Are URL shortners causing major damage to brand recognition?

by: Braidyn Browning

Experienced marketers and internetters alike have become complacent with shortened URLs.
Whether it be Tinyurl, Bitly or one of the other hundreds of url shortening sites out there, we as experienced users have become numb to the use of these reformatted links all across the web.

Character limits (especially on Twitter and LinkedIn) brought about massive use of url shorteners. At the time, it was an extremely convenient means of including a link in a post with strict length limitations. But have these services affected brand recognition and have we lost an opportunity to gain the trust of various generations of audience members?

First, let’s look at what a shortened URL might look like.

This link is long enough to give ANYONE an aneurysm:''/dsbcreative/@36.0865961,-96.0284397,12z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x87b692ba48250df3:0x7f7fcbeeeb243381!2m2!1d-95.9583996!2d36.0866165

Here is the shortened version:

Sure, it looks clean and it definitely takes up less space/characters… but can you tell what brand has brought it to you and do you have any idea where it leads? No.
While we think the occasional use of shortened URLs would not be detrimental, we do believe that there’s a bit of trust lost when you have no idea where the link leads.

When it comes to driving traffic to your website and creating brand recognition, we believe you can solve a lot of the messiness of using shortened urls by simply keeping your website URLs short and to the point.

For example:

We’ve used minimal characters in this URL and you know exactly what you’re getting when you click. BONUS - the brand name is visible and bright as day!

You can get into the weeds a bit here pending on the length of your brand name and how deep into the website you are linking but the general principle of keeping it simple can go a long way.

If shortening the link is unavoidable, we recommend giving a short explanation or intro to where the link leads. Rather than listing the link alone or writing something ambiguous like “Click here”, try building a bit of trust before listing the shortened link:

“Want to know more about the killer branding, marketing and design offered by DSB Creative? Read all about it at

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