If you work with digital marketing, you know that using smaller and standardized links have many advantages. Here we share the best URL Shortener options in the market.
Do you need to shorten a link but don’t know how to do it? Don’t worry! We’ve listed the top 10 URL shorteners to help you out.
If you work with digital marketing or have a social media strategy, you know that it’s not always possible to share the original links to your site or blog. And the main reason is the lack of space in the publication. So using a URL shortener is key.
In addition to making your links smaller and standardized, these services also have other very useful features, such as URL tracking and performance monitoring.
There are currently hundreds of websites and free URL shortener apps that allow you to shorten links in seconds, but not all are reliable.
Bearing this in mind, we’ve selected the top 10 URL shorteners for you to use. Keep reading and check them out!
A URL shortener, as the name indicates, is a tool that reduces the size of a link by compressing the address of a webpage.
But why is this important?
Well, stop reading for a moment and look at the address bar of the browser you are using to read this article.
Although the link in this post is reasonably short and friendly (as good SEO practices recommend), it is still too long to share on any social media site, such as Twitter.
In addition to being an eyesore, links that are too long also have too many characters. And, as you know, many platforms limit the character count.
But these are not the only benefits of a URL shortener.
In addition to compressing links, these tools also allow you to track the website address. It means that, depending on the service you choose, you’ll be able to see how many clicks the link generated – which is key for measuring the performance of your online campaigns.
And a shorter, friendlier link helps enhance the user experience, as short links are easier to remember, and, depending on the short link generator used, can be customized to indicate what content they refer to. That means your chances of getting more clicks increase a lot!
Oh, and if you’re an affiliate, or just want to promote third-party content, you can also use a URL shortener to mask the link by hiding the domain name (just be careful not to be confused with SPAM!).
Apart from the benefits of using a link shortener as mentioned above, there are several other reasons why you should shorten links from your website.
For one, it improves your branding, while at the same time reinforcing your legitimacy. Many big-name brands use a custom URL as part of their branding strategy.
Sports apparel giant NIKE, for example, customizes many of its links into shorter form, featuring their actual logo. How do they do that? By using “swoo.sh/” which refers to their super famous and recognizable swoosh mark.
The good thing is, you don’t need to buy an entire domain in order to pull this off. There are plenty of short link generator options that do offer this feature. Just be as creative as you want with it!
The other part of this branding advantage is that it reinforces your site’s legitimacy. New users, in particular, tend to be more untrusting when they see an unfamiliar link. If they’re confronted with something looking so messy and complex, they might not want to click on your link at all.
Another reason why you should use a link changer is that it’s more efficient, especially when it comes to knowledge sharing. Whether you’re sending that link internally or externally, it’s a lot easier to grab and send compared to its long form.
Last but not least, it provides a much more aesthetic appearance. Whether you’re adding it in your social profile or website bio, you’d want to keep the overall appearance neat and easy on the eyes. Sharing links is inevitable, especially nowadays, so it is important for you to care about how your link will come across to the readers.
The good news is that you can use a free URL shortener for your link-changing needs. And as long as you know what you want, you can find the best URL shortener for your needs.
Now, without further ado, check out our list of the top 10 URL shorteners to use in your digital marketing strategies.
The best URL shortener options for your online business
- Basic plan at $21/month
- Premium at $199/month
- Enterprise (available at request)
- Best for: URL shortening, custom links, URL redirects, advanced analytics & tracking
Bitly is maybe one of the best-known and most-used link shorteners worldwide.
Indeed, this is the choice of major brands such as ESPN, Disney, Amazon, Nike, Buzzfeed, The New York Times and many more.
This is due to the many features Bitly offers users, including the free plan. Here are the features of a free account:
- Shortened URLs customization (for example, instead of “bit.ly/42sf4,” you can use “bit.ly/myblog”);
- Access to performance data of links created in the last 30 days; and
- Management and organization tools of created links.
However, the free account has some limitations, such as creating 1,000 shortened links per month or 50 custom URLs per month.
Now, if you don’t care about any of these features, you can just use Bitly’s URL shortener without having to use an account.
The platform also features two paid account types, Basic ($29.99/month) and Enterprise (price on request). They include all the basic features and give you access to more link customization and performance analysis tools.
- Pro at $9.99/month
- Bulk 100K at $99/month
- Best for: Link shortening, customized links
- Activity dashboard
- Campaign tracking and analytics
- Customer activity tracking
- Link analytics
TinyURL is one of the simplest tools on this list and is ideal for those who don’t want any additional features besides the URL shortener.
The simplicity is such that when you access the service website, you will only have the shortener, with no option to create an account or purchase a paid plan.
However, this can be a problem for those looking for more robust features, such as being able to see how many people clicked on your link. If this is your case, stay away from TinyURL!
3. URL Shortener by Zapier
- Starter at $19.99/month
- Professional at $49/month
- Team at $299 / Request Demo
- Best for: Link shortener, marketing automation
- Features: App integration
Zapier is one of the most widely used marketing automation tools on the market. It allows you to integrate many different services and move data from one platform to another simply.
Among many features of the service, the URL shortener works automatically.
For example, when using the tool, whenever you post an article on your brand’s blog, Zapier automatically generates a shortened link for you to post to other channels or save to a spreadsheet.
Although this feature is very specific and not everyone needs it, it is included in the free plan. Therefore, it’s definitely a plus; right?
- Price: $19/month
- Best for: Link shortener, measuring traffic, social ROI
- Features: Hootsuite dashboard integration
If you work with social media, you probably have heard of Owly. It’s Hootsuite’s URL shortener, one of the world’s leading social media tools. That is, if you want to access this feature, you need to have an account, even a free one, in Hootsuite.
Owly introduces all the features we’ve seen in other tools, such as custom link building and traffic reporting.
In addition, the tool also lets you shorten URLs automatically whenever you schedule a post for social media.
So if you already use Hootsuite to manage your corporate social media accounts, it’s a good idea to use Owly.
- Basic at $85/month
- Premium at $250/month
- Best for: Personalized short links
- Metrics on IP address insights
- Date, time, location
- Individual clicks
It’s straight to the point and easy to use. This is how we can define bit.do. You can either sign up or simply paste the URL and shorten it. You don’t need to create an account, though if you do, you can also access performance statistics, such as the number of clicks each link received and get reports on your links.
You can also customize your personal domain and the links don’t expire, so you won’t need to worry about old links taking users to non-existent webpages.
- Price: Free or upon request
- Best for: Public or private use, as well as for developers
- Save URLs and share links simultaneously
- Traffic statistics
Yourls is a URL shortener that decided to shorten to its own name, which is an acronym for “Your URL shortener.”
Jokes apart, this tool is quite different from the ones we’ve listed so far. This is because it is not a website or platform that you access through the browser.
It is an open source system that you install and run on the server itself. It’s as if you have the chance to create your own link shortener. Hence the name of this tool.
But what’s the benefit of using Yourls?
In addition to common features (shortening, customizing and tracking links, accessing clicker data, etc.), this tool gives you greater control when creating URLs.
In other words, this tool is recommended for those who need greater customization power and security when shortening links.
- Starter at $24/month
- Pro at $75/month
- Premium at $419/month
- Best for: Custom branded links
- Link management
- Traffic routing
- Bulk link creation
- Domain name management
Rebrandly is the perfect service for anyone who wants to go beyond a simple link shortener as it offers many customization options.
It focuses primarily on the user experience, creating URLs that are more enjoyable and attractive to the public. By signing up for a free account, you can create up to 1,000 custom links.
In addition, the service has very complete link performance reports and a QR code creation tool.
- Monthly at $35
- Annually at $350
- Best for: Dynamic QR code generator
- Data statistics and inputs
- Campaign tracking
Okay, Qr.net is a bit different from the other link shorteners we’ve mentioned here.
Instead of simply compressing a URL, the service creates an individual QR code (the kind of barcode you scan with your smartphone) for the address.
The tool also displays detailed statistics about code-generated traffic to measure the performance of your campaigns.
Another benefit of betting on a QR code is that you can use it in offline campaigns such as posters and flyers to take the public to your site or blog, for example.
- Price: Free
- Best for: Free short link generator
- Plugins support
- QR code
- Link statistics
Next on our list, Is.Gd is very similar in functionality to Bitly.
By using it, you can also shorten any URL without the need for registration. But unlike Bitly, you can also customize the address and track clicks without creating an account.
You can also generate a QR code of the URL to put on printed materials such as banners, posters and business cards.
The downside of Is.Gd is that it does not have an interface as pleasant as its competitors, but it makes up for it in simplicity and ease of use.
- Basic at $5 (one-time pay)
- Standard at $9.99/month
- Pro at $29.99/month
- Premium at $89.00/month
- Best for: Unlimited short URLs, QR code branding
- Monthly clicks/redirects
- Vanity URL
- Apps integration
- Dashboard reporting
Finally, our last suggestion is T2Mio, which has virtually any feature you can imagine.
This is one of the most complete tools on the market and includes, among other things:
- The demographics of users clicking on links;
- Device types and browsers used for clicks;
- Automatic creation of QR codes; and
- Link segmentation, among others.
The free plan allows the user to shorten and track links. However, to access all the other features, you need to purchase a paid plan, starting at $10 a month.
There’s no doubt about the importance of URL shorteners, especially for those working in digital marketing or social media strategy.
Get your links standardized, customized, and efficiently shortened! Make every part of your online presence count for your brand.
And speaking of brand, if you want to boost your knowledge on the topic, check out our article on Brand Strategy.