URLs are typically long and clunky, which is pretty annoying. The usual internet address is too long to enter by hand, and URLs appear ugly when written in a post. In addition, posting long links on microblogging sites, including Twitter and Tumblr, can use up most of your character limit.
These are some of the reasons why short URL generator is so popular. They allow you to take a long and inconvenient URL and turn it into a short and snappy web address with only a few clicks. When you shorten URLs, the provider will automatically redirect your abbreviated URL to the full-length website address. The user who clicks the abbreviated URL does not need to be aware that it has been shortened; it occurs automatically.
However, the reason why link shortener is increasingly becoming popular is not limited to shorten URL. Many link shortener services are now packed up with robust and beneficial features that can help you leverage your marketing. And can now offer many benefits to their users. Continue reading to discover more reasons why you should shorten URLs.
Why do you have to shorten URLs?
Many people, including proprietors, are still hesitant to use short URL generator. People initially think that a short URL generator only helps them in generating short and compact URL slugs, which is untrue. Here are some of the reasons why you should condense your URLs.
- Increased Audience Trust
Sites with lengthy URLs loaded with nonsensical character combinations appear spammy. And so, if you include a shorter and tidy link in your posts, your audiences are more likely to trust the credibility and authority of the landing page you shared. In addition, if your short slug is branded or customized, your post also helps you introduce your brand by giving its much-needed exposure. Hence, shortening and branding URLs is very advantageous for small and new businesses.
- Sharing Is Easier With Shorter URLs
Your audience will be able to share your work more conveniently if you use short URLs. Consider this: if your URL is long and complicated, it will appear strange if shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, or in an email. Not to mention the fact that it is not memorable. On the other hand, short URL slugs are more worthy of sharing since they are compact and do not consume too many characters. In addition, short and memorable can also be spread through word-of-mouth. They are easy to pronounce and easy to memorize.
- Customized Short Links are Aligned with User Expectation
You can also customize the back half of your links so you can connect them to the content of your landing page. For instance, if your landing page contains deals and special offers, you can customize the path of your link as “your.domain/deals” or “your.domain/special offers”. If the audience already knew where the link will redirect them or what content they should expect, they will most likely click the link. To put it simply, aligning your links to the type of content of your landing page helps you earn the trust of your audience and increase the clicks and engagement you can generate. Just to clarify, most links shorteners only allow you to customize your link with their subscription plans.
- It is More Convenient to Track Short Links
Shorter links are easier to track. Most link shortening services record the engagement a short link generates. This statistical record is then rendered to you, so you can use it to learn your audiences’ activity. Some of the vital information you can learn through these statistics is the demographic profile of your interested audience, from what platform they are from, what time they click your links, and more. This data helps you elevate your marketing plan as you now have a clearer vision of whom to target, where to share your links, which campaign generates more revenue, and what time you should post your adverts.
- It Generates More Clicks and Leads
If you add up the first four benefits, it will lead you to generate more clicks and leads. The audience trusts shorter links, so they are enticed to click on them if they are interested. In return, it generates more clicks, which then become your lead. If the visitor ends up leaving your website without doing anything or purchasing anything, you can retarget them by sending them advertisements. It will help you drive them back to your website and buy something.
Now that you already know how beneficial link shortener services are, you may want to know the best link shortener services you can use. Read on to discover the five best link shortening services and how you can shorten URLs using them.
Top 5 Best Link Shorteners and How to Shorten URL Using Them
Here are our five best link shorteners you can use. This list also includes a step-by-step tutorial on how you can shorten URL using each service. Note that the list does not rank the following tools.
Bitly is a popular and powerful short URL generator tool. Bitly (previously Bit.ly) is a link shortening service with a comprehensive dashboard that includes click-through rates and channel information, as well as performance insights for your links. It also shows the geographical location of folks who have followed your links. Small businesses will benefit from Bitly's free membership, which gives 1,000 unbranded links and 30 days of link reporting.
You may also make branded links with the software. It connects with social media management systems, allowing you to distribute your shortened links throughout your social media networks efficiently. Notably, you can customize and brand your link with their premium subscription. Its premium package includes all of the above data and KPIs and the ability to brand 10,000+ links every month. This membership class is for large companies who want to brand and track every link in their marketing efforts.
Bitly is ideal for individuals as well as small and medium-sized businesses. It has the advantage of being accessible and adding custom slugs, making it suited for both personal and commercial use.
Here are some of the other features Bitly’s premium plan offer.
- Customize domain
- Analytics dashboard
- Audience Intelligence
- Customize URL
- Integration with Zapier and TweetDeck
- URL retargeting
Here is the step-by-step process on how you can shorten URL using Bitly.
