18 Best URL Shortener Services to Shrink and Track Links

Updated Sep 21, 2022.
best-url-shortener

URL shorteners happen to be some of the most underrated tools in the internet marketing scene today. 

As a brand owner or manager with a lot of competition to beat across various niches online, you cannot afford to miss out on a chance to be one step ahead of your counterparts.

Making use of branded short links has been proven to increase click-through rates by 35% and more.

If you are new to URL shorteners or are looking for information to further improve the productivity of your link shrinking activities, this is the content for you.

Here is comprehensive information about what URL shortening is all about and the best URL shorteners in the market today to strengthen your online marketing campaigns.

What Is A URL Shortener?

As its name would suggest, a URL shortener is a simple tool that turns a long URL into a short URL, as you would want it to be.

The concept of a URL shortener doesn't get any simpler than that. You could've come across different terms that mean the same thing as a URL shortener.

Some of these multiple names used in place of “URL shorter” include “link shortener”, “link shrinker”, ” link compressor”, “URL condenser”, or even “vanity URL creator”. 

These all mean the same thing; which is to take a website address that is long and undesirable and make it short and attractive

The term URL shortener only serves as the most popular and appropriate name to encapsulate this process.

You may have also come across the term “custom or branded URL shortener.”

Well, this is when you connect your own custom domain to a URL shortener and make your domain the base for all the short links you create.

Why Use a URL Shortener?

Not all web links are filled with unrelated characters and variables, however, many links are usually lengthy and, sometimes, wordy due to SEO reasons. 

SEO, or search engine optimization, is all concerned with ranking higher in Google searches, and one of the factors Google, and other search engines, consider are keywords in the URL. 

Due to this, you need to keep your keywords in your URL, however, this creates a slight problem when there is a need to share the web address with other individuals on the internet.

The web address is too lengthy and becomes unattractive even though it describes what the page is all about.

URL shorteners help solve this problem by making links shorter and more manageable to share.

Top URL shortening services allow you to add a descriptive keyword to your shortened URLs to describe the link.

2. You Can Track Clicks Through Analytics

A factor that distinguishes the best URL shortening services is the amount of beneficial analytics data and reports they help you generate.

You have access to useful information in the form of live click data, information about geographic location, the webpage where the link was clicked, and more. 

Information like this is very valuable for website owners and companies as they show where customers are coming from, when they are coming, and what interests them.

You are able to improve your online activities and develop more targeted content to feed your target audience.

3. More Legitimacy And Branding

A shortened link matching other links on your digital marketing materials and social media content gives you a chance at increased customization and lends legitimacy to your business.

Long URLs with random characters and numbers are unattractive and can look shady, especially to someone who is a new customer and not familiar with your business.

For a higher chance of engagement on social media and other internet platforms, using shortened URLs might be just what you need.

Even with the ability to copy and paste a link from pretty much any device, there are also times when there may be a need to share a URL by typing it out into a message.

Having to then type in 45 different numbers, letters, and characters isn’t easy or efficient and there is a lot of room for error. 

An individual willing to share your link may even lose interest after realizing a need to type in a long string of characters or after making so many mistakes.

URL shorteners make this process a whole lot easier and help to promote link sharing.

Best URL Shortener Services and Tools

1. Bitly

Highly Rated URL Shortener With Best Value For Money

Bitly is a Highly Rated URL Shortener With Best Value For Money

Bitly is one of the most popular URL shorteners in the market today and is built with powerful tools that help you to grow and protect your brand.

With its solutions for social media and digital marketing, customer servicing, and advanced developers, Bitly is trusted by brands like Espn, Disney, Amazon, Buzzfeed, and New York Times.

Branded links that increase your clicks by 34% can be created and you have access to link management options.

Through more clicks, your links become relatively popular and this inspires more trust and, consequently, even more clicks.

In addition to better deliverability and click-through, rich link-level data provided by Bitly gives you crucial insight into your link engagement, allowing your team to easily make smarter decisions about content and communications.

Through auto-branding, you get to take credit for your content as it ensures your brand remains in any link someone shortens pointing to your website.

Enterprise-grade security is also provided for protected integrations with external platforms.

Bitly also offers an API that integrates with leading SMS services and this allows you to deliver branded and accurately targeted text messages.

A subscription with Bitly allows you to enjoy a chance to create a custom domain of your own.

Pricing

Bitly Pricing Plan

Bitly charges for its services on three different plans: Free, Basic, Premium, and Enterprise.

The Basic plan offers you 1,500 branded links while the Premium plan offers you 3,000 branded links alongside advanced analytics and integrations with over 1000 apps.

