When and Why Should You Use A URL Shortener

Long URLs can look quite confusing, difficult to copy, and suspicious. This is a problem that most social media users and other internet users face. They don’t want to click on anything that they don’t recognize. In addition, adding tracking parameters to your own website will deter visitors from visiting your site. URL shortener reduce long and spammy looking links into clear and concise links.

Social media websites also limit the number of characters that you can write in your posts. Twitter limits the number of characters to 280, and LinkedIn limits the characters to 600. So if you need to place a hashtag in your post, link shorteners will help you to stay within limits.

If you are using link shorteners on your website’s links, you can run analytics quite easily on your website’s links to see which ones are performing the best. You can use shortened variations of your URL to track the traffic on it. For example, you can create a shortened URL for Twitter, one for Facebook, and a third for Instagram.

Google realized that URL addresses were getting too long and unwieldy in 2009 and launched their application to shorten URL addresses. However, Google has stopped providing this service at the end of March 2018 and pulled the plug entirely in March 2019. Links will continue to direct traffic to the URLs after Google stopped the service.

You might be asking, ‘What are the best link shorteners available now and what are the differences between them.’ If you want to provide a link on your business card or in an advertisement, a long-winded URL address will not look good, and people won’t bother visiting them. That’s why you will need to use a link shortener.

Finding the Right URL Shortener

Today there are a number of websites that offer url shortener services. Finding the right URL shortener depends on your requirements. Some link shorteners just simply turn long links into short ones. The other more advanced ones will let you customize the link on the shortened URL address and display click-through rate on a dashboard and other relevant information, like who is visiting your website and which pages of your website are getting the most frequent clicks. Some also allow you to gather geographical data so that you can see from which geographical areas your website is getting the maximum traffic.

Most of the URL shortener service providers on the internet provide a free trial period. After that, you will need to pay for additional features like data analysis.

Types of URL Shorteners

Some URL shortener sites are designed to be used for business branding and tracking. There are quite a few link shortener service providers that provide these additional facilities. You should see what each one of them offers, before deciding which one to use. Depending on the size of your business, you can use a business-grade URL shortener or one for small businesses.

If you have the technical know-how, you can use an open-source facility to host your own URL shortener.

Some of the link shortener can be used for rebranding, be it a product of a person. These links are useful for creating links from all over the web.

Another type of link shortener allows you to create a short link that will never expire.


You should be careful in selecting the right URL shortener service to use. You must carefully study the services that they offer. If they only offer a one-off link shortener facility, you might use it if you want to shorten a link and send it to a friend by email or social media. Do check that the shortened link is pointing to the right URL.

A free URL shortener service that simply shortens the address and offers no other facilities will be useful for you to send URL shortened addresses to friends and colleagues on social media.

If you have a website and it has several pages and links, then you should consider getting a URL shortener, which provides extra facilities that will help you analyze your website and its performance better. These facilities will help you tweak your site and focus on improving the links on which the traffic is thin.

Yes, you will have to pay a premium to get these additional services. But this cost will be easily offset with improved traffic on your website.

Steve Max
Steve Maxhttp://www.webzando.com/
A long time digital entrepreneur, Steve has been in digital marketing since 2010 and over the past decade he has built & executed innovative online strategies for leading companies in car insurance, retail shopping, professional sports and the movie & television industry.


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