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5 Reasons Why URL Shorteners are Useful

Tuesday - April 30th, 2013

Written by: Jolleen Tran

5 Reasons Why URL Shorteners are Useful

In the age of Twitter and short form content, everything is becoming abbreviated – even links! Aside from eliminating the visually unappealing look of an extended link, using a URL shortener offers many benefits. Those managing a website or trying to keep track of social media marketing would benefit from the insight that URL shorteners provide. Furthermore, shorteners make links manageable and allow you to monitor and analyze link performance.

Popular and Secure URL Options for You

A good URL shortener not only condenses the length of a link, but allows you to track information such as the number of times it’s been clicked, when those clicks were made, etc. When analyzing this information as seriously as any other analytic, you’re able to see the scope of your online influence. The options are endless!

For instance, tracking URL links allows you to see how well your social media promotions link back to your official website. You can even get more specific and figure our what times throughout the day draw the most clicks, allowing you to optimize when and how frequently you post. To shorten your links, consider using:

  • Bit.ly. The release of Twitter made this particular shortener a standard, especially in the later 2000s. It offers free services so anyone can shorten a link, but if you decide to sign-up for a free account, you can track the statistics for all of your links. No matter how old a link gets, the statistics are up to date and track in real time.
  • Goo.gl. “Anything you can do, I can do better,” must be Google’s motto. From video to social media, Google has made various attempts to be an all-in-one platform – and that includes link shorteners! While Goo.gl offers all the benefits of Bit.ly (not to mention advanced analytics) the only downside is that these analytics are public and can be viewed by anyone. Bit.ly, on the other hand, is private and limited to those with an account.
  • Ow.ly. If you use HootSuite or any other third party app to streamline your social media accounts into a cohesive creator experience, this is the URL shortener for you. Ow.ly is built directly into HootSuite’s dashboard so that you don’t have to worry about leaving the platform. Just like the previous options, you can track your link’s performance.
  • TinyURL. Before any of these other options became mainstream or were even available, TinyURL was the industry standard. In fact, this is the service that Twitter itself used to use and promote before it developed its own in-house URL shortening tool. If you’ve always used TinyURL, you already know that this option is easy to use. Best of all, TinyURL encourages custom URLs. In other words, you can replace the random letters in the URL and define them. This can make shortened links more memorable like a website.
  • Moourl.com. Moourl allows you to immediately copy the shortened link onto your clipboard. This convenience isn’t unique to Moourl, but the interface might be the cutest of all these providers.

Why You Should Use a URL Shortener

While the basics of URL shortening are simple, the benefits remain unchanged and a major bonus for anyone serious about tracking their online influence. You can track and see whether people are clicking on any of the links you post. Furthermore, these providers are all stable – you can rest assured that the statistics are updated in real time and reflect accurate clicks that measure your performance. Also consider hyperlinking your URLs. Not only does this create a clean look, but it allows you to track your in-text hyperlinks as well. The options are truly endless!

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