With the Enterprise plan, you have additional access to custom pricing, advanced user permissions, and 99% SLA uptime, among a lot others. You get to save up to 33% on annual subscriptions.

2. TinyURL

Experienced URL Shortening Service With Extensive Link Management Options

TinyURL is an Experienced URL Shortening Service With Extensive Link Management Options

With billions of redirects per month and a 19-year experience of shortening URLs, TinyURL is another popular URL shortener. It has helped to create billions of short links for marketers, influencers, small business owners, and large businesses. 

A lot of companies all around the world rely on TinyURL to manage their links and grow their brands.

Having short links paired with a powerful platform, you are able to harness the power and security of TinyURL’s full-scale link management services.

Extensive link management capabilities allow you to create and manage links in one centralized place and also remove long URLs entirely from your email marketing, social media, or customer communications.

You are also allowed to customize the back half of your short links to fit your product, event, or product promotions.

As the original URL shortener, TinyURL empowers you to gain a better understanding of your audience by monitoring every click your links receive through effective analytics features.

You can increase trustworthiness and click-through rates by branding your links with your own custom domain name while shortening your URLs. 

Shorten all of your long links with TinyURL and track unlimited clicks with any of its plans.

Pricing

TinyURL Pricing Plan

URL shortening services are provided on three different plans; Free, Pro, and Bulk.

The Bulk plan grants you massive amounts of link shortening chances, up to 100,000 clicks, 300,000 tracked URLs, and 100,000 API limit.

3. Ow.ly

Integrated Into An Advanced Marketing Platform

Ow.ly Integrated Into an Advanced Marketing Platform

Owl.ly is owned by Hootsuite, which is a platform trusted by over 18 million users in 175 countries for managing social media.

Previously, Ow.ly was available to everyone, however, to increase security for users, it was moved into the Hootsuite dashboard.

Ow.ly allows you to shorten links, measure traffic, and demonstrate social ROI right inside the Hootsuite dashboard.

Through its integration with Hootsuite, while launching a new product, you can quickly find out when it’s best to roll it out, identify thought leaders, and find brand advocates that help you beat your competitors.

Through its AI-powered analyst called Iris™, you are able to turn data into insights faster, cut through the noise, and uncover emerging trends that help to make your audience targeting more effective.

Simply search topics of interest in real-time from 16 billion new posts added each month.

Through customized dashboards that help you see business results at a glance, you can measure and improve social ROI by knowing how social media channels and campaigns are driving conversions, leads, and sales.

You are able to design and deliver more effective campaigns with month-over-month performance analysis, easily digestible insights, and specific recommendations.

Focus your effort on the activities that get results and filter your posts by content, campaign, text, or keyword to compare performance and quickly test new strategies. 

An automated tagging feature detects themes in your images, links, content, website data, and hashtags, making access to links easier for you and your target audience.

All in all, through its integration into the Hootsuite dashboard, Ow.ly offers you access to extensive analytics features that go beyond regular URL shortening needs.

Pricing

Ow.ly Pricing Plan

You can access Ow.ly's link shortening services on a free plan but an account needs to be registered with Hootsuite.

Hootsuite's extended services are offered through three different plans; Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise.

4. Rebrandly

Popular URL Shortener For Wide-Scale Campaigns

Rebrandly is a Popular URL Shortener For Wide Scale Campaigns

Rebrandly is an industry-leading link management platform for branding, tracking, and sharing short URLs using a custom domain.

The URL shortener is trusted by top brands like PayPal, Fiverr, Shopify, and United Nations, among a lot others.

It offers quality, advanced traffic routing options such as SEO redirect, Parameter forwarding, and link retargeting.

You also get open graph control and mobile deep linking features as well as a chance to own links with emojis.

You get to enhance your brand visibility and trust by putting your brand name on every link you share and also share branded short links across departments, regions, and teams with one efficient strategy.

Integrate branded links into your existing processes, workflow, and tools with ease and have access to detailed click stats that allow you to understand social media, email marketing, ads, and SEO.

A UTM builder, GDPR privacy options, and aggregated Private/public reports are also presented to you by Rebrandly.

Through a custom report builder, you are able to add your logo to generated reports for more professionalism.

Domain name management options are also provided to you in the form of multiple domain names, HTTPS (SSL) capability, domain redirect, and 404 redirect management.

Security options are also provided through multiple access levels and Two-factor authentication (2FA) options.

Rebrandly's extensive URL shortening service is called off with onboarding and link import options, account management, dedicated engineer support, and enterprise tool integration.

Pricing

Rebrandly Pricing Plan

Rebrandly offers its services on three different levels; Starter, Pro, and Premium.

The Starter plan offers you up to 25,000 branded links while the Pro plan offers you up to 150,000.

