Ever got irritated seeing a never-ending gibberish link? You are not alone.
Your followers equally detest their screens bleeding with clunky blue links. They might perceive them to be spammy.
Well, you can’t deny the fact that they do look fishy. As a result, your followers might scroll past your links, or worse yet, unfollow your page.
So how do you post links without risking your integrity? We have the perfect solution in store for you – URL Shortening!
What is URL Shortening?
Before jumping on to the shortening part, let’s first understand why it is so massive?
URL or “Uniform Resource Locator” turns out to store the exact address of a file on the internet.
You can implement the URL shortening technique to make those lengthy and complex links into something short, simple, and even meaningful.
And how do you shorten your links? Use URL shorteners. They help you to cut short your tedious-looking links into a click-worthy one.
You can even customize them by adding custom phrases to add more relevance. It can also provide a micro context to your link’s content. You can use these URL Shorteners to track vital metrics.
The benefits don’t just end here. Let’s have a look at a few more of them.
Importance of Link Shortening Tools
- Lengthy links not only look unappealing, but they also look suspicious. With so many numbers, letters, backslashes, a person is bound to stay away from that link. With a URL shortener, though, you can keep links short and trustworthy.
- Most social media platforms have a limit on the number of characters you can include in your posts. So, including a lengthy link would take up most character limits, leaving you with a compromised post caption.
- You can create custom-branded URLs with some tools. This becomes useful, especially when you want to share these URLs in flyers, posters, business cards, etc. It helps you spread the word about your brand.
- They are easy to read, and you can memorize and type them out for quick reference.
- You can track the performance of your links. It gives you information about who, when, where, how many, and other such metrics that can help you calculate your campaign’s ROI and understand how you can improve them.
3 Tips on How to Use Link Shorteners
- Make a custom short domain for all your shortened links
If you have a long brand name, adding that might be tough in those shortened links. One solution to that is to devise a custom short domain. Let’s say your brand is ‘The Shoe Company.’ Your customized URL can carry the word “tsc” instead of a lengthy brand name.
- Customize content based on specific information
If you’re sharing an article titled “5 ways to write content that converts” on Twitter, you can insert the shortened link and add information about your content in the brackets. For example, “the link address (write-content-that-converts).” This gives your audience an idea of what they’ll find when they click on your link.
- Make the link as memorable as possible
Avoid using a lot of different numbers or characters. Before putting the link out, ask yourself, “Would I remember this link address if I were caught up in traffic and couldn’t access the link in the present but would like to do so later?”Because the reality is that people are too busy. They might not get time to click on your link right now, but when they do get the time, if your link is memorable, they can access it right away.
Bitly is one of the URL shorteners that allows you to do a lot of things. You can shorten your URLs and see each link’s performance with various metrics like demographic data, click-throughs, and referral sources via its dashboard. This way, you can target your audience better and understand which campaigns are driving the most traffic.
- It lets you know from which social channel a person reached your link on and thus helps you track the social media platforms your links perform the best.
- You can optimize your links for both desktop and mobile, which helps in easy sharing on social media platforms.
- Bitly offers a free account to shorten your URLs and track general data.
It is super easy to shorten links using their UI and also offers insightful easy to comprehend analytics of how well your links are doing in terms of engagement.
- Several social media platforms do not accept links with Bitly, which could be a serious problem for the user.
- There is a lack of customer support which could make resolving the issues a little difficult.
The support was poor. There was a “forced” change of package that locked us from editing old links. Waiting for over a month for support to do something about it. No help was offered.
This link shortener tool is a part of the Hootsuite platform. Ow.ly is optimized for social media sharing, and you can track the link’s traffic along with a range of metrics, including device and traffic channel. It helps you measure your ROI for all the links you post on your social media platforms and the entire campaign.
- As it is a part of a social media management platform, Ow.ly allows you to shorten every link that goes on to your social media account.
- You can view the short link metrics alongside your other social media analytics, and thus you can analyze your performance holistically.
We use Hootsuite, and the ability to shorten links is really helpful.
- Many metrics don’t get you enough information.
- The price can be very high, especially for small businesses.
Let me first state that I am a 2x user. I tried Hootsuite in its infancy and then again about 8 years later. For me, the results were the same – not worth paying for. Hootsuite didn’t pull in enough information. The metrics were base level – anything I could have gotten from the actual social channel.
Sniply is a URL shortener tool with a twist. It not only shortens your link but every link that you share comes with a Call-To-Action (CTA) attached to it. It becomes an excellent way to advertise your website on every share. Not only that, it tracks the effectiveness of both the CTA and link so you can calculate your campaign’s ROI in one shot.
- Sniply has a browser extension feature through which you can integrate with your social media management tool and create Sniply links and CTAs within your social media platform.
- It provides metrics like bounce rate, average pages per visit, time spent on a page, etc.
We use Sniply for all our shared links. The analytics are super helpful in seeing how effective it is for us.
- There aren’t many customization options available in Sniply.
- Sniply doesn’t work with all websites, so that can be a little frustrating.
It doesn’t always work on all sites. Sometimes it just won’t be supported, but you won’t know until you’ve done all the work.
This is one of the unique link shorteners that allows you to do a lot of things. Rebrandly helps you to customize and brand your shortened URLs. You can set up a new domain name for short URLs or set up your current website domain name to use with short URLs. It integrates with over 50 platforms that help seamlessly distribute your links.
