Link.ws has released their version 5.x of their link shortener service that will take your long ugly links and make them short. For example, if you sell on Amazon or eBay you know that the links they use are something like:
Who wants to share a link like that all over the place? Instead, Link.ws 5.0 will turn that into something like this:
www.link.ws/myazonlnk or whatever you want to call the link.
But it will use by default the link.ws url. They do have an upgraded option where you can use your own branded url if you have one and want to use it for branding purposes. For example, you run www.mybrand.com and you want to create outbound links on all of your posts for tracking purposes. You can request to use (if you have it registered) www.mybrand.net or another tld. Then all of the links you want to shorten will be www.yourbrand.net/xxxxxx Once you do that you can use the backend interface for click stats, geolocation, and you can even password protect links. Take a look at this screenshot of the backend system:
Link.ws 5.0 Splash Pages
Another cool think about this service is that you can create custom splash pages for your links. A custom splash page is a transitional page where you can add a banner and an avatar along with a message to represent your brand or company. By creating a link like this,
Link.ws 5.0 Overlay Pages
An overlay page allows you to display a small non-intrusive overlay on the destination website to advertise your product or your services. You can also use this feature to send a message to your users. You can customize the message and the appearance of the overlay right from this page. As soon as you save it, the changes will be applied immediately across all your URLs using this type.
Three types are available: Message, Contact Form, and Polls. With a Message, the shortlink you create will send your visitor to the intended destination but will display a message bar along the top of the site with your custom message. For example, if you link to a product page, you can create a message bar that shows a custom coupon code to use on that page. How about that!
With a contact form, that will obviously create a contact form that displays on the top of any page you direct visitors to. Just another touch point to get someone to get in contact with you.
Finally, the Poll is a quick voting poll that you can add to the bottom left or right of the page. You can add up to 10 responses and add in your question. Good for linking people over to something where you want to capture their opinion. You won’t be able to gather this type of data with standard links. This is one of the ‘links with benefits’ they they are talking about.
Link.ws Tracking Pixels
Ad platforms such as Facebook and Adwords provide a conversion tracking tool to allow you to gather data on your customers and how they behave on your website. By adding your pixel ID from either of the platforms, you will be able to optimize marketing simply by using short URLs.
Typically once you send out a link you’ve lost all contact with that visitor unless they manually go back to your site. By adding a tracking pixel you can stay with them and they be able to retarget them based on what they did after they clicked your link. How cool is that? This is great for marketers.
Link.ws 5.0 Custom Domains
This is an optional addon that you can add to your plan if you want to use your own custom domains through their system. Basically you can use and url that you own for this and will give you more branding options for your short urls.
Want to create a team that will have access to create and edit links? Well, this is built-in and you can invite your webmaster team so they can all use it under their own accounts.
All-in-all, Link.ws is a great platform for shortening your links and to reap benefits that you can get from creating links. If you can find a LTD on this I would not pass it up.