1. Copy the URL of your chosen landing page.
2. Open Bitly in your web browser.
3. Paste the URL into the "Shorten your link" field, then select "Shorten."
4. Click "Copy" to grab the new short URL.
Hero.link is another excellent link shortener for enterprises. It's an short URL generator platform specially built to aid e-commerce in leveraging their marketing campaigns. Click-through rate, social media data, and audience retargeting are just a few of the link shortener capabilities available on Hero.link to help you make the most of your marketing plan.
In addition, this platform also allows you to shorten a URL for free. You just need to create a free account. You can also brand and customize your URL slugs through their subscription plans. Besides branding and customization, among the notable premium features of Hero.link are campaign and link rotator, campaign tracking, and social media statistics. They offer three premium packages: the individual, business, and unlimited plan. For websites expecting large numbers of clicks and usually generating numerous links, it is best to subscribe to the unlimited plan. This plan allows you to generate links and track an unlimited number of clicks each month.
In addition to the mentioned features above, here are other great features Hero.link’s premium plans offer.
- Smart Targeting
- Custom Aliases
- QR Code Generator
- Bio Profiles
- Developer API
- Event Tracking
- Branded Domains
- Campaigns & Link Rotator
Here is a detailed tutorial on how you can shorten your links using Hero.link
- Log in or create your free account.
- Copy the URL of your landing site.
- Paste the link you want to shorten into the “Paste your long URL” field.
- Then, click the “Shorten” button.
- Click “Copy” to get your new short URL slug.
While Rebrandly, like all of the other platforms on our list, is a superb URL shortener and has a distinct appeal. Rebrandly thinks that personalizing links to information that references them from all over the web adds value to brands, whether they are products or people. Their free plan includes five unique domains, allowing you to personalize the entire short URL rather than just the final half.
Rebrandly also offers tools for measuring the engagement of each link, as well as information on who is clicking on them and the creation of automated QR codes. You're restricted to 500 total branded links and 5,000 monitored clicks each month on the free plan, but that's enough if you're just getting started.
Rebrandly also provides additional features like link retargeting support and establishing distinct workspaces and teams, making it the finest URL shortener for teams.
Here are some of the distinct features Rebrandly offers.
- Bulk link creation
- UTM parameters
- API access
- 100+ app integrations
- Emojis on short links
- Rapid auto-scaling servers
- Private reporting
- Custom reports
- Click tracking
Here is the process on how you can shorten your link using Rebrandly.
- Sign in to your Rebrandly account
- Click ‘new link.’
- Then, paste the URL you want to shorten
- Decide which domain you want to use
- Customize the slash tag.
- Click ‘create link.
BL.INK is a full-featured URL shortener that can be used to shorten lengthy URLs and track the traffic generated by your connections. It has a dashboard that displays trending links and essential information and an analytics page that allows you to look at traffic by device, location, and referrers. You may also filter clicks based on the time of day. Tags, which you may apply to your shortened links, allow you to see your link traffic in new and unique ways, making them ideal for campaign tracking and coordination.
BL.INK has four premium tiers to provide small businesses, teams, and enterprises with a range of alternatives based on the number of links they need to establish and manage. Users with a free account may create 1,000 active links, track up to 1,000 clicks per link, and build branded links with a custom domain. BL.INK is one of your best alternatives if you're a business needing a full-service URL shortener, and Bitly's enterprise-grade package sounds excessive.
Other than those mentioned, here are the other notable features BL.INK can offer.
- Link Management
- QR Code Support
- UTM Campaign Builder
- Mobile Deep Link Support
- Custom Keywords
- Clicks Tracked/Link
- Custom Home Page Redirect
Here is how you can shorten links using BL.INK
- First, log in to BL.INK
- At the top of the dashboard, click the arrow and select your preferred domain from the list.
- Select New Link.
- Paste the long URL of your destination page into the first text field. In the second field, BL.INK will generate a keyword
- Click Save.
- Your new link is ready to be shared!
TinyURL is a free short URL generator tool established in 2002. It is a tool that can help you generate shortened links in an instant. The short links may be generic, but they do not expire. The tool is easy to use can generate unique shortened links quickly. For a good reason, TinyURL is still one of the best link shortener platforms. You can also customize the back half of your links for free using TinyURL.
Although you don't need an account to use TinyURL, you can see a history of all your shortened links if you create one. If you want features like tracking and analytics, customized domains, and the option to modify where each TinyURL travels, you may upgrade to a subscription account.
Here are the other features TinyURL offers.
- Fast redirection
- Option to customize the shortened URL
- Anonymous usage
Here is how you can shorten your links using TinyURL.
- Copy the link of your destination page.
