When you purchase a custom domain and add it to Bitly to brand your links, you should set up redirects for your root URL and unknown addresses that result in 404 errors. This will lead visitors back to your own website if they make a mistake entering one of your short links.
What is a root URL or 404 error?
A root URL is the first part of a web address, also known as the domain. Let's say a music business adds the custom domain rigby.com to their Bitly account. This address is also their root URL.
A 404 error occurs when someone enters a valid domain, but makes a mistake with the rest of the web address (the back half). So if the only short link the music business has created is erigby.com/ricedream, and someone enters erigby.com/peopledream, this would normally trigger a 404 error.
By setting up redirects for your root URL and 404 errors, you can choose where your web visitors will land in each situation. So, whether someone enters erigby.com or erigby.com/peopledream, the music business could direct visitors to https://www.yellowsubmarine.com instead of a generic Bitly page.
To set up a root or 404 redirect:
- Sign in to Bitly and click the settings menu.
- Make sure you have the correct group selected, and click Organization Settings
- Click Custom Domains.
- Click a domain name.
- Click Root & 404 Redirect.
- In the Root URL and the 404 URL fields, enter the full addresses where you would like visitors to be directed in each situation.
- Click Save.
Now your account is set up to redirect the root URL and 404 errors to your designated page.