How to shorten url: the best url shortening services

30. 11. 2021

Long or unreadable links don’t look pretty and can be confusing to the reader. Before posting such a link on social networks or in an email, it is best to shorten it and make it beautiful for the user. As a result, it can increase your Click-Through-Rates.

What are modern URL shortening services? How do they work and how can they help you specifically? Why are they so in demand today? You will find the answers to these questions in our article.

Link shorteners are services that automatically shorten the inbound link and make it attractive to users.

Since the launch of the World Wide Web in 1991, the digital world has grown rapidly. People began to use the Internet more and more, feeling comfortable in this virtual space. And as digital technology evolved, URLs evolved over time.

One day in 2002, a 24-year-old American web developer decided to “simplify” his job somewhat. His name was Kevin Gilbertson, and his brainchild was named TinyURL, the first official URL shortener. All this user wanted to do was be able to convert newsgroup posts to web pages without having to deal with long and cumbersome URLs. He ran into this problem and just wanted to make his life easier with shorter links.

Gilby didn’t have any particularly big plans for TinyURL either. He just wanted to solve the problem of long URLs and improve his user experience. That being said, the developer himself had no idea that he was the beginning of the booming URL shortening industry.

The popularity of TinyURL has influenced the creation of at least 100 similar sites. Among the most famous are Bitly, Lnnkin, and Short.io.

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Modern link shorteners offer more than just a shorter link. They are focused on analytics and link tracking. So why use URL shortening?

  1. Tracking social media posts. You will be able to see if certain social networks are demanding more attention, or check statistics to see if people liked your new posts. You will be able to track all clicks to improve your analytics, which will help you understand where the most referrals are coming from, or track affiliate commissions. User friendly messages. If you post long links, they can be confusing to people. Adding tracking parameters to them can make them look like spam, so shortening the URL will make them concise and easy to understand. It will also give you the ability to insert UTM parameters without making the link look suspicious or ugly.
  2. Manage all your links in one place. When you publish your new product on all social media, it is easier to track and change the link in one place than to go through all versions in all your marketing channels to edit something.
  3. Increasing your brand awareness. Not only will your links be more memorable with a shorter domain and quicker permalinks. A branded link will help people get to know you and get an idea of its content. Working on your brand awareness will be especially important if you have a younger audience. Brand awareness is an important factor in brand loyalty for millennials, according to the latest research.
  4. Increased click-throughs on links. When people “identify” links as familiar to them, they don’t click on them more often.
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Basic functionality of the standard URL shortener

What should any link shortener be able to do? First of all, shorten URLs, which is obvious. You insert the old long link and it becomes shorter, cleaner, and more user-friendly. A short address is easier to remember and easier to type on the keyboard. Link tracking is an important feature of how well your marketing campaign is performing. Analytics will give you a better understanding of the people visiting your site and your CTR. Some URL shorteners track clicks themselves, some services attach Google Analytics tracking data. If you decide to add new tracking options or start a new marketing campaign (or even if you’ve already shared a link but realized you forgot to add the UTM tag), you’ll change your link. And instead of going through each social network, you only change it once, in your admin. panels. What services are popular on the web today?

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Bitly

Companies using branded links are reporting a 34% increase in the number of clicks to their website. With Bitly, you can create your own branded links that will be instantly recognizable across any channel. Bitly integrates with almost all social media and digital marketing tools and offers analytics tracking tools in a single interface. You can get started for free or for $ 39 a month with the basic plan.
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T1p.de

The t1p.de short link service ensures high privacy and checks all links for possible malware and phishing attacks. The URL abbreviation “t1p.de” complies with data protection requirements. The service does not store personal or other data of users. It also provides additional options such as expiration date detection and dereferencing functionality when following a link. How it works? Just enter the URL you want and click “Check Availability”. Leave the input field blank to generate a random short link.

