BudURL-How to Track Your Web Links

Have you ever wondered if the links that you are providing to your customers or prospects in your email messages are ever clicked?  Do you wonder whether your Tweets are getting any activity?  How about which group on LinkedIn is the most interested in your work?

budurl Logo2If you select BudURL to create those web links, you will be able to answer those questions and more.  BudURL is one of the numerous services on the web that shrinks a lengthy URL to something more manageable.  Twitter has been one of the strongest drivers of this technology due to the requirement of limiting your tweets to 140 characters or less per tweet.   Some of the competing services to BudURL are Bit.ly with its custom keywords or TinyURL with its custom URL feature.  BudURL gives you a way to track where your link was clicked.

So, exactly what can you track with BudURL?

  • Emails to prospects and clients.
  • Email campaigns.
  • Profile links on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, & other social networks.
  • Links posted to social networks.
  • Blog posts and comments on sites that you contribute to, but cannot see the stats.
  • Links to PDFs and other files on my website and in emails.
  • Links embedded inside mobile, iPhone, and Internet-aware applications.
  • Affiliate links.
  • Advertising links.
  • Landing page links.
  • Links in customer support emails.
  • Links in Contracts and other legal documents.

Packs quite a bit of power into “just a URL shortener” don’t you think?  The power of BudURL and why I recommend it over similar webtools is primarily because of the depth of reporting it provides.  If you are going to shorten a URL, why not get as much information as you possibly can from the time invested?

Here is a sampling of the laundry list of features:

  • Shrink any URL into a short BudURL
  • Inbound links redirect with a 307 or 301 for maximum SEO performance depending on your needs
  • URL checking for all BudURL’s that verifies if linking website is known spam or phishing site.
  • Organize all of your BudURL’s into a single account
  • Organize all of your BudURL’s with Labels for better organizing, tagging, and searching
  • Add notes to each BudURL to keep track of where you place it (ex: Twitter profile link, LinkedIn comment, Email signature, banner advertisement, etc.)
  • Watch your Click Stream to see real-time click activity including the referrer, IP Address, Network, etc.
  • Create custom BudURL vanity aliases like budurl.com/mylink
  • Edit destination URL
  • Reset click values
  • Delete BudURL’s
  • Search your BudURL’s
  • Unique Visits per click
  • Download click traffic
  • See the keywords used to find your BudURL
  • Weekly and Daily email reports of traffic summaries to keep you in the loop
  • API allowing developers to auto-Bud any URL
  • Detailed analytics by source, referrer, type, browser, date, etc.
  • Beautiful graphs of your traffic that will impress any executive!

Look, there are a lot of features and you might not even use some of them.  But when you have a need for them, they will be available.

Key features that I use every day:

Dashboard-quick view of what overall click activity has been:

BudURL Dashboard View

BudURL Dashboard View

Then I Drill down into my BudURL’s to see the activity on each URL on the BudURL list:

BudURL List View

BudURL List View

When I want to see more information on one specific URL, I click on it to view the Detail page:

BudURL Detail View

BudURL Detail View

And if you have selected one either the $12/month or $49/month options you will have visibility to Click Stream Statistics.

BudURL ClickStream View

BudURL ClickStream View

My favorite part of BudURL is the ability to what is happening with my online work in real-time.  It refreshes several times a minute as people click on the link.  It can be somewhat addictive at first, as you watch the click count on a URL that you included in a Tweet grow in moment by moment.  You will also be able to see when someone picks it up and adds it to an email, LinkedIn Group or one of the bookmarking services like Digg or Delicious.

There are several pricing levels available and one of them is Free.  I recommend that you select one of the paid plans to start your free 21 day trial with, and then if you don’t need it, just downgrade to Free.  The people are easy to work with and very straightforward.  What you see is what you get.

Here is a brief video that shows just how easy and fast it is to use BudURL:

BudURL Demo from Andy Meadows on Vimeo.

Sign up for BudURL and you too can see the impact of your efforts.

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