Already use Linktree? If yes, buckle in and feel free to skip to the next section!
Linktree is an easy-to-use tool that gives you a page with linked buttons to your creations (website, newsletter, blog posts, landing pages, merch, etc.) that you then pop into your link in bio across your social media accounts. It’s relatively customizable even on the free plan and it can directly collect payments.
Before we get into the cons, Linktree is a super simple way to showcase the most important things you’ve created and where you want people to go when they’re interested in more. If you don’t have a website, tools like Linktree are exactly what you need as a creator – and that’s awesome! You don’t need to worry about SEO in that case.
In fact, I’m a SEO & Blog Strategist and before I had this website, I used Milkshake as my business’s home base (it’s a better alternative to Linktree in my opinion!).
Yes and no. Linktree does have limited SEO settings on the pro and premium plans (as of April 2023). Directly from Linktree’s pricing page:
“Make your Linktree more discoverable on search engines, and determine how it looks when shared, with title tags and meta description.”
But this is a bit misleading because just customizing title tags and meta descriptions isn’t going to bring in organic (free) traffic from Google. It’ll help your Linktree show up on Google if people specifically search for your brand, but other than that, there’s not much SEO benefit.
In essence, the goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to make Google and other search engines love your website so much that they reward it with lots of valuable organic traffic.
If you have a website but you’re using Linktree as a link in bio tool, then Linktree is definitely harming your SEO. Let’s get into why next!
While Linktree is exactly what some creators need, for those with websites it does more harm than good.
Linktree makes you pay to add your own background images and videos, to remove their logo from your links page, and to choose your own button and font styles.
So if visuals and/or multimedia are essential to your biz, you’ll have to pay at least $5 USD per month (if month-to-month) to be able to get all the customization possibilities and at least $9 USD per month (if month-to-month) just to remove the Linktree logo.
Side Note: You also have to pay to be able to directly collect email list signups (important to know if you have a freebie/lead magnet or newsletter).
Did you know? It’s a small, positive signal to Google when you’re sending traffic from your social media accounts to your website. It shows people are finding value in your content and *based on anecdotal evidence* Google takes note of that when it’s in the process of building trust in your website.
“When people visit your Linktree and click onto your website, Linktree will be the one capturing the clicks, not your website. That quick and easy link in your bio is taking away traffic from your website!”
ProfileTree, an award-winning content marketing agency in Northern Ireland
Especially if you have a brand new or newish website, those positive signals in the early days can make a difference over time in how long it takes Google to start rewarding your website with valuable organic traffic (you know, the good stuff!).
Search engines like Google also appreciate positive engagement signals from actual website visitors. Longer time spent on your site and less leaving without doing anything are two super positive signals that’ll help your SEO in the long-run.
Linktree takes away valuable minutes and seconds that people would otherwise spend on your website. No doubt – you’ve worked extremely hard to get people interested enough so they click that link in your bio. Now, you wouldn’t want to freely give away some of the benefits of your efforts. And that’s why you always want to boost the time spent on your site, never decrease it.
Inside Google Analytics (a free website analytics tool), there’s a really handy way to see how people move throughout your website, from page to page.
First, open up your Google Analytics account (your Universal Analytics, aka UA). Then click on the Behavior tab that’s in the left-hand menu. Once the drop down opens up, click on Behavior Flow. Here, you’ll see the percentage of people who leave after visiting your most popular pages, the paths people take to explore your site, and more.
When you add Linktree to the mix, you don’t clearly see the conversion rates and drop off rates from your links page to all your other pages.
Back in July 2018, Instagram accidentally marked ALL Linktree links in bios as spam. Understandably, you can imagine the overnight uproar!
But because it was a mistake, Instagram was relatively quick to reverse that designation. And as of 2023, Linktree links in bios on Instagram are 100% OK to use.
Another huge social media platform that had a bad run-in with Linktree is Twitter. On December 18, 2022, Twitter decided to ban all links to other social media platforms (including Linktree and other link in bio tools).
After an outcry (rightly so), Twitter walked this back soon after their initial announcement. As of 2023, Linktree links in bios are 100% OK to use.
