If you’re a digital marketer or promote your business/brand online, there’s a good chance you’ve already ventured into the world of link shorteners.
Shorter URLs save space, taking up far less room on marketing communications and making everything look a little tidier, but there’s more to it than that. Many link shorteners on the market also enable users to track short URLs for better measurement of marketing activities.
Link shorteners and URL tools tend to fall into two general brackets: basic shortening with no added options or shortening with added analytics. As an example; you may have the option to change the text contained in your mini URL to make it more personal to your business (a good option for offline activities too, a customised URL looks far better on leaflets and business cards), or you may be provided with access to more advanced features such as online traffic data and analysis.
Google is ending support for its popular URL Shortener, in favour of Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). As a result, more established and newer tools are contending to grab the top spot, as marketers seek out other options. If you’re struggling to choose, we’ve put together a list of tools to consider and their main selling points (in no particular order!):
Tiny URL is considered by many to be the original URL shrinker, starting life way back in 2002. Users rave about the simplicity – simply copy a long link into a box on the TinyURL webpage and… it’s little! No frills attached.
Selling Point: A very quick and simple process for users preferring an easy solution. Read more…
bit.do is a simple but effective link shortener. With speedy shrinking, a minimally fussy interface and customisation enabled at the ends of links. Basic statistics such as views, clicks and referrer sites can be viewed on link performance when users type a dash “-” at the end of the short link in a browser bar.
Selling Point: A very simple, easy to use link shortener with basic analytics. Read more…
Bitly is still one of the most popular link shorteners, sprouting to life back in 2008. With the free sign up option you can get access to instant tracking, basic link statistics and the ability to customise “vanity” links. For advanced analytics, including reporting and unlimited custom branded links, the Enterprise option is your best bet.
Selling Point: A good option for marketers wanting to delve further into analytics. Read more…
Another popular tool, Buffer enables social media post scheduling with automatic link shortening. Users can manage up to 3 social media accounts/up to 10 posts per account, per month with the free sign up option or opt for paid options, staggered depending on usage requirements.
Selling Point: A good all-round solution with scheduling and basic analytics for social media management. Read more..
With free sign up to the Hootsuite dashboard (the tool was originally available to all, however, the service has since been internalised in a security move), users gain unlimited access to the ow.ly link shortener, with paid plans available on various pricing levels for extended features.
Selling Point: A good for users looking for a social media scheduling tool with added analytics. Read more…
Beacon is a short link generator and campaign management tool designed to help marketers manage and measure multiple online channels in one place. An all-round digital marketing solution, the comprehensive dashboard lets users track analytics including visitors, length of stay and bounce rates. KPI monitoring features are also built in.
Selling Point: A great solution for digital marketers seeking advanced analytics on their short links. Read more…
is.gd offers custom shortened URLs and statistics with a simple, easy to use interface. It’s also quick – a study by Techcrunch.com ranked the tool high in both speed and reliability, with an average load time of 163 milliseconds.
Selling Point: A simple, no fuss tool for marketers wanting a quick solution. Read more…
Adfly is the most unusual offering on the list, enabling users to register for an account, and then get paid a small amount for any links created using the tool. Each link shows statistics so users can see at a glance the amount they have earned (a tiny amount generally speaking), referring URLs and countries.
Selling Point: A simple interface and novel idea with payments. Read more…
We hope you’ve found this blog helpful in your quest to find the right link shortener. Do you have a favourite tool that’s not included? We’d love to hear your feedback!