You enjoy up to 1.5 million branded links when you choose the Premium plan and can save 16% of the cost on annual subscriptions.

5. T2M

Affordable URL Shortener With Competent Features

T2M is an affordable URL Shortener With Competent Features

T2M is a URL shortening service that presents game-changing features for agencies looking to get millions to billions of branded URLs and clicks at a high rate.

The URL shortener offers affordable URL Management options that can be accessed through its powerful dashboard.

You can get multiple, personalized/editable short URLs as well as lifelong access to your shortened URLs in case one of your web pages goes down. 

Printable QR codes, One-click social share options as well as 301 HTTP redirects are also provided to you by T2M.

T2M also presents ample password protection to protect your account and a customizable URL expiration option.

Alongside extensive domain management options, T2M also presents detailed analytics and advanced dashboard reporting features for you to enjoy.

You have access to Private/public reports, timeline charts, and advanced graphs that show you the top 10 browsers used to click your links as well as the top 10 platforms, top 10 referring sites, clicks by device type, and clicks by country.

Custom analytic reports and quality campaign management options are also provided by T2M.

You can categorize URLs and analytic reports with tags. These alongside many more make T2M a competent URL shortening service to power your marketing and social media campaigns.

Pricing

T2M Pricing Plan

T2M's pricing plan is divided into three; Basic, Standard, Pro, Premium, and Dedicated.

You have access to create different amounts of shortened URLs based on the plan you choose.

6. Polr

Open-source URL Shortener With An Advanced Link Management API

Polr is an open source URL Shortener With an Advanced Link Management API

Polr is a quick, modern, and open-source GPLv2+ licensed link shortener that allows you to host your own URL shortener, brand your URLs, and gain control over your data.

A modern and simple interface allows you to seamlessly manage your links and control your every activity.

You get to run on your own domain to adjust your branding to perfection and customize your shortening permissions, redirects, or even its theme.

Its semantic REST API for integration with other services allows you to assign new API keys to users automatically or generate them manually.

You can create new links or look up existing links without modifying or breaking your existing code.

Pricing

Polr runs on an open-source Demo and you can try it for free.

7. BL.INK

Competent Link Shortening Service For High-Volume Campaigns

BL.INK is a Competent Link Shortening Service For High Volume Campaigns

Bl.INK allows you to go beyond the branding aspect of shortening URLs and track every engagement, safeguard your data, and create trust in every click.

Patronizations from popular brands like Airbnb, Al Jazeera, Canon, Chevron, and Coca-Cola are great testaments of its quality and reliable URL shortening services.

You can manage, monitor, & measure your shortened URLs through its advanced link Management options. 

BL.INK creates an environment that enables you to manage every touch in your links, monitor your links for accuracy, and provides analytical insights for you to measure value and performance. 

With BL.INK you can enhance your social value and increase the impact of your social engagements through greater control of and protection of your data analytics.

BL.INK also allows you to safely deliver actionable and measurable links via SMS or any messaging platform.

You can use the URL shortener across a countless list of mediums including email, print, PDFs, phone, direct mail, radio, and more.

You can also dynamically route clicks by date, time, language, device, and location through unique, advanced features. 

Flexible user permissions, sophisticated security, and useful analytics options are also made available by BL.INK.

You can optimize BLINK performance using reports or integrate your activities with web analytics tools such as Google and Adobe.

Upon all these, BL.INK offers you scalability that only requires you to pay for what you need.

Pricing 

BL.INK Pricing Plan

You enjoy a 21-day free trial and have access to URL shortening services through its Expert+ plan, SMB plan, Team plan, Business plan, and Enterprise plan. 

The pricing on the Enterprise plan is determined by a quote and the Expert plan is good for individuals & small teams consisting of 1-15 users

The Team plan is great for Mid-sized teams of up to 50 users while the Enterprise supports hundreds or thousands of users.

8. ClickMeter

URL Shortener With Dedicated Profiles For Different Individuals

ClickMeter is an URL Shortener With Dedicated Profiles For Different Individuals

ClickMeter is patronized by over 100,000 big and small businesses worldwide, including Arsenal, Payoneer, and AT&T.

You have access to over 100 features and are able to choose the dedicated profile that matches you best.

The dedicated profiles offered by ClickMeter include those for Agencies, Affiliates, Advertisers, and Publishers.

For agencies, ClickMeter enables you to fight click fraud and share results with your customers in real-time.

You can monitor your customer's campaigns and track sales and conversions to understand which campaigns are succeeding and which are not doing so well.

For affiliates, ClickMeter offers a dashboard that is simple to set up and allows you to manage all links and commissions in one place.

You can cloak affiliate Links, hide destination URLs, and protect your commission codes and keyword lists.

