Edin.ac – one year of customisable addresses

It’s time to wish a happy first birthday to customisable short addresses using the edin.ac shortener, and take a moment to celebrate the success of this service.

Service success

Edin.ac offers University staff a way to provide recognisable, authentic short URLs for use in print and digital materials. You can use these addresses where space is limited (social media, presentations, emails) to link to University of Edinburgh business (though, not necessarily our own site). Edin.ac URLs allow click tracking and measuring (available through bit.ly, where the service originates). Since the service was introduced in 2013:

  • 28446 individual URLs have been created
  • 1227 University staff have created short URLs

Customisable segments – for users, and for campaign tracking

We expanded the service to allow customisable address segments in December 2016 – and since then, nearly 300 have been created. These “friendly” versions of the URLs allow a better user experience by providing human readable link text, ensuring trust and promoting traffic to the destination page. To see the difference, compare these two versions of the same address:

  • http://edin.ac/2pxlfdC
  • http://edin.ac/wpc-apr-17

Allowing customisable short addresses also allow campaign URLs, which are far more flexible than EdWeb-generated short addresses. You should use campaign URLs when detailed tracking (primarily through Google Analytics) is necessary to calculate return on advertising/promotion.

Use Google Analytics to measure campaign success

And we haven’t concentrated only on expanding the range of the service. Our technical team worked to bring the shortener within the University’s EdGEL framework. As a result, the interface is now more easily recognisable and trusted by staff using the service to create addresses.

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