Trying to convince people to click on a long, confusing link is almost as bad as a door-to-door salesperson trying to sell financial services to people.
If your audience sees a link they perceive as spam in one of your social media posts, they’ll do the digital equivalent of slamming your door in their face, ignoring it.
To avoid being seen as spam or sloppy when you have a legitimate link to share, check out our list of the best link shorteners that will turn your links into clean, consistent, clickable URLs.
What is the link shortener?
A link shortener converts long links to simple, short URLs. For example, a link that says “example.com/acirmWb2-welcome-my-name-is-yara” would become “bit.ly/yara”. Some URL shorteners even offer branded link options. A branded link for this blog post might look like “hubs.ly/url-shorteners”.
What are the benefits of using link shorteners?
Shortening your links makes it easy to share them and track their performance. They are a great option for business owners, marketers, individuals, and anyone who wants to post easy-to-read and remember links.
URL shorteners benefit your brand in several ways:
Short links are easier to use.
When you post long links on social media, it can come across as spam or discourage users from clicking on something they don’t recognize. In particular, adding tracking parameters (such as UTM codes) to your links can result in URLs that appear long and confusing. Link shorteners can turn spam-like links into clear, easy-to-use links.
You can follow the analysis of your links.
Many link shorteners allow you to track your link performance and analysis, which can help you understand which pieces of content are performing best on specific platforms. Typically, you will be able to see the number of people who clicked on the link within a predefined period of time and where the most clicks are coming from.
You can include shortened URLs in your social posts.
Each social network limits the number of characters it can include in its posts. The most courteous character limits on Twitter and LinkedIn are 280 and 700 characters respectively, where sometimes you kiss the presser of an additional link or hashtag in one of your posts.
Shortened links do not need anchor text.
Anchor text refers to the hyperlinked word or phrase. Marketers use anchor text to optimize your link and make sure it points to the content the link leads to. If you add a URL somewhere where you can’t add anchor text (like in a social post or social media bio), you can choose to shorten the link and include the keyword in the slug .
Shortened URLs count as backlinks and improve your SEO.
Since shortened URLs are essentially 301 redirects, they count as backlinks because they always point to your website. Using a link shortening service improves your SEO by giving you the ability to link your blog posts and pages to more places.
Best Custom URL Shortener: Top Picks
|Name||Price||Custom Domain||AB Testing||Pixel Tracking||Link|
|Bitly||Free + Premium Plans||Yes||No||No||https://bitly.com/|
|Rebrandly||Free + Premium Plans||Yes||No||No||https://www.rebrandly.com/|
|Short.io||Free + Premium Plans||Yes||No||Yes||https://short.io/|
|Linkly||Free + Premium Plans||No||No||No||https://linklyhq.com/|
|BLink||Free + Premium Plans||Yes||No||No||https://www.bl.ink/|
|T2mio||$5/month to $89/month||Yes||No||No||https://t2mio.com/|
Best Link Shortener / URL Shortener in 2021
If you need a URL shortener that emphasizes your brand first, check out Short.io. With Short.io, you can create, customize, and shorten links using your own domain.
Creating and following branded URLs has never been easier, and Short.io has a huge library of tutorials to guide you through every part of the platform.
Analyzing and tracking your links is an important feature that Short.io does incredibly well. Its click feature works in real time with tracking data for each click, including: country, date, time, social network, browser, and more. By clicking on the ‘statistics’ tab, you can also view your data with easily digestible charts, tables and graphs.
Small and large companies are not forgotten, with your team functionality, you can add Short.io users as team members within your plan (Team / Enterprise plan only). You can assign roles to your team members, such as owner, administrator, user, and read-only. Depending on the role you assign, each team member will be allowed to view and perform a specific selection of tasks.
One particularly useful feature is the ability to drive traffic to different pages on your site based on your geographic location. This is how Panasonic uses Short.io.
Price: Free plan with limited functionality. Paid plans starting at $ 20 / mo, a 17% annual discount is available.
Bitly is one of the most popular URL shorteners. And one of the reasons for this is that it doesn’t require an account to use it. Also, you can create as many short links as you want.
With Bitly, you can monitor link clicks, clicks on locations, and even top referrals. This is great for fine-tuning your campaign efforts and sharing your content where it is most likely to be seen and interacted with. And if you want to further optimize your marketing efforts, you can integrate Bitly with Zapier and automate other Zapier-compatible tools.
Every link you create with Bitly is encrypted with HTTPS to protect against manipulation by third parties. In other words, your target audience will never have to worry that their short links have been hijacked and taken elsewhere.
And if you want, you can create QR codes, use mobile deep links to direct the right people to the right content at the right time, and replace the “bit.ly” part with your own branding.
Price: Free to use without an account. To make creating and managing links easier, please create a free account. If you need a custom domain and more branded links, premium plans start at $ 29 / month.
TinyURL is one of the more outdated URL shorteners on this list, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the impact some website owners need.
For starters, this online tool is very easy to use. Just enter the URL you want to shorten and you’re good to go, now it’s small for you. And to make things even easier (I’m not sure that’s possible!), You can add TinyURL to any browser for easy access and shortening links faster.
Your shortened links never expire, so you never have to worry about broken links in the future. In other words, your content will be available to users forever. And if you are concerned about the brand, don’t be. There is a private label feature that allows you to change the end part of your shortened URLs before posting them anywhere.
Price: FREE for everyone!
Rebrandly is the type of URL shortener that is perfect for customizing and marking URLs to establish a recognizable business in the digital sea of competition.