Vanity Links serve as options to shorten your links and customize them with your domain names, giving you extra branding capabilities.

With a 99.99% uptime coupled with public stats, ClickMeter proves to be reliable and accurate.

To properly determine quality clicks, ClickMeter also allows you to recognize clicks coming from single visitors or spiders and detect multiple clicks.

Split test optimizer and A/B testing with multiple destination URLs are options available for you to choose from. For advertisers, ClickMeter gives you a chance to Identify your best marketing sources.

You can use advanced redirect options, double-check data from your paid marketing sources, and track sales and conversions to understand which campaigns are succeeding and which are struggling.

For publishers, you can certify the visibility (views, clicks, or conversions) you provide for your clients, share results with your clients in real-time, increase trust, and, consequently, gain more clients.

Pricing

ClickMeter Pricing Plan

ClickMeter offers its services on three different plans; Medium, Large, and X-Large. You also enjoy a 3-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

9. Tiny.cc

Built For Different Job Descriptions And High-Volume Of Links

Tiny.cc is Built for Different Job Descriptions And High Volume of Links

Founded in 2006, Tiny.cc is trusted by over 279,000 brands worldwide including top brands like Pepsico and Hp. 

The URL shortener allows you to shorten, manage and track all your URLs and also make free, custom short links and QR codes.

Over 40 advanced features built for business and high volume usage are made available for you to choose from.

Branded domains, user-friendly links, link editing, and custom URL slugs are offered by Tiny.cc.

The URL shortener also provides dedicated solutions according to the different needs of users.

If you are a marketing manager, either for affiliates, sales, or advertisers, Tiny.cc helps you use branded short links to promote your brand. At the same time, it helps you create smart link targets to automatically route visitors based on their language preference.

Add retargeting pixels to your short links to track interest in specific products and maximize your advertising ROI through effectively targeted ads.

You can understand which one of your marketing channels or Ads are most effective and, through this, optimize your digital ad spend.

Quick edits also enable you to instantly shift customers to a new landing page when required.

You can also make use of custom domains to maximize the deliverability within and effectiveness of bulk email campaigns.

If you are a brand manager, Tiny.cc helps you customize domains for increased click-throughs and public awareness. You also have access to a social media dashboard to monitor the impact of your social media marketing campaigns.

You can easily manage multiple custom domains and clients from a single account and restrict your employee's account access to only the campaigns that you want to be assigned to them.

Tiny.cc also provides dedicated links for remarketing campaigns

If you are a promoter of products, services, events, publishers, or developers, Tiny.cc helps you use Custom Short URLs in your books and newsletters to encourage trust and build brand loyalty with fans.

You can create a single responsive short link to direct readers and split the traffic into two targets based on the operating system used by them.

If you are an SEO Enthusiast, either a blogger, website owner or brand builder, Tiny.cc helps you;

Customize domain URL shortening and HTTP status for better indexing and ranking on Google and other search engine results.

You can set a custom 404 URL and get detailed reporting on errors leading to or associated with it.

Tiny.cc also gives you the ability to edit short URLs or QR codes, allowing you to fix broken pages or make use of an existing shortened URL in case of a crashed webpage.

Through an X-Robots-Tag feature, you can maintain a certain level of control over Google search results.

Tiny.cc also provides other solutions for small businesses and account executives.

Pricing

Tiny.cc Pricing Plan

You can save up to 8.3% on annual subscriptions and enjoy a 25% discount now through a limited-time promo code, tiny25.

Tiny.cc spreads its pricing across four different plans; Basic, Business, Pro, and Enterprise.

Pricing on the Enterprise plan is determined by a quote.

10. Yourls

Open-source URL Shortener With Generic And Extensive Link Management Options 

Yourls is an Open source URL Shortener With Generic and Extensive Link Management Options

With an innovative name standing for “Your Own URL Shortener” YOURLS is an Open-source URL shortened using a small set of PHP scripts that allow you to run your own URL shortening service.

While running your own URL shortened, you own your data and don't depend on third-party services to make improvements on your base software.

You can add branding to your short URLs, instead of using the same public URL shortener everyone uses.

With its free and open-source software, you can make links private ( for your use only) or public (for multiple people to create short links with a common domain name).

A terrific plugin architecture with dozens of plugins enable you to easily implement new features, like handy bookmarklets to easily shorten and share links 

You also have access to statistics through historical click reports, referrers tracking, and information about visitors' geo-location.

A Developer API allows you to integrate YOURLS into other applications and sample files to create your own public interface and a lot more.

Your changes won't be lost when you upgrade your YOURLS installation and you can easily activate and deactivate a plugin from the administrator interface.