- Then, paste the link on the box.
- Customize the back half of the URL.
- Click “Make TinyURL.”
5 Best Tips and Tricks in Shortening Your URL
Once you shorten your links, you’re already a step ahead of the competition. However, you can further elevate your marketing by following these five best tips and tricks in Shortening your URLs.
Use Branded Domains for Your Short Links
Typically, short links use the domain of the link shortener platform in your shortened links. However, you can decide on your own domain to use in your short links. You can create a domain that will match your brand or company profile. It will help you embed your enterprise’s identity to all the links you share. For instance, Starbucks uses sbux.co as their domain which gives the audience a hint that the link will redirect them to a webpage of Starbucks.
Using branded domains can offer you many benefits. Here are some of the benefits branded domains can offer you.
- Increased brand exposure and trust. Every time you share a link on a social platform is an opportunity to expose your brands online. You can take advantage of it by branding your links. Instead of using a generic domain, use a branded unique domain to help the audience recognize you easily. Since the domain gives the audience a clue to where the link came from, people trust them more than generic short URLs.
- Higher click-through-rate. Since the audience trusts branded links, they tend to get more clicks from the audience. Hence, branded links are more effective in increasing referral traffics and exposure to your content.
Customize the Back Half of Your Link
Attaching your brand to the domain is strong in and of itself, but you can also tweak your link’s back half or path to improve it even more. You can use a clear call-to-action path like /donate, /invest, or /avail-now, or you can employ memorable keywords to help people remember your links. Customizing the path of your link is especially useful for offline marketing. Users can conveniently put branded and customized links into their web browsers since they are easier to type.
You may also customize the back half of your links to match your deals and products. For instance, your company has added a new function to its website. To make your audience aware of your new service or product, you might utilize the name of the new feature as the back half of your link. The same may be said about your other services and goods.
Customizing the back half of your short URLs also helps you in gaining the trust of your audience. If they are interested in the content on your landing page, people are more likely to click the link. It works by giving them a hint to where they will be redirected and what content they should expect.
Generate QR Codes for Offline Campaigns
When it comes to printed adverts, QR code is the best redirecting technique a marketer can employ. It is because QR Codes allow offline adverts to be somehow interactive. QR Codes are paper-based hyperlink that connects the physical world to the online world. Yes, the audience still can’t click them, but they can automatically scan the code to be redirected to the requested destination page. Employing QR codes increases the chance that the audience will visit your webpage.
Here are the other advantages of utilizing QR Codes in Offline Marketing.
- QR codes can be used as Call-To-Action.
- They promote sharing and networking.
- They optimize your SEO
- You are free to be creative in creating QR Codes.
- They are suitable in printed materials than links.
Compare Similar Deals Using Short Link Rotator
Before implementing a deal, you can test them first with the help of your link shortener platform. Link rotator is a specialized short URL that redirects users to a different landing page. By sending an equal amount of traffic to two or more destination pages, proprietors can determine which deals will generate more revenue or which campaign drives the visitors to do a pleasant activity.
Besides allowing you to test deals and campaigns, Using a link rotator also offer you the following advantages.
- Track your conversions. The use of a link rotator allows you to measure the success of your links, which is vital for landing pages, opt-in forms, and other applications.
- Interaction with your audience. This form of passive interaction has its own set of benefits: a better user experience. Based on how your users interact with your website, you may then optimize these features.
- Determine and revive ineffective landing pages. Regardless of their performance, you can ensure that all landing page receives equal exposure by rotating your links. It will help you determine the landing pages that are not working, which you can further enhance and optimize.
Link rotator is a powerful A/B testing tool that can help you maximize your revenue through your deals and adverts. It ensures that you invest in the best campaigns that can give you the ideal return on investment.
One of the best practices in shortening your links is tracking the performance of your links. Link shortener platforms record the data of the click generated by your shortened links, which you can access through your dashboard. Recorded data typically includes the following pieces of information.
- The demographic profile of those who show interest in your website
- The time they clicked the link
- Which link generated the most clicks
- Which sharing platform did they come from
These pieces of information are essential in your next marketing step. It will give you a clearer vision of whom to target, where to target them, and what type of content to send them. In return, you can maximize your conversion rate and return on investment. In addition, tracking your links enables you to optimize your website depending on how visitors interact with your website. And so, you can further ensure that you are investing in campaigns and deals that are effective and can elevate your revenue.
Notably, a premium subscription is required to access tracked link analytics alongside other rich data and handy features. Hero.link is one of the best link shortening services that provide accurate information about the performance of your shortened links.
