How to hide a URL? The question is why hide your URL? here we look at the very best in link cloaking and why you should use them. Building and tracking them.
What is a URL and why hide it?
Uniform Resource Locator or in layman’s terms your internet address in short or long-form.
These days we all start with HTTPS://
Then WWW or World wide web.
Your business name/
followed by .com or .net etc
Then a bunch of add-ons that take you to a place on the site.
To build one and understand what you are doing Neil Patel has some great training at
his site how to structure a URL
We all have a URL so why hide it?
There are several reasons for this as you develop your website business.
- Ease of tracking your clicks
- Affiliate marketing
- Showing a better URL
- Shortening the URL
- Hiding the URL
- Improved SEO in some cases
- Checking affiliate traffic resources and reporting.
Two ways to change links but only one good way
Firstly you have link shorteners like Goo.gl and Bitly.com, Tinyurl, and Zapier among others.
Zaprir did a good report on this at their home site for link shorteners. This goes over a few products that can offer both a quick service or a long term service.
Cloaking a link for a good purpose
I am an affiliate for Wealthy Affiliate a Webhosting, blogging and training site that stands above most other onsite operations.
However, some sites don’t like affiliate links and among them are Instagram, Quora and Youtube.
Therefore, it is best to change that link so it is immediately acceptable to any platform that you use. The Word Wealthy Affiliate does not reflect the true value of what they provide so maybe I want to call it something else.
Tracking a link is essential
Furthermore, when I connect to an affiliate site I want to know my numbers. By using a service designed for purpose I can track every click on a link plus I change the link depending on what or where I am marketing.
For example, I set up an online calculator that works out the cost of missed calls to a business. The calculator has been used in two completely different websites and an email campaign so which one worked the best?
Because I used three different links that are cloaked it gives me real call stats and I can monitor my campaign. So how did I do this?
The answer is Pretty links
Pretty Links is a free service with an advanced upgrade should you want it. However, in most cases, it is not necessary.
This service shortens the URL but also sets up a tracking platform that provides live results
As you can see that was a brand New post so little traffic the Website link is
I can then see every link that has been made on Pretty link and going through to Google Analytics to track where they come from.
Pretty links is a WordPress plugin that is uploaded in the normal way. It then resides on your control panel forevermore
Are pretty links really worthwhile?
As an affiliate marketer, the answer is a definite yes. I often wonder if my link is broken or they are going somewhere else. Yes, it’s a bit of paranoia but where the money is concerned it is wise to be sure and this provides some indication of a correct answer.
Using Pretty links you drive the traffic where you want it to go. Use your numbers and Google and relate it to the business.
This is not a problem with good affiliate sites however you never Know.
Some sites will block affiliate links simply because Affiliate marketing is often bundled into one big bag of disrespect.
I have experienced this with Facebook, Instagram, Quora where my link has been blocked.
Using a cloaked address we overcome this without creating problems.
Finally when we don’t wish to display the exact Link because others may recognise, dislike or ignore it. My Super Duper Moneymaking site might look better as Easy money or even a code 1d235. This will encourage a lot more hits and hence greater traffic.
You all so have the opportunity to test the market by using a straight link and a pretty Link in a blog to see which one is hit the most.
Tracking different marketing is an ideal way to use pretty links. My Calculator for missed telephone calls is in half a dozen different places to I can see what is working the best and make adjustments.
Moving to analytics
In your analytics account go to settings, Goals and set up a Goal, in fact up to 20 off them.
We have now covered all bases for tracking our links and understanding where they come from, how often used and even made money if we want.
For instance, I know that for every 8 people that look at Wealthy affiliate one will upgrade to the pro version and I shall earn in the first year us$175.00. That is an average across all users in WA. Therefore every click is worth us$21. I need to know where they are coming from so I can monetise the site for marketing.
This may be a little advanced for some beginners but don’t worry it will come to you as you move forward. It was the subject of an hour-long live training course we have every week at WA that is available to all paid members so I have reproduced it here.
If you want to get some free training, start a website, prepare to blog there is no better place than Wealthy Affiliate.
I look forward to seeing your click in my Stats,