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How to monitor PDF performance with bit.ly real-time analytics

    How to monitor PDF performance with bit.ly real-time analytics

    When a PDF file is shared on the internet without analytics to monitor its performance, we basically have just done half of the job.

    Research and creating the PDF file is the first half of the job; throwing the PDF into the internet black hole is not the other half.

    In fact, with a simple setup using any of the url shortener tools, we will have real-time access to PDF analytics that we can use to analysis the performance of the PDF file.

    How to track your PDF performance with bit.ly real-time analytics

    Follow the steps below and learn how we can easily track performance of PDF files hosted on Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive etc, by using real-time analytics from bit.ly, a link shortener service.

    1. Upload a PDF file to file hosting platform

    Once you have created the PDF file (do consider compress the file size and adding watermark to the PDF), you can upload the file to any file hosting platform like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive etc.

    Make sure the PDF file’s share access is set to open, so it is accessible to anyone who has the share link.

    2. Create bit.ly account

    Go to bit.ly and sign up for an account.

    While bit.ly has a free plan, please note you will need at least the Core plan ($8 / month) in order to access the analytics and reporting feature of bit.ly

    Once you have created an account and login to your bit.ly dashboard, copy your PDF share link (from your file hosting service like Google Drive) and paste it into bit.ly.

    This will let you create a short bit.ly link for your PDF file. If you are on their Growth or Premium plan, you can also create a short link with your own custom domain.

    4. Share the short link

    Now that you have your bitly short link ready, you can share the link on the internet. Some of the common place to share could be in your content updates (Youtube video, Twitter, Facebook posts); your social profile (Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok) or your link-in-bio tool (Link Tree).

    When anyone on the internet clicks on the short link, they will be 301 redirect to the actual PDF link hosted on the file hosting platform. In this process, Bitly will be able to capture the activity as part of the analytics.

    5. View PDF performance from bit.ly

    After you have shared the bitly on the internet, you may log into bitly’s analytics dashboard. From here, you will be able to see how your PDF file is performing in real-time with details like:

    • PDF file click count
    • Source of traffic by location (down to local city level)
    • Organic social share

    Conclusion

    With PDF being one of the most used and versatile medium on the internet, having direct access to PDF analytics will give you a leverage in designing and creating your future marketing and production activity.

    Simply by using any free file hosting service (like Google Drive, Dropbox) combining with link shortener service (like bit.ly), you will be able to create a powerful PDF setup that guide you further.