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Have you ever copied a link from a website, paste it on social media or any other platform, and immediately realized how much of an eyesore it was? Well, most links are absurdly long and feel hefty.
This is why URL shorteners exist. As the name suggests, URL shortening tools make long URLs shorter and more user-friendly. Interestingly, they shorten the URLs and still lead you to the same pages.
You copy the long URL, paste it into the shorter in the provided field, activate the “shorten URL” button, copy the generated URL and paste it to a destination of your choice.
There are several link shorteners; some are paid for and others free, but they essentially do the same job.
What are the Benefits of Using URL Shorteners?
1. They Make your URLs Shareable
Don’t underestimate shareable content. Shorter URLs are easier to share compared to long ones. When you post content, you expect your audience to share it.
While some people use the share buttons to share content with friends and other interested parties, others will simply copy and paste the URL. Make sharing easy by making your URLs less bulky.
2. Higher Click-Through Rate
People prefer to interact with shorter links to the long ones. Short links are more attractive and will motivate the users to click, increasing the click-through rate.
3. Increased User Trust
Ridiculously long URLs with many characters usually appear spammy. If your target audience comes across long URLs, they are likely to ignore them.
You can increase user trust in your URLs by shortening them. URL shorteners make your URLs clean, readable, and less confusing. Users can also easily tell what your page is about with fewer characters through keywords included in the characters.
4. Analytical Data
Another outstanding benefit of URL shorteners is that most give users valuable analytical data on your links.
Tracking different metrics of your links goes a long way in identifying engagement patterns that can help you point out what your audience wants. Some metrics include follows, shares, comments, and likes, whose data can help your digital marketing team develop strategies that will work for you.
5. Shorter URLs Are Easy to Replicate
While most users will leverage the copy and paste features, in some situations, they may have to type the URL into a message, especially if they want to share it using a different device from the one they are reading from.
It is less frustrating, and you are less likely to make errors when typing a short URL.
Best URL Shorteners
Here are some of the best URL shorteners.
Bitly is listed as one of the most popular easy-to-use URL shorteners. It is a business-grade and full-service software ideal for large businesses that share many links. The Bitly link software is also suitable for small-scale users, and one of the reasons that make it so popular is that you don’t need to create an account if you use it to shorten links once in a while.
Bitly comes with additional analytics features that allow you to monitor and track top referrers, click locations, shares, and link clicks, to mention a few. This gives you access to valuable data which you can use to refine your marketing strategy.
When shortening URLs with Bitly, you don’t have to worry about the interference of third parties who may redirect your visitors. This is because links created are encrypted using HTTPS to prevent interception by third parties. Bitly URL shortener free version comes with the possibility to shorten your links, but the paid version has more advanced options.
Tiny URL shortener helps you shorten long URLs into useable and manageable links. It comes with free (URL shortener free) and paid plans that have additional features like URL editing, link tagging, and unlimited tracking, to mention a few.
The shortening process is straightforward; you must paste your URL in the TinyURL box, click on the “Make TinyURL” button, and get your alias. The best part is you can do all this without even registering.
You can also get detailed stats on the URLs you have shortened. TinyURL will be ideal if you are looking for a tool that can shorten your links fast and help you create branded and customized links.
Rebrandly is loved for its advanced URL shortening technology and multiple outstanding features. The tool will not disappoint you whether you want to create branded or short links.
Most people use the URL shortener also to build and share links across different social platforms. You can also use the tool to create separate teams and workspaces for link building and sharing.
Additional features digital marketers particularly enjoy are, link retargeting support, click tracking, creation of bulk links, and custom reports. The tool can also be integrated with over 100 applications.
Rebrandly also comes with different plans to suit your link management needs. The link shortener free plan comes with 500 links and 5000 click tracking a month. The paid plans come with additional features and support.
ClickMeter is valuable to agencies and advertisers as a click-rate optimizer. While the tool’s primary use is to optimize click rates, it does a great job in URL shortening. The benefit of using ClickMeter as a URL shortener is the additional features that can take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.
We are talking about Google Analytics, link tracking, geotargeting and device-based targeting, and clone links.
If you are a webmaster, ClickMeter will work well for you as you can integrate the tool with various content management systems like Shopify and WordPress. It also features a dashboard that provides you with detailed reports.
Long URLs are not appealing and can limit your digital marketing strategy. URL shorteners provide an easy and cost-effective way to create cleaner, memorable and user-friendly URLs.
URL shortening tools are not created the same and come with different features. To pick the right software, identify your link management needs and choose a shortener that will meet them. Ease of use and analytics features are some of the essential elements to keep in mind.
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