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Universal Links vs Link Shorteners

Linking to your books — Universal Links vs Link Shorteners

What’s the difference & why it matters

You’ve probably heard about link shorteners, “clean” links, making your links “pretty” or universal links in your time as an indie-author. Today, we’ll take a quick look and talk about universal links vs link shorteners, what the differences are and why it matters when you are sharing links to your books.

Clean Amazon Links

When you hear someone talk about the “clean” links from Amazon, here’s what they are referring to:

The first link above is not “clean”, whereas the 2nd one is the clean link. Referring to clean links means the part of the URL up to and ending at your ASIN number.

Why does it matter?

The information beyond the ASIN refers to search criteria and other data that Amazon uses. Using the not clean link can actually flag Amazon that you may be up to some shady stuff and can even in some instances cause them to start stripping reviews / ratings, etc.

Link Shorteners —

Link shortener services are just that… they take a link you give them and they shorten it. Services like which are free allow you to create “pretty” links that are shorter, and therefore, easier to remember for users.  These are great when you need to share a link to something (anything) that the original link is “ugly”, long, or generally impossible to remember.

Universal Links —

As an indie-author, generally you want to use universal links when sharing links to your books on Amazon. A universal link will automatically direct someone in a different country to their correct Amazon store — effectively removing a barrier to the purchasing decision.

Sales & Marketing 101 states that you need to make the buying decision as easy as possible… and any barrier or extra steps in that process can serve as a deterrent for the buyer.

Although it’s a seemingly small “barrier”, why not make it as easy as possible for your potential new reader to find your book, on the exact page they need to make the buying experience seamless and easy?

The other benefit: you can create “pretty” links — links that are shorter, much easier to remember, and more easily shareable as a consequence.

Also, you have the option to use the pro level of services where you can use your affiliate info (if you have affiliate accounts set up with book retailers), and use it for other retailers besides Amazon.

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