YOURLS allows multiple short URLs to be used for the same long URL and you have the liberty to set a configuration to allow only one pair of shortURL/longURL or to allow the creation of multiple short URLs pointing to the same long URL.

YOURLS Cookie Key feature serves as a random secret hash used to encrypt cookies. You don't have to remember it or make it long and complicated.

With YOURLS' Reserved URL feature, you can define a list of keywords that won't be used in your short URLs. 

You get to clarify negative, unwanted or potentially misleading keywords that you don't want in your URL. 

These, alongside many more capabilities, ensure that you are never short of options in shrinking or managing your shortened URLs.

Pricing

YOURLS is open-source software and is free to use.

URL Shortener For Creatives And Entrepreneurs

Hyperlink is an URL Shortener for Creatives and Entrepreneurs

Hyperlink is another URL shortening service that offers you great advanced options in shrinking and efficiently managing your links.

With Real-time notifications, you have access to push notifications when your links are clicked.

This means that you get notified in real-time, are able to track clicks, and also have the choice of picking between daily, weekly & hourly click summaries.

Custom domain names and branded hyperlinks that offer you 34% higher click-through rates than unbranded links can also be created through the URL shortener.

You can share anything, anywhere through Hyperlink and to any platform; Twitter, Facebook, iMessage, and lots more.

Per-click details relating to location, device, and referral information for every visitor are also provided to you.

Live dashboards allow you to get a live look at the visitors clicking on your links and, with integration with Slack and Zapier, you can configure your notifications to be delivered to exactly where you want them.

Hyperlink can be used as a Google Chrome Extension, which provides you with relative comfort.

The URL is built for creatives, entrepreneurs, salespeople and presents mobile apps for easy short URL creation.

Pricing

Hyperlink Pricing Plan

Hyperlink spreads its services across three different plans; Free, Standard, and Enterprise.

The Enterprise plan is determined by a quote and you save up to 10% on annual subscriptions.

12. Short.io

URL Shortener With Free API For Extended Link Management Capabilities, Great For Developers

Short.io is an URL Shortener With Free API For Extended Link Management Capabilities, Great For Developers

Short.io helps to process over 13 million redirects per day for over 100,000 customers worldwide.

Brands like Panasonic, Ikea, and Universal Music Group find Short.io as a sufficient URL shortening service for their internet campaigns. 

Short.io is GDPR compliant and assures you of the safety of data collected from you.

Backed by Amazon servers, the URL shortening service handles link shortening without website delays and allows you to export all your short links simply by submitting a request to support, without any fee required.

Clickstream & Detailed Statistics help you track the success of every short link and domain through detailed insights and real-time clickstream records.

A free API allows you to shorten, analyze, and manage URLs and is great for developers. You are able to add shortening features to your existing app or build a new one.

Multiple domain management options are also provided by Short.io.

You can use several branded domains in one account, apply separate settings, and track the audience individually for each domain.

Short.io also allows you to create team groups to shorten and manage URLs from one location with your colleagues. You can assign 3 different roles; Admin, User, and Read-only among team members and transfer links from one domain to another.

Pricing

Short.io Pricing Plan

With Short.io, you enjoy A 7-day free trial and Unlimited redirects on each plan. The plans offered by the URL shortening services include Free, Personal, Team, and Enterprise.

13. Shorte.st

URL Shortener That Offers Affiliate Link Earning 

Shorte.st is an URL Shortener That Offers Affiliate Link Earning

Shorte.st is a URL shortening service that offers website owners a chance to earn money while managing their URLs.

It currently serves OVER 300,000 earning users worldwide largely consisting of website and blog owners who earn extra money on outgoing and internal links on their websites.

Regular social media users can use Shorte.st's links in their posts, comments, and messages and online marketers and affiliates can show others how to make money and benefit from shorte.st solutions.

A variety of tools designed for different needs and purposes are provided to you, alongside complete stats that allow you to identify strategies to increase your profits.

You have access to configurable scripts that help you easily monetize visits to your website in various ways as well as integrations with social widgets to have even your Facebook, Twitter, and G+ shares monetized.

You are paid every time you refer someone and can earn a 20% lifetime commission from your affiliate links.

Shorte.st also provides an easy-to-use API that allows you to shorten links more quickly and works with globally trusted payment platforms to deal with your payouts.

Dedicated customer agents are also placed at your fingertips to help with more technical problems.

14. SmartURL

Offers Highly Automated Link Management Options

SmartURL Offers Highly Automated Link Management Options

SmartURL is a URL shortener designed to not just simplify the making of shorter URLs but also serve as a platform that enables smarter marketing.

