Many consider content the most important part of a strong marketing strategy. Informative, engaging content can reach new customers and maintain current ones. Even Bill Gates knew back in 1996 that “Content is king.”
From creating a website to strategizing your social media content, you’ll often share links to videos, articles and social media posts. A link shortening tool can be a handy way to optimize these links for your content marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll discuss why compressed URLs can help your marketing. Plus, we’ll go over some of the best link shorteners on the market.
What is a link shortener?
A link shortener—also known as a URL shortener, link compressor, or URL condenser—is a digital tool that takes a long URL and makes it shorter. This URL tool serves self-creators or small businesses in many ways. In fact, the US government found this tool important enough to provide two types of government-funded link shortenings, although they decommissioned the project in 2019.
If you want to share a link for any type of marketing, whether social media marketing or your weekly newsletter, most people don’t find website links littered with excess numbers and letters attractive. A lengthy URL can even deter people from clicking. Link shorteners condense the long URLs in your marketing strategy so people will be more inclined to click on them, in turn increasing click-through rates.
4 reasons to use a link shortener
01. Elevates your brand image
Excess characters in URLs can look suspicious and unappealing. Use a link shortener to keep your marketing assets clean and concise, which reflects positively on your brand image.
02. Easier to share
If your users find a link easier to copy and paste, especially from a mobile device, they’ll be more likely to share your links.
03. Cleaner appearance
People have an easier time reading and comprehending shorter text, making them more likely to click on shorter URLs.
04. Provides tracking capabilities
To sustainably grow your brand, you must track your marketing efforts and key performance indicators (KPIs). Most link shorteners come with analytics tools and other advanced features.
10 best URL shortener services
Hopp.co is the ideal free URL shortener for online content creators who want to increase their revenue and customer base. All creators, from Instagram influencers to culinary bloggers, can access Hopp.co’s impressive list of tools. This includes: tracking and analytic data, unlimited number of uses and the ability to create short links with a customized domain just for this purpose. Hopp.co’s ability to add a “pre-roll” customized promotional page is what makes this link shortener a real winner.
Creators can send users to an interstitial page before their final destination where they can add a CTA or link that promotes a service, video, event, social account, blog post or product; collects subscribers or contact information; and even promotes a membership. They also offer call-to-action landing pages and a “speed-dial” feature, which allows users to enter a code and access a link—a handy feature for those looking for a link sharing workaround for Instagram posts.
Sniply allows users to compress long links and overlay them with custom call-to-actions (CTAs) to create visually appealing mini banners.
ClickMeter’s URL shortening tool offers marketers a dashboard to analyze data from large, global audiences, plus optimize and compare links in one place. The tool targets visitors where they will have the best conversion rates, monitors fraud and broken links, tracks clicks and conversions, and more.
Cuttly’s platform can manage and track analytics from users' branded URLs. The tool integrates with several platforms—such as Zapier, Integromat and Laravel—and comes with other marketing tools like password-protected short links, UTM parameters and QR codes.
Bitly’s free tool shortens links using the bit.ly domain. Users with a premium plan can customize their shortened URLs with their own domain names. Bitly comes with an analytics dashboard to help users comprehend which campaigns and content their audiences prefer.
TinyURL’s basic link shortening tool does not require users to create an account, but it also doesn’t offer advanced analytics. Paid users get basic tracking tools such as click rates, URL editing and timestamps.
T2M is intended for large businesses and corporations, but it can also suit smaller businesses. T2M offers URL management, branding and APIs, campaign management and complete analytics to help marketers make business decisions.
Tiny.CC offers a simple interface that allows users to manage many URLs at one time. Users can edit links in real time, redirect smartlinks and track traffic metrics.
BL.INK’s GDPR-compliant tool caters to small businesses. Key features include the ability to build UTM campaigns and create links that are easily shareable with any channel, including mobile, PDF files, QR codes, email and more.
Rebrandly emphasizes the importance of brand trust and recognition. With an array of advanced features and collaborative tools that enable different departments to work together more easily, the platform focuses heavily on organizational teams. It offers multiple logins and workspaces for this purpose.