, I'll show you a long URL string that I have for one of my replicated sites:
Notice how bulky that looks. That's too much to communicate over the phone or even to remember.
Here's the redirect that I have for that address:
That's 'easy to' say and to remember. Plus, I included the keyword 'phone' in it for word recognition.
Also, when that redirect is clicked on, the site visitor will notice that when they arrive at the site, they will see that simple redirect in their browser URL window, as opposed to the long string.
The company that promotes that URL uses a popup ad too.
Redirects can also be used to camouflage your URL.
You might want to camouflage your link to keep the curiosity level up with your prospect. A redirect could help you to not "spill the beans."
Or, maybe you'd like to hide that link for your own promotional purposes to avoid confusion.
Here's a redirect that I have for another replicated website. Again, I included keywords in the string.
When you click this redirect on, or copy and paste it into your browser, you'll also see a different example of how this company promotes their service.
Did you notice the promotional page? A different approach from a popup ad.
You might have also seen that the long link appears in the browser window after you click past the promotional page. (Remember that the first redirect example in this article showed only the redirect in the browser window.)
Here is a partial list of companies that will provide FREE redirects.
(http://1st-part.com/ http://www.ontheweb.nu/) "click on whatwedo" ()
(http://webalias.com/) (http://www.freesitex.com/shorturl01.shtml) (http://www.nothinginlife.com/) "Click webmaster tools", click "URL redirects" (http://www.bru.to/)
Some companies charge as low as $5 annually for the use of their strings. They can go as high as $100.
Of course, the optimum is getting your own domain name. This will enable you to create a brand, or recognizeable name that relates to your business. They can range anywhere from under $20 to $35 annually. Maybe more.
For my e-zine's subscription site, I have my domain name that I simply use to redirect to my 'LeaderZKorner' subscription site.
Click it on and that short URL is all you will see in your browser box. In fact, you will be redirected around a pretty lengthy website address.
Now you have a way to STOP wasting time explaining that long URL to people by giving them something shorter or more memorable or both.
And all by giving your link a quick facelift with a redirect.
About the Author
Ron Kimball is the editor of "LeaderZKorner," a weekly electronic publication that is geared towards home based business owners. For a FREE subscription, go to: >(http://www.lzkorner.com)<