- With its social share feature, you can shrink links specifically for different social media platforms and also track these links to gauge their performance.
- They have many other tracking, scaling, and optimization tools in their variety of packages.
The basic essence of this service is great. Just when I wanted custom shortened links, I found Rebrandly, and as their name suggests, they help rebrand those boring shortened URL links to our custom URLs.
- The add-on costs for some features are high.
- To get the important statistics, you’ll need to see it for one URL at a time.
What one might consider “standard” features for this type of software, come with add-on costs to an already pricey base.
TinyURL is one of those URL shorteners that allow you to shorten your links with no difficult steps. It doesn’t need you to be an expert at things. You don’t even need to have an account or go through any complicated steps like having too many options on the dashboard. You can also add TinyURL to your browser toolbar and create shortened links for the site you’re currently on.
- Customization is possible without you having to log in, so whenever you’re in a rush, this feature could come handy.
- It is user-friendly, and anyone can learn how to use it.
TinyURL is a good link shortening service. You can use it directly without any sign-ups or even use their plugin to shorten any website you are on directly.
- The site doesn’t tell you whether the URL you have chosen is taken or not, and it just goes ahead and creates one anyway.
- It does not offer any analytical data, which makes it difficult to measure the performance of the link or the campaign.
Their homepage is still the same for years. Not that big of a deal, but a little re-design of the homepage wouldn’t hurt. Also, a lot of URLs are taken already so it is pretty hard to find a URL that is free from time to time.
Bl.ink is one of the robust link shorteners available on the net. It allows you to create custom links, but unlike the other tools, the custom links are created using relevant words and not just a random string of characters put together. You also get various analytic reports that allow you to track clicks by time, language, date, device, location, etc.
- The customer support is very responsive, and your queries can be solved quickly.
- The interface is easy to use and quite straightforward. It doesn’t have a steep learning curve like many other tools.
Very helpful and responsive customer support, easy URL builder, love the copy feature — greatly streamlines work. Just a nice, easy, elegant solution.
- There are not many customization options and analytics features.
- The tool is quite expensive for the features it provides. If combined with the other tools for social media management, the final figure can be quite unaffordable.
I wish more analytics were available through the software. Along with audience insights.
Bit.do has quite a simple website, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to know that this is one of those URL shorteners for social media marketing that is a simple and sweet tool that would meet all your needs. From shortening your links, generating traffic stats, customizing to having an automatic QR code generator, this tool has it all.
- You can customize the created link addresses instead of having to comply with those random numbers and letters.
- Characters that create confusion are automatically removed from the shortener algorithm.
Bit.do is an easy-to-use tool and serves all my business needs. It doesn’t get too complicated for my team to understand.
- The price is too high for the limited number of features it provides.
- Short branded domains are available, but the pricing is a lot more than the other tools, so it can turn out to be quite costly if that’s your goal.
I would like this tool to have more features than it currently has, as the pricing for this tool can be quite high for a small business like mine.
With Clkim you can set up a branded domain in 2 minutes. If you already have a domain, all you need to do is point your domain to their servers and begin building branded links. They also have smart redirects.
Based on contextual triggers, the URL redirects users based on geography or mobile operating system so they can access the site in a way that’s best for them.
- You can do destination A/B testing to learn which landing page performs better.
- Clkim offers retargeting based on the custom list of people who have clicked on your shortlist.
Solid URL shortener platform with features of retargeting. I’ve been using it for a while, and generally like it.
- The price can be too much for small businesses considering that they’d have to use other tools for their social media management needs.
Monthly fees and limited packages can limit the use of the software.
GoLinks is a top-rated link shortener that is known by various names. This super easy tool can shorten any link that is ready to be shared across all platforms. Its customized link shortener gives your links an easy-to-remember name that individuals and businesses can use. You can use the same in your emails, chats, conversations, and more.
- It has several roles and permission settings for small and big teams.
- The app is quite intuitive and delivers an excellent user experience.
- The setup process is easy and hassle-free.
The ability to just create a go link for any website in our company. So nice and easy! Saves so much time and is an easy way to get those on your team on the same page.
- Its autofill suggestion is pretty inaccurate.
- It also lacks the analytics that its competitors offer.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember the shortcuts. I wish there would be some sort of recommendation engine or “did you mean” engine that would trigger during common misspellings or close matches. They have a crude version of this, but it isn’t very robust.
As more content surfaces online, the trust factor seeps underneath. That’s why you need to tempt users to click on your content and not scare them away. A shortened URL is contextual and instrumental in making your audience believe that you care for their time.
Making use of link shortener tools can make your life easy and generate more traffic and engagement. Plus, the valuable tracking metrics can give you a crystal clear picture of what’s working and what’s not.
While there are various tools to try out for URL shortening, we suggest you try out SocialPilot. It is a social media management tool that integrates with top URL shorteners like Bit.ly, Sniply, and Rebrandly.
So when you are scheduling posts for your social media accounts, the never-ending URLs automatically shortens with the link shortener you choose to connect with.
That’s how you get two major solutions at the price of one! Check it out for yourself by activating its free 14-day trial period to explore more of such excellent features in a single dashboard!