Rebrandly beginner guide: Shorten, brand & manage your links

9 min read

As knowledge workers, we have to constantly share links with our friends, colleagues & clients. On a small scale, this works perfectly fine, but if you're running a company with hundreds of different resources spread out across all of social media, your own website, your newsletter & your offline marketing resources, it can get really messy quickly.

That's where link management tools like Rebrandly come in. Rebrandly allows you to shorten, brand, manage and track your links across all different platforms. It gives you a single dashboard to create and manage those links easily.

In this guide, I will show you can you can easily set it up for your business, so that you will never struggle with managing links again.

Let's dive right in!

What is an link shortener?

A link shortener is a tool that allows you to shorten links by providing a shorter & more memorable link, which is then redirected to the initial page. Take a look a the example below. The first link looks really cryptic, and a bit scammy. The second link looks much more natural, and you can already guess what you will find when entering this url into your search bar: A tutorial on how to use Rebrandly.

This is essentially what a link shortener allows you to do and I will show you how you can do it using Rebrandly.

What is a link management tool?

A link management tool does more than just shortening your links. It's where you can edit & redirect your links, make your links branded, see link analytics & more. Rebrandly combines a link shortener with a link management tool, meaning it's well suited for covering your link needs 😊

Creating an account with Rebrandly

To use Rebrandly, you will first need to create an account. I recommend that you use the free account to get started, as it's more than enough for freelancers or smaller businesses. If you're part of a larger organization, it might be a better idea to go with one of their premium plans, as they allow you to manage your links with other team members.

Just click on the signup button, to create an account with your email address or using a different authentication method like Google Signup.

Connect your domain to Rebrandly

After signing up, you can now start using Rebrandly. One crucial thing is to connect your domains to Rebrandly. 

This will allow you to create custom shortened links that are branded with your domain name. This makes your links look more professional, creates trust with your audience, and brings uniformity to your brand. In this article, we are going to use the learnwithjanosch.com domain (That's just my test domain for projects like this).

Step 1: To connect your domain, click on the “Domains” button at the top bar, and it will redirect you to a new page. 

Step 2: Once there, click on the “New Domain” button. It will redirect you to a new page, and you have the option to either register a new custom domain or connect a domain.

If you do not have a domain and would like to register one, then choose the first option. If you already own a domain, then go ahead with the “Connect a Domain” option.  We will focus on the “Connect a Domain “Option. 

Step 3: Once you click on the “Connect a domain” option, a pop-up will appear asking you to input your domain name. Input your domain and click next. 

Step 4: You will then be required to specify if the domain is spare or not. 

In this case, a spare domain means one which is not associated with a website or a blog. Usually, you will want to click on the “No, it’s being used for my website, blog, etc.” option.

Step 5: The next step will be choosing the subdomain that you want to be used by Rebrandly to customize your links. In our case, we will use “go.learnwithjanosch.com

I recommend going with either "go", "link" or "click", but you can choose any subdomain that you like!

Step 6: After choosing your subdomain name, click on next.

Creating an A record

To finish setting up your domain and subdomain with Rebrandly, you'll need to add an “A” Record to the DNS settings of your domain. To do this, log in to your hosting/domain provider account and go to the DNS Settings. The settings will be in different locations depending on the hosting/domain service provider.

Here's what it looks like with my current hosting provider, Netlify:

Once you get to the DNS settings for your domain, click on create a new "A" record. Under the hostname or name, input the subdomain you selected. In our case, we went with “go”. In the Rebrandly domain set up page, copy the "Points to" (or address) indicated and paste it in the “IPv4 Address” input in your DNS settings page. For the TTL, you can leave it at its default. 

Once you click on create, your subdomain is now connected to Rebrandly. Give it some time to synchronize and for the DNS configurations to be verified. This process might take up to 24 hours to finalize. 

If you are not sure about how to create an “A” record in your domain/hosting service, kindly look at the help articles by your provider or contact their support. If you're still stuck, I've got a new coaching service that focuses on helping you resolve technical hurdles with your tech tools 😊

Create your first branded link

Once the DNS settings are verified, go back to your Rebrandly Domains page. You will notice that the subdomain has a green icon, meaning that it is now active. Now it's time to create our first branded link. It is an easy process! 

In our case, we are going to use the link from one of my YouTube videos to illustrate how to create a branded link. You can use any link of your preference.

Step 1: Copy the link you want to customize, then head back to Rebrandly and go to the "Links" page in the menu.

Step 2: On this page, click on the “New Link” button, and a popup will appear. Here you can paste in your copied link.

Step 3: Choose which branded domain you want to use with the link. If you only added one domain to Rebrandly, choose that one. Next, use the slash tag input field to type what you want to appear after your branded domain for your branded link. It is advisable to use a slash tag that describes what the link directs to.

Step 4: After inputting the slash tag, click on create link and Rebrandly will generate your new custom branded link.

Step 5: Check if the link works. You can do this by clicking on the “Visit URL link” on Rebrandly or copying and pasting the newly created URL into your browser. If it works, then you're good to go!

How to edit a link after creation

Sometimes, you might want to the destination of a link after you've initially created it. For example, let's say you're linking to one of your products and for a certain time, you want to link people to a special discount page. You can easily do that using Rebrandly!

All you need to do is to point the Rebrandly link to the discount page temporarily for the promotional period. Once the promotion is over, you change it back to the normal product page easily through Rebrandly.

To edit the link, just click on the little "Edit" button in your link overview

Then, the link menu will popup, and you will be able to change the link by clicking on the button next to the link.

Use a QR code for your link

Another great feature by Rebrandly is that it generates custom QR codes for each link you rebrand. This means you have access to QR codes which you can print and use in your marketing and promotional materials. 

To access this QR code, go to an individual link that you've created with Rebrandly and then click on the little QR code symbol in the menu options.

Now you will see a popup window that gives you different sizes & formats of your QR code for you to download.

Link analytics

Finally, there is the link analytics feature. This allows you to see how your links are performing and how your audience is interacting with them.  You can access these statistics by clicking on a single link and then scrolling down.

You can see things like:

  • How often your link gets clicked
  • Where people that click it come from
  • On which days you're getting the most traffic
  • On which type of device they were on

... and much more!

This information can help you determine what your most important traffic channels are and can give you insight into how well people that are clicking on your links are converting to customers, email subscribers, etc. And the best part is that this is all available in the free version of Rebrandly!

That's it!

That was a basic overview of how to easily set up and use Rebrandly as a link shortener and link management tool. I hope it was helpful to you! Please just DM me on Twitter if you have any questions or suggestions for me.

You can also subscribe to my newsletter to get regular updates on powerful tools for the new digital worklife. See you next time ✌