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Should I use a URL shortener to share links from my own website?

Jul 272017


The answer is almost always yes, specifically because of the wording of the question. Link shorteners are best used when sharing links.

That being said, the wide variety of link-shortening options out there and the subtle differences between what they bring to the table means that the exact reason why can be different from application to application and from marketing strategy to marketing strategy.

The short summary is that links to your site don’t have to be shortened at all. Links to your site that are shared often should be shortened because it keeps them neat and concise, as well as adds a layer of tracking feedback.

Below is a longer summary of why tracking links may be applicable for link sharing (including sharing links to your own site).

Tracking Links

Many link shortening services add tracking information into a redirect within the shortened link. This tracking information gathers click information and meta data regarding basic demographic and geographic characteristics of users who click the shortened links.

Going back to the wording of the question, this is specifically helpful when sharing links via social media or other channels.

The most popular social platforms offer analytic information regarding user interaction with your posts and links. The tracking information included in many link shortening services adds another layer to link interaction reporting.

Using shortened links with embedded tracking information:

A) Keep posts neat and concise while shaving characters off to better adhere to character limits (like the infamous Twitter character caps).

B) Add another layer of analytical information to reach and ROI measurement. Bitly, for example, aggregates all of the clicks from a single link into one dashboard so you can compare ‘referrers’ directly and from the same place.

In this instance, Bitly referrers are the different places where the link was clicked (Facebook, Twitter, and of course the terrible ‘dark traffic’).

If you are using a social media management system like Hootsuite, their Owly link shortener is a key component of the software’s reporting mechanisms; the tracking information that is embedded in Owly shortened links contributes to engagement reports generated by the software suite.

Here, link shortening services that include tracking information fit into a wide variety of digital and social marketing strategies. It is the rare digital marketer who is looking for less insight into the reach of his or her messaging across the web.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links, for those who may not know, are a specific type of tracking link that includes a token in the link string. This token travels with users who click and reports on a purchase they make. This reporting then contributes to an affiliate marketer’s commission for sales that include the affiliate token.

Affiliate tokens are long alphanumeric strings. An Amazon affiliate link could be as long as three lines of text on a phone screen if it is shown as ‘naked’ URL. A naked URL is one that is not hidden with anchor text.

Shortening this link could reduce it to less than a dozen characters, making it much cleaner experience for your users. There are some link shortening services that attach affiliate link tokens to all shortened links regardless of the link destination to maximize affiliate marketer commissions.

Link Organization

This is not a technical feature or a marketing feature of using shortened links, but using a link shortening service puts all of your links within easy reach of a single dashboard.

Being able to search through a backlog of your own links as needed simplifies the link sharing process while saving valuable time and reducing potential instances of human error.

See it in Action Hey, we can see it and enjoy the best marketing strategies for our business by KBit.

Should we use shortened URLs or long ones?

Jul 272017


It depends on what you are using them for.

If you want something that is immediately memorable, then use a short URL. That could be a single-level directory (mydomain.com/thisfolder) or a subdomain (subdomain.mydomain.com). This could itself be where the page is, or it could redirect to a longer URL, depending on how you manage your content.

If you want something that looks pretty for social media, use a domain hack. http://kbit.co, Virg.in, etc. immediately show which company owns which domain, but these are short vanity URLs, and really only good for sharing links to other people.

Long URLs are fine but they’re not memorable. If you’re just looking to get the page up there, there’s nothing to stop you from using a long URL.

An example:

I have a company called Awesome Design. It’s not called that, but let’s pretend it is. My website is found at awesomedesign.com. (By the way, there is really a website with that URL, so any links that will appear in this post have been automatically generated by Quora and I apologise to the owners of the domain for any 404 requests they may receive.) As the CEO of this company, I have decided that I want to host an event in London.

My event is listed at awesomedesign.com/events/conferences/london-design-expo-2017. Long. Not necessarily easy to remember.

Easier, however, is awesomedesign.com/london2017. I can put that on any marketing material and have the short URL redirect to the longer URL. Posters, billboards, emails, what have you, would all contain that URL.

I could also have that URL posted on social media, or I could use aweso.me/ldn17. This could be redirected to the same long URL.

This would be useful if I want to track where my visitors are coming from too. Using tools such as YOUrls or http://kbit.co (personally, I recommend YOUrls or another self-hosted URL shortener) can allow you analytic data for the short URLs you generate. Using the short URL on your domain could also provide you with analytics data. You could also set up a specific campaign, including Google Adwords or Social Media Marketing (paid for, targeted advert, not your organic posts) to promote the event. Again, you can use the data you get to see where people are hearing about your event and tailor future promotions to incorporate this information.

But whichever URL structure you use should take into consideration the type of system you have (CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.), flat HTML, etc.) and what you want to do with the URL.

For me, a lot of my URLs would be long URLs. As I create more and more content, the number of short URLs that I can use would grow smaller and smaller before I have to make them longer and longer. So I cut out the middle man and have long URLs, generated by my site. But if I need to draw attention to something, like an annual report or an event, I will create a short URL for promotional purposes, and a vanity URL for social media. This reserves my short URLs for specific purposes and ensures that I have a constant pool for them.

That’s my system anyway.

Whatever system you choose, be consistent in how you implement it. Obviously, there will be exceptions. I mean, you don’t need a long URL for an About Us page, just mycompany.com/about or /about-us. You don’t need anything long for that. But just be as consistent as you can about where you have short URLs and long URLs and, if you have them, vanity URLs.