Working with SmartURL, you are able to redirect users to specific destinations based on their country or device

For situations when you need deeper control, its Flex smartURLs can be configured with device-specific redirects at the country level. 

A Pivot smartURL feature allows you to create a landing page where all users can choose their preferred retailer. This landing page can be customized with your preferred links and automatically (and smartly) hides any retailers that are unavailable in a specific country or device.

The customizable landing page has a preformatted template design that enables you to feature a product image, audio player, custom branding and designs, and a retailer-specific to a visitor's company or country.

An Events smartURL which allows you to host live events is also provided by SmartURLs.

This feature can be configured to redirect traffic to a ticketing page based on their location and also add/update event listings as your live event plans change.

Alongside the Geo-aware, Device-aware, and live events URLs, some of the other intuitive features offered by SmartURL include;

A Rescan feature that allows you to add an Apple Music, iTunes, or Amazon link and automatically expands to include the correct link for every country where the product is available. 

A Google Dynamic Retargeting feature that enables you to make customized retargeting lists and an integrated Google Analytics Tracking feature that provides you with all the data from your shortened URLs directly into your Google Analytics account. 

You have all the insights needed to drastically improve your marketing strategies through link shortening.

An Affiliate Account Integration also gives you a chance to automatically put in affiliate tracking on click and you also have the ability to streamline your dashboard by archiving old and abandoned links.

With Custom Domains, Link Diagnostics, collaborative link management, and lots more, SmartURL also serves as a competent link shortening service among its counterparts in the market today.

Pricing

SmartURL Pricing Plan

The pricing scheme is spread across three different plans; Standard, Pro, and Premium.

The premium plan allows you to manage links with up to 25 different domain names.

15. Shorby

Trusted URL Shortening Service With An Affiliate Earning Program

Shorby is a Trusted URL Shortening Service With An Affiliate Earning Program

Shorby is a link shortening service that offers all the URL shortening solutions you need and is well trusted by the likes of Amazon, Medium, and YouTube

You can create a shortened, branded link for any content you share online and apply ad tracking to your links for better campaign management capabilities.

A link retargeting feature enables you to run profitable ad campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, or Adwords and also have access to its affiliate program where you can earn up to $300 from each referral.

For collaborative teams, Shorby gives you 5 different Dashboards, click Insights, up to 1,000,000 tracked clicks, 5 messengers per bio, and 7 Ad Platforms to properly manage your activities.

Built-in Affiliate Links and Google Analytics are also made available to you.

Pricing

Shorby Pricing Plan

Alongside a 5 day free trial, Shorby offers you three different plans; Start, Rocket, Pro, and Agency.

16. Cutt.ly

Reliable URL Shortener With A Free Option 

Cutt.ly is a Reliable URL Shortener With a Free Option

Cutt.ly enables you to make your links support your brand and aims to be the new standard of shortening links and providing link analytics to businesses worldwide.

With Cutt.ly, you enjoy free custom URL Shortening services fused with many features that give you a quality links shortening experience. Your shortened URLs will never expire and ads, which could be a potential turnoff for visitors, are not displayed during direct redirection to the original URL.

Link analytics, unique redirect analytics, a team link manager, and a link rotator feature are also made available to you.

You have full control over your links as the link analytics platform enables you to track each shortened link in real-time and measure its performance to understand how well it is faring and how to make appropriate improvements.

Detailed analytics provides you with useful information about web page clicks, social media clicks, page referrer, types of devices, browsers, systems, geolocation, and a whole lot more.

With its Link Management Platform, you can optimize and customize each short URL to take advantage of its potential and also set a custom nickname that you can use in affiliate programs.

Losing an effectively shortened URL because of a crashed webpage is not one thing you would like to happen.

Thankfully, Cutt.ly allows you to change the source link or easily edit it without the need to generate a new short link.

Pricing

Cutt.ly Pricing Plan

You can save the cost of one monthly subscription through an annual subscription and services are spread between a free plan, single plan, team plan, and team enterprise plan.

17. Linkly

URL Shortener With Extensive Domain Management Options 

Linkly is an URL Shortener With Extensive Domain Management Options

Linkly is a free custom URL shortener designed for marketers that allows you to create simple, beautiful, branded, and trackable links.

Your brand is powered by links with smart redirects and retargeting features to boost your online marketing campaigns.

You can use your own domain and automatically redirect users by country, device, or use a link rotator.

SMS optimized links can be shared and you can add retargeting pixels to links for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Well-organized visual click tracking reports make it easy to track the number of clicks on a particular link, see the traffic’s country, device, ISP, destination, and referrer as they come in.

You can identify search robots and diagnose click fraud using ReCaptcha and also customize social media previews and change open-graph tags for each link you share. 

