Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) have always been a way of accessing webpages. But over time, URLs become long and complex as sub-domains, sub-directories and tracking codes are eventually added. These lengthy URLs pose a problem to social media users and blog writers in the sense that they take up writing space and look unattractive. So finding a way to shorten URLs become needful, hence the advent of URL shortener services.
A URL or link shortener is an app or online tool that converts a long URL to a short URL that ultimately redirects the user to exactly the same web page or site.
A good URL shortener helps you to do two things:
- Shrink links i.e. reduce the length of the URL.
- Track links i.e. measure performance.
In this write-up on Naijaknowhow, I will be giving you a list of some of the best URL shortener services to utilise as a blog writer or effective social media user in the quest of linking people to desired content on any website.
List of the Best URL Shortener Services to Shorten Links
1. TinyURL – www.tinyurl.com/app
This URL shortener has been around since the early 2000s. It is an easy-to-use link shortener service. One good thing about TinyURL is its anonymity in usage, that is, you don’t need to register an account to use it. But you can sign up for an account which means that you will be able to see a history of all your shortened links.
Its other features include fast redirection and the option to customize the shortened URL. And yes, lest I forget, TinyURL is 100% free. But you can also subscribe to a paid plan that will make it possible to have features like tracking and analytics, branded domains and the ability to edit each TinyURL link after creating it.
2. Bitly – www.bitly.com
This is one of the best link shortener services because of its popularity and great usefulness. Bitly offers its basic service for free which lets you shorten links using the Bitly domain name, while the premium or paid version lets you use your own custom domain name.
Its features include link retargeting in the paid version, tracking individual links and getting related analytics on your dashboard, giving audience intelligence by measuring your marketing campaign performance for a specific location, and also integration with Zapier, another link shortener platform.
3. Rebrandly – www.rebrandly.com
As the name implies, Rebrandly is a tool that helps you create custom or branded links. Yes, it creates memorable and shorter links. It is one of the best URL shortener platforms ever to be designed, as it offers advanced URL shortening technology with a lot of features that enable you to create separate workspaces and work with teammates.
This link shortener is useful for both building and sharing short URLs or links across various social networks.
Its highly important features are listed below.
- Link retargeting support
- Bulk link creation
- Click tracking
- Emojis on short links
- 100+ app integrations
- API access
- UTM parameters
Its other features include GDPR compatibility, rapid auto-scaling servers, integration with Zapier, custom reports and private reporting. Rebrandly offers a free plan that supports 500 links and 5000 clicks per month. Its paid version comes with four different plans with different prices each; Starter, Pro, Premium, and Enterprise.
4. Sniply – www.sniply.io
This is another suitable digital tool for link shortening and highly recommend as one of the best URL shortener services.
If you are interested in sharing links to other people’s content, such as good videos or interesting articles, on your blog or on your social media accounts, and at the same time recommend yourself or your website, Sniply is the tool for you. As well as giving you a short URL and click-tracking details, you can recommend yourself by also adding a call-to-action (CTA) over any link you share. You can in this way suggest that people subscribe to your blog for more interesting links.
Other features of Sniply include:
- Create your own custom URL
- You can reuse your CTA as many times as you want
- It integrates with Zapier
Sniply is a marketing service, therefore it is not free. Four plans are available to it with respective prices each; Basic, Pro, Business, and Agency.
5. Ow.ly URL Shortener – www.hootsuite.com/pages/owly
You will be more familiar with Ow.ly if you are a Hootsuite user. Hootsuite is a popular social media management app. And you can access Ow.ly from the Hootsuite dashboard. Ow.ly is one feature in Hootsuite that enables you to shorten links that you can use on social media and other sites.
Its features among others include trackable short links, link retargeting, URL Performance metrics, and social ROI demonstration. Ow.ly has both free and premium Hootsuite plans. So that means that there is a need to create a Hootsuite account to use Ow.ly but you don’t need to pay.
6. ClickMeter – www.clickmeter.com
Clickmeter as one of the best URL Shortener services is most suitable for advertisers and agencies who employ advertising networks. It is less of a URL shortener and more of a click-rate optimizer. Webmasters with a global audience and multiple languages employ ClickMeter as it comes with many features to help create a URL for tons of clicks.
In addition to multilingual support and location-based targeting, there is easy integration with popular content management systems such as Shopify and WordPress. Other features include, device-based targeting, URL encryption, bulk link creation, branded tracking links, clone links, multiple API keys, and Google Analytics UTM support.
ClickMeter offers three premium plans to shorten links with different prices each; Medium, Large, and X-Large.
7. Zapier – www.zapier.com
Now Zapier has been referred to severally in this article, therefore there’s a need to do justice to it.
Zapier is the tool to use when you want to automatically create and save a short link every time you perform a particular action, let’s say, adding a photo to Instagram. This means that through Zapier, an automated workflow (called Zap) is triggered every time you upload a post or do something in the apps that you use most. Zapier then sends the shortened URL to a Google Sheet or directly to another app.
As one of the best URL shortener services out there, its free plan is limited to 5 active single-step Zaps and 100 tasks per month, while its Starter plan comes with a price is given to 20 multi-step Zaps and 750 tasks per month.
These link shortener platforms above are not the only ones, but for the sake of this article, are some of the best URL shortener services that I can present and recommend for everyone to use. Alongside helping you to shorten links, they offer other numerous and enticing services. Good luck as you check them out!