Besides using your link shortener service’s built-in link tracking feature, you can also track your links by adding UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters to your links. UTM is a short code that you include in your URLs that allows you to track the social media success of your links. Using UTM parameters in your links will help you see how many new page views and unique visitors came in through those parameters through Google Analytics. You can also compare results to determine which campaign has a higher conversion rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about short URLs answered.
Why are link shortening services used?
Initially, people used link shortening services to shorten long and clunky links, taking up fewer characters when shared on microblogging sites like Twitter. However, link shortening services are now more evolved and can offer many features to help people get the most out of their shared links. In fact, marketers and proprietors are encouraged to use links shortening services since short links are highly beneficial in marketing. The key benefits of using link shortening services include a higher click-through rate, offline campaign suitability, link tracking capability, and more.
How do you shorten URL?
First, go to www.hero.link. Then log in to your account. If you are a new user, you can create an account for free. You can instantly create an account by signing up using your Google or Facebook Account.
Once you’re already logged in, you can proceed by copying the long URL of your destination page.
Then, paste your long link into the “Paste your long URL” field.
Click the “Shorten” button. And the platform will automatically create a unique short URL that will redirect the users to your landing page.
Click “Copy” to get your new short URL slug. Now, your link is ready to share.
How do short links work?
Simply, shortened links are links that are mapped to your original link. When a user clicks on your short link, they will be automatically redirected to the mapped landing page. Note that short links do not, in any way, alter your original link. Once the user is redirected to the requested landing page, the URL bar will show the original link.
Can I make my own domain?
Of course. In fact, it is recommended to create your own domain. Customizing your short link’s domain allows you to connect your links to your brand or the content users will be redirected to. It is an excellent opportunity to increase your brand’s social media exposure and increase the audience’s awareness of your brand.
Do shortened links optimize my SEO?
Simply shortening your links does not directly optimize your SEO. But, the click-through rate does. And since, shortening a URL raises the link’s click-through rate, it will help your link generate more clicks and attain a higher search engine ranking. In addition, short links are an exceptional way of driving referral traffic to your website, which is a critical factor considered by search engines in ranking websites.
While generic short links already help you get a significant amount of clicks and traffic, branded and customized links can promise you far more significant benefits. It is because people trust them and opt to click them rather than generic links.
How can I avoid ending up in a spam folder when using short links in email?
One of the most significant issues when including abbreviated links in your email is that it affects your emails’ deliverability. However, you can avoid hurting your email deliverability while still using a short link through branded links. Branded links allow you to use a unique domain rather than using your short links provider’s domain. It will help you avoid being in the spam folder since it is less likely that email services will treat your custom-tailored domain as malicious.
How can I generate more clicks using short links?
Yes. A higher click-through rate is one of the best benefits you can get in using link shortening services. Since long and messy links look suspicious, so people tend to avoid clicking them. On the other hand, short links are more organized and are trusted by the audience. So, they generate more clicks and send your website more referral traffic.
Notably, custom and branded links perform better than generic short links.
Do I have to subscribe to a premium plan to shorten my links?
No. Hero.link allows you to generate short links without subscribing to our premium packages. However, you have to create a free account.
Note that our customers and branded link feature, alongside other premium features, are only accessible by our subscribers. In fact, most link shortening services only allow their user to customize and brand links if they avail their paid plans. Hero.link offer cost-effective plans that provide you with advanced features that can enhance your marketing.
Can I include links in printed adverts?
You are free to do such. However, take note that including long links on your printed adverts is not a wise decision. If you need to include links in your printed adverts, we recommend generating a QR code to redirect the audience to your landing page. QR codes automatically redirect the users to the requested web page once they scan the code.
What are generic short links?
Generic short links are the default type of short links. Typically, the service will provide you with generic links if you use a free link shortening tool.
It is easy to tell if a short link is generic. Generic links use the link shortener service’s domain and use random alphanumeric codes as the path. Here’s an example of a generic short link: https://hero.link/kJg. As you can see, the link’s domain is the same as the link shortening service’s domain. In addition, the path is not customized and is comprised of a combination of random letters.
URL is the bridge between navigators and the virtual place. However, the default URL is extensive and messy, making them seem inappropriate to be shared on the social platforms you are on. Not to mention that it is almost impossible to share long links on microblogging sites. But link shortener offers a simple yet powerful solution to this problem. Alongside shortening your long links, link shortening services can also provide robust features that can help you enhance your marketing, including smart targeting and analytics.
If you’re new to link shorteners, we recommend reading our article about The Best Guide to URL Shortener.
And suppose you are looking for a way to upgrade your marketing, do not hesitate to use the smartest link shortening tool, a.k.a Hero.link. We help you more than just shortening your links. Contact us and learn more about how we can help you make the most of your short links.