What are URL Shorteners?
URL shorteners are tools that let you create unique, shorter links that redirect to a particular website or web page. They are often used when sharing links on social media or in emails.
Why Use a URL Shortener?
- Avoids Suspicious-looking Links: URL shorteners convert lengthy links into shorter ones. Long URLs can often look clunky and take up unnecessary space. For example, attaching a link to an email or a Twitter post may look too long and take the attention away from the content you want to share. Lengthy links may also seem suspicious to recipients, making them feel uncertain about clicking on them. A URL shortener will allow you to use shorter, cleaner-looking links along with your content. Since short links look sleek and friendly, people feel comfortable to click on them.
- Create Branded Links: Some URL tools allow you to create custom links using your brand’s name. To draw more attention towards your business, using a custom URL will help viewers identify your brand and be curious about what your link has to show them.
- Track Performance: Most URL shortener tools provide features that let you track your link’s performance. You can check how many times a link has been clicked, viewed, and shared, and you can also get to know the device and location where the clicks came from.
- Maintain Character Limit: URL shorteners help reduce the number of characters on a lengthy link, making it easier to share over social media. Social media platforms such as microblogging site Twitter have a character limit for a written post, requiring users to keep their content and links as sleek as possible.
How Does a URL Shortener Work?
URL shorteners help you create custom links that redirect to a specific website or web page. A link input in the browser sends an HTTP request to the target website. Both the shortened and lengthy links lead to the same website destination. Therefore, the new, shorter URL is a starting point for the target website.
11 Custom URL Shorteners for Tracking and Brand Awareness
- Bitly: It is one of the most commonly used URL shorteners that provides structured information on how a link performs. Bitly allows you to create a branded URL and QR codes, which makes it perfect for drawing attention to your business. Although you are required to pay for these features, it makes a good investment as you’ll be able to get an insight into how a potential audience responds.
- Pixelfy: The easy-to-use tool lets you create custom URLs for your brand and track link metrics to see responses and performance. It is a paid link shortener, but comes with a handy free trial so that users can navigate the tool and understand all the features before going for the paid version.
- Rebrandly: It lets you create custom URLs that you can easily promote on social media or other online channels. Branded URLs will help you promote your business, while you can also see link performance and response metrics. You can access the custom URL feature even with a free account.
- Hyperlink: It is a URL shortening tool that has a notification feature for each time someone clicks on your link. Hyperlink lets you track referral clicks, devices, locations, and much more. You can access the dashboard through a mobile app and Google Chrome extension. It means you can analyze your link performances from anywhere.
- Cuttly: It is a URL shortener that lets you create free, custom links without creating an account. However, you will need to sign up and create an account to view link metrics, such as the number of clicks, referral data, and other analytics.
- ClickMeter: A URL shortener tool that provides a clean dashboard to track link performance and responses. It also allows you to monitor broken links and latency. ClickMeter comes with reasonable paid plans, making it a good option for agencies and publishing houses.
- Bit.Do: It is one of the simplest URL shorteners that allows you to create custom links for your brand along with a QR code. It is a paid service, but it also comes with services such as link analytics so you can track your stats conveniently.
- Ow.ly: It is a valuable URL shortening tool with free and paid plans. You can choose according to your needs. Ow.ly provides detailed analytics to help you see your link’s performance and if you should make any changes.
- BL.INK: It is a URL shortener that caters to small businesses by offering four tiers of paid plans. Pick a plan that fits you best, depending on your needs. BL.INK lets you analyze link traffic, location-wise clicks, and other stats.
- Zapier: It is a URL shortening tool that lets you shorten links automatically whenever you perform a specific action. It comes with free and paid plans. You can try out the limited features before going for the paid version.
- Short.io: This tool can create target links for different locations or devices, like separate links for Android and iOS phones. It also provides features to track engagement analytics for all custom links created.
Best of Both Worlds!
URL shorteners are tools that make things easier and help brand recognition. They allow you to share your work and promote your business in a clean and friendly way so that people get more interested to learn what your brand has to offer. Go ahead, select a link shortener from our list of recommended tools, and start sharing your brand awareness.