So you have an account on Google+, and are ready to share it with your followers or on your other social networking sites. What is the best way link them to your Google+ profile?
You could copy and paste the long Google+ profile URL on your page, which will look something like this:
https://plus.google.com/113700089599268336343/posts (That’s mine)
You can see for yourself it is not exactly ideal. It is a very long and goofy looking link. There is no easy way to remember this link.
However, we have come to the rescue with 10+ third party services providing Google+ vanity URLs!
While all of the sites are very simple in design, I really like the layout of MyPlus.Name, and how it showcases where your Google+ ID is. I also like the domain name, which matters for URL shorteners, because that is what people will see when you access it. Here is what mine looks like:
Very simple, easy to follow, and easy to remember. It is perfect for sharing on forums, your personal site, Twitter, and any other avenue where you might promote your profile.
GPlus.to is by far the most popular option. It got a lot of coverage very early on, especially from bigger social media sites.
It allows you to create a “username” that you can copy and paste whenever you would like to share your Google+ profile. The format looks like the following: gplus.to/username
For example, here is mine: gplus.to/ciotti
The URL is nice, the process is simple, and it is a very recognized URL shortener for Google+ already. Since it is so widely used people will generally have no hesitation on clicking on it.
Overall a great choice to spread your profile with a brandable link.
Gl vanity url shortener for Google+ does pretty much the same function as the above 2 options (sensing an obvious trend here?) but with a different host domain name.
The site’s layout is just as clean an functional as the rest, so the real question here is which URL you like best to associate with your profile?
As an example, here is my profile again on this service: glpl.us/ciotti
The shortening service Plus.ly allows you to generate a branded URL by inputting just your profile number. So, for instance, to generate my http://plus.ly/ciotti shortlink, I had to input my profile number which is the 21 digit number before “/posts” in the URL. Sounds a bit confusing, but I’ve highlighted the section I mean:
I wanted to make clear the different input for the service above because our next service, ToPl.us uses the exact same method to generate your vanity URL. So to generate my short URL of http://topl.us/ciotti I input “113700089599268336343” as my Google ID. ToPlus also allows you to instantly share your newly created short URL to Twitter right after you create it, very convenient!
Our next service GPlusID.com follows a similar method of generating your vanity URL, and has been used by over 3000 Google+ users already! However, this service has some restrictions on your name that some of the others share:
- you cannot use any special characters or numbers
- there is a minimal length requirement
Since I have been using my last name for all of my examples, I’ve yet to run into a problem, and obviously didn’t have any issues on this service when I created http://www.gplusid.com/ciotti.
One thing I noticed that needed improvement is a way to instantly copy and paste your new name, it wasn’t available on this site.
I really liked the monochrome layout of the DirPl.us site, and it is one of the more intuitive options that makes creating a URL super easy. Although, maybe it’s just my immature sense of humor, but http://dirpl.us/ciotti is one of the goofier short URL names on this list, and it doesn’t make it exactly obvious to what I am linking you too.
On the flip side, GPlusNick.com makes it totally obvious as to what you are linking to! I have to admit, when I made http://gplusnick.com/ciotti it took the longest of all of the services listed here, although the text does highlight on click. Altogether it’s a very simple and well-designed page that does its job.
The SGPlus.me service is a URL branding app with a twist: it also is a free browser extension that once installed, allows you to post to all your social networks at once and even view them all in a single stream! You have to sign in with your Google Account, and you are also given the option to import your Facebook photos to Google+, making it really easy to jump ship and join the Google+ brigade .
Our last service Zipl.us, also comes with a slew of other goodies in addition to being a Google+ vanity URL service. One of the most awesome features is the ability to turn your Google+ stream into an RSS feed, making it shareable anywhere. On top of that, their Chrome extension promises to notify you so that you will never miss another Google+ alert, making staying updated from any webpage really easy.
11.) Use Your Own Domain
If you have your own website, you can use tools such as Pretty Link (if you are running WordPress) and create a vanity URL that contains your site name. For instance I’ve created (yet another) link to my personal profile using Pretty Link on this site:
This works out even better if you own your name as a domain name, because you can make a simple redirect for “www.yourname.com/something“, and have that instantly link to your Google+ profile using any number of link shortening tools (again, I would recommend Pretty Link).
Until Google roles out official vanity URLs for users, I feel that these branded vanity URLs will be essential to your Google+ marketing strategy, and I hope some of these options have been useful for you. You will have to decide which URL shortener’s name you like the most, and stick with it. That way, people who see your link will begin to recognize it, and so that will be easier for people to remember.
Are there any services out there that we haven’t mentioned? You can let us know by leaving a comment below.