Q: What is URL forwarding and why is it important to use it sometimes?
A: URL forwarding enables you to cloak or shorten your Website address to an easy to remember URL. Using URL forwarding can shorten those long affiliate or Website names that are hard to remember. Also, using a URL forwarder can give you the advantages of tracking where your visitors come from when visiting your sites.
Let’s say that you are a member of an affiliate program that has your affiliate ID in the URL. Not all Websites will allow your affiliate URL to be placed on their Website due to many others having placed ads on their sites. Search engines often won’t accept affiliate URLs either because of the affiliate ID number. Some visitors won’t click on your Website link when they see it is an affiliate site. By using a shorter URL in your advertising that forwards a user directly to the longer URL, you can get around these limitations.
Q: Can I use an affiliate program in a URL redirect service?
A: Yes you can, for the reasons outlined above. It is best that you do just that to shorten the length of the URL. This will make it easier for you to remember when advertising your affiliate Website, giving you the ability to have it included in search engines, easier for your visitors to remember your Website URL.
Q: Is it best to purchase or use a free URL forwarder?
A: That all depends to whom you talk. Some will tell you it’s best to purchase a URL forwarder from a domain company. Others will tell you using a free URL forwarder is fine as well. Personally, I think it’s what you feel comfortable in doing and how much you are able to spend. Check the “fine print” for each service to make sure that you aren’t getting something you don’t want.
Q: What do URL forwarders provide besides a shorter URL name?
A: I suggest that you look for URL forwarding services that are listed below:
URL Masking: URL Masking allows your URL forwarding name to stay in the address bar instead of your long URL. If your visitors decide to add your site to their favorites, your shortened URL will be added to their favorites and not the long domain name. Also, search engines will link to your shorter URL as well.
Traffic Stats with referrer reports: Using traffic stats with referrer reports will show you how many unique and raw visitors you are getting to your site throughout the day. You will be able to see from which sites that your visitors are coming. Using the referrer reports of advertising sites where your visitors have seen your ad will allow you to know which of your advertising sites to keep using.
Path Forwarding: This allows you to forward users to a certain path and/or file on your Website by adding the path and/or file to the end of your prefix.
Frame Kill: Frame Kill forces your site to pop out of any frames it might be loading in. This is especially useful when you are linked to another Website and your site opens inside a frame on their page.
Meta Tag Support: Allows you to add meta tags to your shortened URL. Examples of Meta Tags are: keywords, title, and description of your site for search engine listing.
Mirror Support: Allows you to add all sites that you have on all webhosting sites so that when one site goes down, you will have your traffic sent to any other sites you may have.
Q: Where can I find URL Redirects? How much do they cost?
A: You can find URL redirects by doing a search with your favorite search engine. The most commonly used redirect services are as follows with their prices:
ShortUrl.com – Free to sign-up. With their free services you will have your own administration area, URL masking, path forwarding, Frame Kill, Meta Tag Support, and Mirror Support. To gain access to the Traffic Stats it will cost you $1.88 per year for this service. ShortUrl also offers domain names for $19.95.