Important: service in German
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Is.gd

Is.gd – is one of the safest and most convenient tools. The developer’s slogan “Compress That Address” is definitely catching attention. The pluses include the absence of user fees. Also no need to register. The service allows you to customize addresses, presents statistical data in the form of a graph. To track statistics, you need to click “Advanced Options”, then “Custom URL”, shorten the link, and check the box “Statistics log for this link.” Is.gd allows you to work with the tool in the API, generates QR codes and has detailed instructions for the user. The disadvantages include a somewhat simplified and outdated interface, inconvenient statistics functionality, and the impossibility of creating a link in your domain. This is a great service for anyone looking for a free custom URL shortener, but just in case you don’t need to create links on your domain. Is.gd is not the best choice if you want to shorten many links at once and track the performance of each one.
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TinyURL

TinyURL.com is a free site that offers both URL shortening and customization. What good is this tool besides being free? One of the advantages is easy integration into your browser toolbar. Clicking on the button in the toolbar will generate a tiny URL for the current page you are on. The disadvantages of Tiny URLs include the inability to track links. If this is not critical for your business, this service can be an excellent option for shortening addresses. If you need more functionality, it may be worth paying attention to the paid versions of applications.
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Rebrandly

Rebrandly is a link management platform for branding, tracking and sharing short URLs using your own domain name. Rebrandly provides a free service, but limits the number of tracked clicks to 5,000 per month. Plans range from $ 29 to $ 499 per month, or you can contact Rebrandly for custom pricing.
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AdLinkFly

One of the oldest and most trusted URL shortening tools. Completely free service with support for many languages. With it, you can simply cut links or create an account and get paid for people following your links. Has a friendly, simple and intuitive interface. Cons – there is no support for generating a QR code, as well as the inability to create branded links.
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Ow.ly

A platform that provides a lot of additional functionality for content marketing. Ow.ly helps you shorten links, measure traffic, and showcase your social media ROI right from your Hootsuite dashboard. Prices range from $ 29 to $ 599 per month.
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Bit.do

Bit.do – is a product of a Brazilian software company. It was launched in 2012, so it is one of the “youngest” services in our review. The pluses include:

  • free personalized URL shortener;
  • has a simple interface;
  • no need to register;
  • allows you to use the auto-generated default URLs or create your own URL: meaningful addresses based on a set of letters. However, for those who shorten a large number of links, this feature is not useful; shortening url-addresses with qr-code;
  • generates addresses for a unique second-level domain; This means that all shortened links will look like «mydomain. *** / ***».

The last option is paid, prices start from 85 $ / мес.
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Shorturl.at

Safe and free link shortening service. There is an extended, paid version. ShortURL allows you to shorten long links from social networks and popular sites on the Internet, just paste the long URL into the shortening box and click the “Shorten URL” button.

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T9y.me

T9y.me – another tool that can help shorten the link. Very simple and completely free. Not suitable for link management, because no admin panel. However, if you need to shorten one link and share it on social. networks, this service will suit you completely.
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Lnnkin

This is not just a link shortening service, but a whole platform for working with links. There are free and paid versions that start at $ 5 per month. Reduction of one or several links at once, conversion analytics, etc.
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Bl.ink

For many, it has become the perfect service with the right mix of metrics and social media. Unlike Bit.ly with its custom keywords or TinyUrl with its custom URL feature, BudURL gives you a way to keep track of where your link was clicked.
In other words – Bl.ink is an effective corporate link management system. Users can create their own domains and personalized URLs, and manage links that are intelligently routed by device, location, language, time of day, and date. Bl.ink dashboard includes advanced and customizable click analytics, multi-level user roles, and more.
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Short.io

Пожалуй, самый симпатичный сайт для сокращения ссылок, с русскоязычной версией. Как и во многих других сервисах, сокращенная ссылка будет немедленно скопирована в буфер обмена. Конечно, в нем не так много отслеживания статистики, как у других, но внешне он выглядит достаточно «прикольно» и явно выделяется на фоне других аналогов.
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Cutt.ly

Cutt.ly has both free and paid versions. With it, URL shortening is performed in one click for multiple links at once. The truncated part can be generated automatically or created manually. A huge plus is the presence of a Russian-language version of the portal
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Summary
URL shortening services have gone beyond making your links look “nice”, short and clean. You can use them to analyze how your marketing campaign is progressing, build brand awareness, and even build trust.
They can be useful whether you use them for business or for sharing fun videos on social media. One thing is for sure: if you work with multiple social networks, URL shortening is a must-have tool.

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