We just launched a URL shortener. Are we insane?

The last thing the world needs is another damn URL shortener. There is no money to be made in this business, yet a new one launches pretty much every day. They're all mostly the same, offering some basic analytics like how many people clicked your link, and maybe the top referrers and geolocation of these clickers.

That's all well and good but there's something lacking: you don't get any data on your visitors after they arrive at your site. And that's the data that really matters. Who cares how many people clicked if you don't know what they did when they actually got to your web site?

That's why we're launching our own URL shortener, clicky.me. Here's what makes this product special:


The best analytics, period

Every visitor who arrives at your web site via a clicky.me link will be "tagged" with that link. This means you can filter/segment your visitors based on this URL, just like you already do with countries, referrers, etc. This gives you the full spectrum of segmentation data that Clicky offers, providing valuable insight into the actual impact of any link you share.

We made a brief announcement on Twitter about this, asking people to click a link to help beta test clicky.me. Here are the results, about 1 hour later:





If we had used another shortener such as the ever popular bit.ly, the only data we would have is the number of visitors, and the top referring domains and countries, as are shown in our screenshot above. That's great, but look how much more data we get from clicky.me!

We can get all this extra data because Clicky Analytics continues to track these visitors after they have arrived. We can see the bounce rate, the average pages per visit, average time per visit, and more. As you can see from the drop down menu that's open above the "countries" box, I can also view things like which goals these specific visitors completed, what web browsers they use, what cities they live - anything I want. Plus, since this is Clicky, you can actually see every individual visitor who arrived at your site from this link, so you can study them individually as desired. No other shortener gives you anything even remotely close to this.


The most accurate data

Just like Clicky only tracks human visitors, so does clicky.me. This means the numbers you get from us will be much more accurate and meaningful. Other shorteners log every hit, regardless if it's from a search engine, bot, or otherwise. clicky.me only tracks humans, so you'll know exactly how many people actually viewed your link.

No, we're not relying on Javascript for this :P We're doing it internally with a supar seakrat algorism.


Tons of ways to get your data

You can view the stats of your Short URLs by going to Links, then Short URLs. You can add the new Short URLs module to your dashboard (coming soon!). You can grab the data from our stats API, with type=shorturls.


Tons of ways to create short URLs

You can go right to clicky.me and paste in a URL. You can use our bookmarklet (available on the main clicky.me web site) to prefill both the URL field, and the site that the analytics will be attached to. You can create a short URL right from the Short URLs stats page (coming soon!). And we'll be launching an API in the near future to create them as well. We didn't consider the API a make or break launch feature, because we don't expect any of the major twitter application developers to integrate our service with them, since it requires an account. But we'll still add one eventually.


An actual business model (gasp!)

While clicky.me isn't going to make us money directly, it adds a lot of value to the service we already make our money from: Clicky Web Analytics. Any time we add value like that, more people upgrade to our paid services. As long as Clicky is around - and it's not going anywhere - clicky.me will be as well, so you can depend on us to keep redirecting those links well into the future.

(clicky.me is free for all users of Clicky Web Analytics. However, "free" accounts are limited to shortening 1 URL per day. Paid accounts have no limitations.)


Semantics, baby

Who can resist clicking a link that says "clicky me" right in the URL? Your click-throughs are going to skyrocket.


Well, that covers that. Enjoy!
17 comments |   Aug 26 2009 3:05pm





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