Source: Quora

Sponcered: https://kbit.co

Why Long URLs Are Bad

Jul 272017


Other than the obvious reasons, there are some deeper justifications. Let’s jump right in..

I (and probably many other computer users) are annoyed by long and incomprehensible URLs. Instead, they should look good by being simple and short.

By reading your site’s URLs, I should be able to understand what would happen if I visited that page. This is a bad example of URL readability:


I am able to understand by reading the URL that some sort of action will be performed, but the ?1 gives no clue as to what it is. This is a much better URL:


Now it is perceptible that something will be sent. But still, there is no hint of what will be sent. This is an even-better URL:


The user can now understand that by visiting this URL, mail will be sent.

Memorable URLs
The average person could never memorize a URL like the one at the top of this page—that is what the Clipboard is for. Your URLs need to be short and sweet—short enough so that it is easy to remember.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have URLs that are a bit long. Even when using folders for URLs as in the examples above, these links can get a bit long. But so long as the URL makes sense, it will still be memorable. For instance, this long URL is, well, long—but it is still easy to remember because the link is hierarchically sorted.


Solutions for Shorter URLs
Despite the problematic natures of long, hard-to-remember URLs, they can always be easily shortened. Here are some solutions and methods of doing so.

You can use any service to shorten your long URL. Just try this to see it practical: https://kbit.co

What is GST? Understand with few real-life examples.

Jul 052017


What is GST?

GST is the single biggest tax reform in India aimed at replacing all indirect taxes like sales tax, service tax, VAT, custom duty, central sales tax, entertainment tax, luxury tax etc. GST is “one indirect tax” on the supply of goods and services, right from manufacturers to the end consumer for the entire country, which will make India one unified common market. In the current scenario, indirect tax is highly complex due to multiplicity of taxes, compliances issues obligations, tax overlaps.

What will be the impact of GST on e-commerce business?

Let’s first understand what Electronic Commerce & Electronic Commerce Operator means under the ambit of GST: “Electronic commerce” is the supply of goods or services or both of them. This includes digital products sold over digital or electronic network; { as under Sec.2 (44) of CGST Act}

An “Electronic commerce operator” is any person who owns, operates or manages digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce. { as under Sec.2 (45) of CGST Act}. Also, a person providing information or any other services incidental to or in connection with such supply of goods & services through electronic platform will be considered as an Operator.

Here are few real-life examples to explain how different sellers in the online world will be affected by GST:

1. Direct Supply from Seller to Customer: –
Sellers who have their own website for their business and do not rely on other online aggregators for listing of goods. In this case, Central GST (CGST)/State GST (SGST) shall be charged by seller in case of intrastate transaction and IGST in case of inter-state transaction.

Eg: Rahul orders a book from bookshop.com. Online website shall be maintained by the seller – Bookshop & the invoice of the book has to be generated by Bookshop and shall levy GST on the product sold.

2. Supply from Seller to Customer via online Aggregators/Intermediary: –
Products of sellers are listed on websites of aggregators. These orders are in turn given to the Seller for delivery of the goods. Here, seller has to make the invoice & deliver the same to customer directly. Invoice shall contain name of the company/firm, Reg. Address, TIN/CST no. etc.

Example: Mr Rohan orders the latest mobile from the Online aggregator. The aggregator will now book an order on behalf of the Seller named XYZ Retailer. So, aggregator will ask XYZ Retailer to deliver goods to the customer. Here, the seller XYZ shall levy GST on the goods. The aggregator shall generate an invoice and charge GST according to the services given to the seller like Courier, Shipping charges, Booking, Commission etc in the name of the seller. Invoice to be charged can vary according to T&C contained in MOU with sellers. Eg – If goods are delivered by e-commerce platform to customer then shipping charges shall be charged by platform in the bill.

3. Sellers to Online Portal to Customers: –
Here, online portals buy goods from sellers and then these portals sell to final customer i.e. the inventory has to be bought by the portal. Role of e-commerce site shall not be limited to provide interface but also to become the owner of the goods.

For Example Mr Sourabh orders portable speaker from the Online Website ABC, this site will book order & purchase the goods from Shashi Electronics to deliver the goods to Customers. The invoice of the said speaker will now be created by Shashi Electronics including TIN No. and addressed to the Website – ABC. Now, ABC will issue an invoice to Customer.

Source: PayUMoney

Who needs to be GST compliant?

Jul 052017

Who needs to be GST compliant?

The following type of businesses need to register:

Any business crossing over the threshold limit
Existing businesses registered with the central (Excise / Service Tax) or state (VAT) authorities
Taxable person carrying on an interstate supply
Businesses liable under reverse charge in GST ambit
Businesses wanting to collect GST or claim input (despite being below threshold) can take voluntary registration
How to become compliant?

Registration process for a new seller
A seller has to fill in registration application in less than 30 days of crossing the prescribed threshold/ starting of a business. Here, the date of application would be considered the effective date of registration for obtaining Input Tax Credit (ITC).

Registration Process for existing sellers
All sellers registered with central or state tax authorities would be migrated to GST by default and allotted Goods and Service Tax Identification Number (GSTIN). Sellers falling below the threshold may continue to be registered and get benefits of GST credit chain or opt out themselves.


It is a 15 digit PAN based number with state code & business vertical details as shown below:


State Code: To be based on India census 2011. Ex: 27 for Maharashtra and 29 for Karnataka
Entity Code: Alphanumeric 1 to 9 and A to Z based on number of business verticals in a state for the same PAN (i.e 9 digits plus 26 characters, a total of 35 business verticals per state is possible)


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