However, these actions are plain-as-day evidence that these huge social media platforms can ban competing tools literally overnight! It’s a decent-sized risk to put all of your eggs in the Linktree basket these days. It’s MUCH safer to simply use your own website; you have 99.99% of the control.
Obviously, Linktree is a company with profits in mind. That means they’ve designed their pricing to offer just enough good features for free that they’re more likely to secure your business when you want to upgrade and get more features and capabilities.
But you can get the same job done well (and for free!) with the website you already have (if you have one). And that brings us to the golden question: should you use Linktree or your own website?
Not to interrupt your reading/skimming, but have you seen this?!
It depends! If you already have a well-designed website up and running, definitely create your own links page as a part of your website! If you don’t currently have a website, using Linktree or another link in bio tool may be right for you right now – and that’s ok!
If that’s the case, try to set a goal of eventually switching over to a links page on your own website.
Creating a link in bio page on your website lets you fully customize and brand it, track anything you want, and send a bunch of positive signals to Google and other search engines for good SEO.
I’ve made the switch myself (from a link in bio tool to my own website), so I can personally vouch for it! Check this out for an example of a links page on an actual website (hint: it’s mine!).
There’s an almost endless amount of similar tools online! So these recommendations are the three best Linktree alternatives I’ve seen in my online business journey (since mid-2020) and I’ve seen a million by this point.
If you’ve read everything to this point, you’ll remember I shared that I used Milkshake while working on getting my own website up in the background – and so of course I’m excited to talk a bit about it below! Just FYI, these aren’t affiliate links.
Beacons.ai is a fully customizable, block-by-block link in bio and website building tool for creators. It’s used by all kinds of different creators: musicians, doctors, comedians, podcasters, businesses, and more. The free plan gives you everything you need to build and make money, but on a beacons.ai domain. That means you’re doing all the motions of building a website (planning, designing, etc.), but still not really building your own website – one that you own and control.
If you want to use your own custom domain, then you’ll need to upgrade to the entrepreneur level at $10 USD per month. It also comes with extra blocks, SEO features, advanced analytics, and you get to remove their beacons.ai branding. At $10 a month, it’s a relatively affordable website building platform that comes with digital store capability and its own advanced analytics (so all your essentials are in one place).
The Milkshake app is a fun take on your typical link in bio tool. It claims to be a website, but it’s not really a website. It’s actually a collection of cards you can create “pages” out of. There could be a Home card, About card, Services card, etc. It’s an app you download onto your phone – available in the Apple app store and Google Play store.
I loved that Milkshake comes with a bunch of creative templates and themed cards, so the branding and design across all your cards look similar. Plus the individual link tracking in the analytics was always helpful to see!
Because it’s not your typical link in bio tool, you need the two things any digital storefront needs – copy and appropriate, on-brand images. That means you’ll need to get those two things done before launching your Milkshake cards. Hear me out – your copy and images don’t need to be Amazon or Vogue level! As long as you answer who you are, what you do, who you help or create content/value for, and how people can contact you/work with you, then you’re all good!
The BEST part: you can use all the features for free! You’ll only have to pay $3 USD per month if you want to get rid of the Milkshake branded card that’s automatically the very last card in your collection of cards/pages. I didn’t mind the Milkshake card, so I was happy to use Milkshake for free!
Campsite.bio is your typical link in bio tool, but with some cool, unique features. The pro level has opt-in forms, advanced analytics, a custom domain, full customization, and integrations with a lot of popular tools, like ActiveCampaign and Spotify.
As your typical link in bio tool, it’ll mostly be found through direct searches so it doesn’t really matter if your campsite.bio has been fully optimized for search engines or not.
And of course, how do they make money? To remove the campsite.bio branding, you’ll need to upgrade to the $7 USD per month level (if month-to-month). That’s $3 USD less per month than beacons.ai ($36 less per year), but $4 USD more per month than Milkshake ($48 more per year).
If you’re just looking for the best free link in bio tool, I’d recommend Milkshake! But if you’re looking for the best link in bio tool for SEO, I’d recommend the entrepreneur level of beacons.ai!
Are you a Showit website owner still using Linktree? Check out this totally free links page template you can use for Instagram and other social media accounts! So you know, I’m not connected or affiliated to With Grace and Gold in any way – this freebie will just really help speed things along if you switch to using your website!
Apr 28, 2023
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