Linkly provides you with free SSL certificates for your domains and a chance at using custom domains that make Linkly invisible to the end-user.

Manage up to 50 domains on your account and set retargeting rules based on geo-location, operating system, and device.

Integrations with Google Chrome, Firefox, Google Sheets, and Zapier also make your link management all the more comfortable.

Pricing

Linkly Pricing Plan

Linkly spreads its printing in two different plans: personal and business.

The Personal plan is subdivided into a Basic and Plus plan with the Plus plan offering you a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 14-day free trial.

With the Business plan, you also enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 14-day free trial.

18. Clkim

Offers An Intuitive Link Targeting Feature And Monetization Scheme

Clkim Offers an Intuitive Link Targeting Feature and Monetization Scheme

Clkim is a URL shortener that lets you extract more value from the links you share on online platforms, social media, through SMS, or even emails.

Popular brands like Wix, Vallen, Major League, and Hacking, among a whole lot others, trust the URL shortening service for their online marketing activities.

With Clkim, you enjoy short branded links that help you increase your links click-through rates by 35% or more and have a chance to automatically redirect users based on its intuitive, smart contextual triggers.

Your visitors can be sent to the relevant landing page based on their mobile operating system or their geo-location.

A f=destination A/B Testing feature enables you to split traffic between 2 destinations, and, coupled with analytics, you can learn which destination converts better.

Clkim also allows you to easily build custom lists of those that have clicked on your short links, ensuring that you are still able to drive traffic to sites when you cannot place pixels.

What more? You can monetize your links and generate a full-page ad inventory that helps you earn.

Clkim allows you to choose how your ads will look, giving you the freedom of making sure they are as elegant, impactful, and user-friendly as you would want them to be. 

Pricing

Clkim Pricing Plan

With Clkim, you enjoy up to a 16% discount on annual subscriptions on its Analyze, Optimize, and Monetize plans. All plans also come with a 14-day free trial.

How to Use URL Shorteners in Your Marketing Campaigns

URL Shortening has come a long way in making internet navigation easier since it was first birthed in the year 2000.

Online marketing has grown in recent years and URL shortening provides intuitive ways to totally customize your online advert and promotional campaigns.

Here are a few ways URL shorteners can be of benefit to you apart from making your web addresses shorter:

Without having to say it, shortening a URL evidently allows you to mask or hide an original, lengthy web address.

This could be bad for consumers or website visitors as it allows spammers and hackers to hide malicious links. Thankfully, with security features accompanying popular and intuitive web browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, among others, you don't have to worry about fraudulent link masking.

For you as a well-meaning website address owner looking for more visitors, link masking can be put to great use.

You can take the form of your shortened URL from the content of the webpage you are looking to share

A key point from your website content can be made to accompany the URL, giving you a chance to tell your visitors what to expect from the web page without them having to read through it.

A lot of top URL shortening services like bit.ly and TinyURL, among others, provide you with a chance to totally customize your new URL to say anything you want it to.

You can't skip this chance to make your potential website visitors more willing to open up your link and increase the traffic on your page.

With default website addresses containing numbers and a lengthy string of random letters, it would be agreed that a short and memorable URL is the simpler route to go in sharing links.

Shorter and customized URLs are easier to share than lengthy ones when talking to a bunch of people or linking in a presentation.

Links are made more attractive and easier to memorize, allowing you to increase your website visitors and improve click-through rate.

Being able to easily share your links with an increased chance of them being opened up or accessed is a great peremptory signal in the effectiveness of your promotional activities. 

3. You Get Access To Useful Analytic Data

Link tracking is where URL shortening can be used for the more technical part of managing your website or social media pages.

As a digital marketer or social media manager, knowing how large your audience is and how well your content is received is very important for your job.

Proof of engagement is key in these lines of work and URL shortening services offer you access to advanced link analytics and reports. 

You get to see how many real human visitors actually clicked on a link compared to bots and even geographical data of visitors, giving you a more accurate idea of the nature of your link visitors and conversion rate

Analytics is very important in any line of business and can help in making the most little of factors very efficient. With this possibility provided by URL shortening services, much-needed improvements can be made and increased benefits can be derived from something as little as sharing links.

4. Boost Your Online Marketing Reach

Through link retargeting, URL shortening services help you to properly direct online advert and promotional materials to individuals that have made contact with a link one way or the other. 

Retargeting basically means adding a little piece of code or pixel to your site, so that when people visit, you can serve ads to them later.

With Link retargeting, users do not have to successfully visit your website to get tagged with this pixel, they only need to click on a link.

This gives you a chance to establish contact with a higher range of possibly interested internet users and expand the reach of your marketing and promotional campaigns.