It starts with helping you set up your site’s domain name so that you can use it with every short link you create. But more than that, it comes with features like:
- Link Management – Create quick redirects, QR codes, link expirations, and custom URL slugs for the best user experience. Also, you can link in bulk to save time.
- Traffic Routing – Take advantage of link retargeting, emoji links, SEO 301 redirects, and mobile deep links to get the right people accessing your links.
- Analytics – Use the UTM builder, enjoy GDPR privacy, create custom reports to improve campaigns, and even add your company logo to reports to show customers the power you have to help them grow their business and expand your audience.
- Domain name management – Add multiple domain names, encrypt links with HTTPS, and configure parent domain redirection.
- Collaboration: Include your team in shortening links, enable two-factor authentication, track activity logs, and configure user access.
Price: There is a limited free plan and premium plans start at $ 29 / month if you want to access advanced features like bulk link building, link retargeting, and team collaboration.
Tiny.CC is another free link shortener that allows you to create temporary short links by simply pasting your long link into a text box and hitting shorten. Like TinyURL, you can also customize the slug.
If you sign up or become a paid subscriber, you may have links that do not expire and change the URLs later. If you are a free user, the link will eventually expire and you will not be able to edit it once generated. While this is the most limited tool on this list, it is also the easiest to use.
It has the added advantage of having a short domain name. Consider the difference between “TinyURL.com/example” and “Tiny.CC/example”. Although the number of characters is not that different, the shortened Tiny.CC URL seems much more concise and abbreviated.
Quick and easy link shortening. If you’re interested in more robust features, you can upgrade to one of Tiny.CC’s premium plans.
Prices: Free; $ 5 / month (basic); $ 25 / month (Business); $ 44 / month (Pro); Custom (Company)
Once you’ve mastered shortening your URLs, you can also consider a similar QR code creation process, which acts as a shortcut to your website, but from printed materials.
As one of the most robust link shorteners, Bl.INK offers smart brand links that contain relevant words and not just a random string of characters.
It also provides analytical reports that can track clicks by date, time, language, credentials, device, and location. The tool integrates with web analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Adobe.
Bl.INK offers five subscription levels. Starting at $ 48 per month, your plans are priced based on the number of links you want to create and follow.
Commercial companies with an established link shortening strategy. That way, you can use its plethora of features right out of the box.
Price: $ 48 / month (Expert +); $ 99 / month (PME); $ 299 / month (equipment); $ 599 / month (Business); Custom (company)
T2M is another full-service link shortener that comes with a panel full of link activity and stats that you can analyze. Plus, you can create custom branded links that never expire, bulk link to save time and effort, and share social media links with just one click.
Other cool features of T2M include:
- Target geographic locations with your links
- Password protected URLs
- Unlimited link building and tracking statistics
- Ads and spam are not allowed
- User-friendly control panel with search function for easy link management
- Free SSL Certificate Let’s Encrypt
- 404 redirects
- Integrated GDPR privacy
- CVS import and export tool
Price: The basic plan requires a $ 5 start-up fee, and then it’ll be free forever with monthly link building and tracking limits. Premium plans start at $ 9.99 / month to access advanced features.
Yourls, which stands for “your own URL shortener,” is another open source, self-hosted link shortener, much like Polr. That said, in order to use this tool, you will need to install and run it on your own server, which makes it very different from other URL shorteners on this list.
Some of the best features of Yourls include:
- Create public and private links
- Statistics such as clicks, referrals and geolocation reports
- Sequential or custom created links
- Sample files to create your own public interface
- Additional features accessible via plugins
- Bookmarks for easy shortening and sharing
- Although you will install and run this URL shortener yourself, it was designed to be lightweight and not bloated, so it never strains your server’s resources.
Choosing the best URL shortener for you
It is important to remember that not all URL shorteners are the same.
If you just want a free URL shortener, Short.io is your best option. Their free plan is great, but it’s great for corporate clients too.
For casual users who need a quick and easy link shortening solution, consider TinyURL.
And there you go! The best URL shorteners available right now. And the best part is, whatever your link shortening needs are, there is a tool to meet them.
Whether you are looking for a feature-rich tool, a free URL shortener, or an alternative to Google’s URL shortener that is no longer available, you will find something here that meets your needs.
Link shorteners allow you to place a link in places with a limited number of characters and space. By using a URL shortener, you can ensure that your site is viewable on all platforms it is on, increasing referral traffic and increasing the leads from your marketing efforts.Feel free to share your suggestions and comments below.
How do I shorten a URL for free?
You can shorten a URL by using an URL shortener website, which will shrink your URL for free.
Here’s how to shorten a URL.
1. Copy the URL you want to shorten.
2. Open Bitly in your web browser.
3. Paste the URL into the “Shorten your link” field and click “Shorten.”
4. Click “Copy” to grab the new URL
Does Google have a URL shortener?
Simply visit goo.gl, sign-in and then create a shortened link by pasting your target URL into the box and clicking the SHORTEN URL button. This will generate your shortened link and add it to your library of previous ones
Is bitly a virus?
Bitly is a legitimate online service that shortens the size of URLs making them easier to share elsewhere. Unfortunately, scammers behind spam text messages and fraud attempts abuse this tool to mask the links to their websites that have just one goal—to steal your money or private information
How do I shorten a URL in bulk?
To shorten links in bulk:
1. Log in to Bitly.
2. Click Create.
3. Click Bulk import URLS from CSV.
4. Click the template link to download the template for your CSV file. …
5. Note the column names in the file.