Probably the most recognized and most used URL shortener webwide is Bit.ly, and you’re probably using it, too. This how-to article will help you to easily track all of your Bit.ly links with a few Chrome extensions.
First off, you need to register an account on Bit.ly. It’s not necessary to have an account if you only use it once in a while, but if you need to, for example, track your ROI more efficiently you’ll definitely want to have every link shortened by you under one account. Plus, every Chrome Bit.ly extension needs to be connected via, you guess, user account.
In Account Settings section, you can add Twitter and/or Facebook accounts you want to be automatically posted on. Also, you can ad your own custom short domain, if you have one registered already. When you choose where shortened links would be shared, which social network account you’ll be using to log in (this is optional), it’s time for adding Chrome extensions.
First one is a simple bit.ly shortener. You’ll be asked to verify installation, then to log in into your Bit.ly account and you can start shortening right from your browser immediately. Just click on that funny little fish you’ll see in the upper right corner of Chrome browser, add your own comment, and click Share.
In an “Options” you can manage notifications: choose the number of clicks on one link within an hour you should be notified about (default is 20) and each time that threshold is reached, you’ll see a notification as shown on image below. Notifications, of course, can be turned off.
There’s another extension I’ll recommend you to install: ChromeMUSE – Multi-URL Shortener/Expander. Whenever you don’t want to share links on any of social networks but just to send them via email, chat or someway else, simply click on a little blue-yellow chain you’ll see in a browser’s address bar. It will automatically make long link shorter and copy it, so you can paste it wherever you want.
You’ll need to connect Chrome Muse to your Bit.ly account by adding API Login and API key. API Login is your Bit.ly username, and API key can be found easily in your Account Settings.
Each link that is shorten using any of those Bit.ly Chrome Extensions will be stored on your account, on a link that looks like this: https://bitly.com/u/your_username. That list can be public, or you can make it private, it’s your call.
One more thing you should know about Bit.ly links is this: adding + after any Bit.ly link will show statistic about that link, no matter if you have shortened it, or someone else. Try it yourself: https://bitly.com/rbzxkz+ (original link is https://bitly.com/rbzxkz).
That’s it. If you find this article helpful, feel free to pass it on. If you have any questions I’ll be happy to answer. If you use some another technique, extension and/or URL shortener, share with us in comments.