I’ve been using bit.ly as my URL shortener of choice for a while (that’s something I never thought I would say) – the main reason being the stats that you can get about traffic via their web interface.
They recently updated the look and feel of the Bit.ly info page, and it looks great: more information at a glance about who is clicking on your links, and where they’re clicking on them from. Here’s a quick tour of the new info page:
Top line stats
This is pretty much the same as before, with a quick breakdown of where your content is currently being shared. I’ve never been 100% convinced that the share stats are 100% accurate in this top line information, but they give you a good insight:
Clicks and visitors
The animated bar chart that is the centre of the new Bit.ly info page has had a bit of a face lift, and is now a lot more animated than it was previously. Also, the location of the timing options has been moved slightly into a drop down menu on the right hand side of the graph, whereas before it was on the left. The animations when you mouse over the graph are quite attractive, and contain quick info about how many clicks your link had in a particular time frame:
This is a new addition to the new Bit.ly info page, and contains information about where your visitors are coming from, and what country your content is being shared in. The data that you are shown in this graph is tied into the time line you have selected to view in the click graph above, so it is quite good for seeing how different countries are referring visits at different times of day.
It also includes information about the client that is being used to share your content – if you are seeing a lot of mobile devices being used, it might be worth considering adding a mobile version of your website, if you haven’t already.
There is always a slight issue with any traffic stats that you get with URL shorteners in that some clients seem to strip away the referrer information, and suggest that the visitor was direct, rather than coming from somewhere – in the case of this post, the figure was 38%:
This isn’t a major issue, because I’m not trying to measure any kind of conversion attribution using Bit.ly, and if I was, I would ideally be using separate shortened URLs for different placements (ie Facebook, Twitter etc) to give me a bit more insight into where my content was popular, however that’s not really necessary for the blog.
The lists of Tweets where your link has been included has been really improved, and now includes the avatar of the person who shared your content. It’s a really nice touch, and makes a big difference to the look of the page:
There is also a much cleaner HTML 5 version of the mobile interface that makes checking your traffic on Bit.ly when you’re on the move easier. The old mobile version of the website was actually just the desktop version of the website, and as such it wasn’t great from a usability perspective. Great news for stat junkies on the go everywhere.
Here’s a link to the new version of the Bit.ly results page for this very post should you fancy seeing it’s traffic in real time… I don’t think that clicking on the info page for stats about the page that you’re clicking through from will break the internet, but it might be a bit like dividing by zero, so be careful: