URL shortener

A URL shortener is a website that shortens how long a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is. A URL shortener has two goals, making the URL simpler, and making it easier to remember as a result. 

A few options to look at are Goog.le, Tinyurl.com, and Bit.ly. The URL shortening service you select will sustain the bond between the new link and the first URL you submitted. Anyone who clicks the new link will be redirected to the original.

The history of URL shortener tools

Links have always served as a way of transporting internet users. URLs allow people to switch between websites with ease. As pages grow more complicated with hundreds of paths and pages to connect on one website, URLs have become similarly lengthy. 

Social media has only amplified this URL length issue. At first, Twitter limited their captions to a maximum of 140 characters, and they counted every character in a link. Your entire tweet could be a URL, but the URL might not fit due to length. URL shortener tools started gaining popularity as a solution to this sharing issue.

The benefits of URL shorteners

Social media content is an integral part of any marketing strategy. URLs enable the sharing of that content. A URL shortener helps to clear up space in your caption and prioritize making the link as simple for audiences as possible. What’s more, tools like Bit.ly:

  • Make it easier to share your posts and content: Simplified brand URLs provide customers with information about your site before clicking into it. URLs do not need to be a random mix of numbers and letters that confuse audiences.
  • Make your URLs more appealing: Aesthetically, your brand looks uniform and savvy, rather that posting a messy URL that is 100+ characters long.
  • Allows for traffic monitoring: Bit.ly provides a way to see how your link is performing and how many people are engaging with it.

The only noteable drawback of URL shorteners is that they often hide the full contents of the link you are sharing which can raise suspicion in an audience. Brands will need to ensure that their links always lead to the content promised, rather than something surprising, to keep customers happy.

How do you use and find URL shorteners?

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URL shorteners are plentiful online.

Sites like bit.ly handle everything from URL shortening to tracking and measuring traffic data. Some just turn a URL into a new shortened link like in Vista Social.

When you pick a shortener that appeals to you, start by typing or pasting your URL into the content box and then click to reduce the link. Try not to use tools which remove all branding from your URL as this could make the link look suspicious and provide less value to your brand.

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