For a while, the best tool for shortening links was Google’s URL shortener. But Google killed off the service in March 2019. Leaving lots of people wondering where to go for their URL shortening needs. You really don’t have to wonder, there abound lots of great URL shortening services you can use.
In this post, I’ve compiled a list of the five best URL shorteners, but first, we will take a look at why you need a URL shortener in the first place.
WHAT ARE URL SHORTENERS AND WHY ARE THEY USEFUL?
URL shorteners, are services such as bitly.com, t2mio.com, and tinyurl.com that you can use to shorten long URLs into shorter manageable links with less character. They’ve been in use since 2002, but their popularity soared with the rise of twitter and its 140 character tweets. However, their usefulness is much more than just link shorteners; there are other useful features they offer and the reasons why I think they are helpful. Here are my top three reasons;
1. THEY MAKE LINKS MORE MANAGEABLE
Which is easier to share?
- This Link: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/6-amazing-websites-that-would-make-aspects-of-your-life-so-much-easier/
- Or This Link: https://bit.ly/31L14fn
The most obvious reason is that URL shorteners help solve the problem of making links shorter and more manageable to share online, on social media, via emails, etc. And some shortening services allow users to add keywords to describe the link and make it SEO friendly.
2. ANALYTICAL FUNCTION. THEY CAN TRACK AND COMPILE CLICK DATA
One of the reasons that URL shortening services such as bit.ly have become popular is because of the detailed analytic data some of them provide. They incorporate tracking of click data, geographic location, where the link was clicked, and more. This type of information is invaluable to bloggers, webmasters and businesses - it arms them with valuable knowledge of where customers are coming from when they are coming, and what interests them.
This type of information helps businesses develop efficient plans, sound marketing strategies, and targeted content and even better products.
3. THEY PROMOTE SHARING, AND CONTENT REACH A WIDER AUDIENCE
Your tweet can include an excerpt of your content, just enough to get people interested and then your shortened link to the webpage with complete detail. All fit into the 140 character tweet bar while a full URL might not have room enough left for an explanation. This also goes for texting.
BEST 5 URL SHORTENERS FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND HOW TO FIND THEM
Finding the best URL shortener is quite straightforward but business needs vary from one company to the other. So, first, you have to decide what features you need, pricing, and ease of use.
The best and modern URL shorteners have a range of amazing features such as link tracking and analytics, embedding UTM parameters using a URL Builder, link retargeting, and link branding. Some of these features may be right for your business, and some others might not really matter to you. Here are five of the best URL Shortening services that incorporate most of the best features and would be great for any business.
T2Mio, is a full-service URL shortening service that grants you access to a dashboard where you can track and manage your links traffic, activity and other statistics. It automatically generates a QR code for links you shorten. This is a unique feature and makes for even easier digital marketing. The limited free plan gives full dashboard access and paid plans such as Standard, Premium and Dedicated Instances grant access to accounts with more inclusive and vital features such as social media sharing tools.
The Standard plan which is suited for small businesses costs $9.99/month and adds branded, and vanity URLs feature, eg The New York Times’ nyti.ms or Verizon’s vz.to, bulk shortening, for shortening a number of URLs at once, feature to add one custom domain, and some additional perks. The Premium plan, which costs $89.99/month, removes very nearly all limits found in the Standard plan and adds some extra features as well. T2M is a good URL shortener for businesses with unique features that make for even easier digital marketing.
Bitly is one of the most popular URL shortening services that offers a free version and an enterprise version of its URL shortening service. No signup is necessary to use the free service but creating an account allows you to manage and track links from an inclusive dashboard, get information about your most popular referring sites, and customize your links into more SEO friendly short links, although you can only use keywords that have not already been used.
The Enterprise version of Bitly reportedly costs around $995/month. Which is quite expensive. It offers you branded and vanity domain like The New York Times’ nyti.ms or Verizon’s vz.to. Some other features of bit.lys enterprise version include in-depth analytics, unlimited link branding, a comprehensive dashboard, and user management. If you can afford the cost, it is great for all business needs and can help you track your customer activities on your links.
Is.gd is one of the simplest URL shortening services. The services is nothing more than a tab that shortens links instantly. There are no additional features like tracking. This is a good choice if you just want to get the job done as fast and don’t require any extra feature.
One of the oldest URL shorteners, tiny URL just like is.gd is a very simple shortener that requires no sign-up and allows users to customize the keyword. The service is free to use and anonymous, but it has a pitfall too; there is no analytics. This is ideal for one a one-off user but not for businesses that intend to keep track of critical analytical data.
SmallSEOTools offers a small URL shortening service that compresses your link into a short unbranded URL. It’s completely free and anonymous, just like TinyURL, and again, there are no analytical features.
It’s handy for people who need to generate a short URL quickly.
I hope you found this useful for your personal and business needs? Let me know in the comment section any other services you think I should have included in this list.