5. Split Your Website Traffic

Through advanced linking features, URL shortening services allow you to split traffic in whatever ratio, either 50/50, 75/25, or whatever, from a shortened link and perform, for example, a simple landing page test. 

This is differentiated from other services which let you handle this on the page instead of within the link.

Link rotating, as it is called, gives you opportunities to test split traffic for your links.

You can also use this feature to test out a whole lot of possibilities such as running a contest, with the winners and losers being directed to separate pages using the same link.

Having seen how great the concept of A/B testing is, you may have longed for ways to apply it to every area of your life.

Thankfully, at least with URL shortening services, you get to test it out.

You can increase the visitors to a webpage and test out how effective the webpage is for its purpose through an already working shortened link.

6. Flexibly Change Your Destination URLs

This is a feature that may be absent even with top URL shortening services in the market.

Imagine creating a very effective shortened link to a webpage and, one day, the webpage is taken down and you are not allowed to remap this shortened link to another webpage.

Creating another shortened link would not be the best option but could be your only option.

Thankfully, with URL shortening services like Rebrandly, you own your links forever and can change the destination URL to any webpage of your wish within minutes.

For instance, you can redirect visitors from your Instagram or Twitter page to your blog without having to create and share a new link with different individuals.

This creates a chance to quickly and temporarily direct traffic to a website without compromising the chance to continue using the same link for its initial purpose.

These are only a few of the many online marketing advantages of shortening links or working with the top URL shortening services in the market today.

URL Shortener FAQ

How do URL shorteners work?

The process involved in URL shortening or how URL shorteners work is pretty much simple.
A URL shortener generates a shortcode or a string of variable characters and links or maps the original target link to the shortcode.

The shortcode is taken from a base 36 system involving 25 lowercase letters (a-z) and 10 numerical values (0-1). There is also a base 62 system involving uppercase letters.

This collection of values ensures that there are no cases of conflicting URL lookups.

The shortcode creation and mapping is done as the new URL is being created and both the shortcode and initial target URL are stored together in the URL shortener's database.

When a search is made for the new URL, a script looks up the code associated with it from the database and redirects a visitor to the webpage or URL it is stored alongside.

A shortened URL cannot be unmapped from its longer counterpart without going through the system of the URL shortening service.

How do I shorten a URL?

Shortening a URL is extremely simple and can be completed within the blink of an eye. 
The procedures required to shorten URLs vary between service providers and, to give you a glimpse, the procedures of two popular services would be described.

With bitly, you can create for free by copying the link you want to shorten, going to Bitly's website, pasting your link into the u0022shorten your linku0022 field, and simply clicking on the u0022shortenu0022 button.

You can then grab the shortened URL by clicking on the u0022copyu0022 button. With TinyURL, the procedure is a little bit different.

You need to copy the URL you wish to shorten, go to TinyURL's website, paste it into the u0022Enter a long URL to make tinyu0022 field, and click on the u0022Make TinyURL!u0022 button.

You can then copy the new URL to your clipboard after it has been shortened.

Is using URL shorteners safe?

Despite how attractive and satisfying the idea of using a URL shortener is, there are major security risks in it.

Because of their short form, the availability of compressed or Shortened URLs is easy to guess by hackers through powerful scanners.

When this is successfully done, hackers can redirect individuals to phishing websites or websites where malware could be automatically downloaded onto your device.

There are no security architectures available to right against these malicious activities but website visitors can take precautions by;

Checking for a preview of the page by using a shortening service's preview feature or using a page checker.

As a URL owner, you can also prevent easy theft of your shortened URL by adding descriptive texts to it.

You can also avoid making use of shortened URLs for pages that require confidential details.

What happened to Google URL shortener?

Google shortener ended its activities in April of 2018 and changed from shortening URLs to providing Firebase Dynamic Links.

Users with existing URLs we're however allowed to continue using their shortened URLs till 2020.

URL shorteners have evolved from just shrinking links to more advanced capabilities that offer you a wide range of solutions to boost your online marketing campaigns.

A lot of URL shorteners are in the market today and only a few offer your brand these advanced features for efficient social media campaigns.

Of these few, the three that offer you the best value for money in the market today include Bitly, TinyURL, and Ow.ly.

Bitly powered up your links to give better deliverability and click-through rates as well as rich link-level data to improve your campaigns. You have access to integrations with external platforms, helping you to streamline your link management activities.

TinyURL is one of the most experienced and trustworthy URL shortening services in the market today. It equips you with extensive branding and reliable URL tracking capabilities to easily improve marketing campaigns. 

Ow.ly is a URL shortening service integrated with Hootsuite, a platform that offers you extensive link management, marketing services, and AI-powered analytic tools.

Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.