10 Best URL Shortening Services To Simplify Your Links

Advertising Disclosure

Advertising disclosure:

Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products or services we review (also where and how those products appear on the site), this in no way affects our recommendations or the advice we offer. Our reviews are based on years of experience and countless hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.

When it comes to SEO, URL shorteners play an important role for digital marketers. A specific page in a website has a lot more characters than the homepage URL. Bigger sites that have several sections will also tend to have long, unwieldy URLs per webpage.

This becomes a problem for marketers when they need to promote certain pages, articles, or sections of a website on social media. Eye-catching and interesting posts get more attention and reactions, but having a long, crude link in a post might turn off many users from reading a post. 

Fortunately, URL shorteners abound online. These websites offer URL shortening services to make links more elegant and less cumbersome. And because we are in the digital age, many of these websites offer more than just link shortening services. A quick Google search reveals that there are dozens of URL shorteners you can use that also allow you to track metrics and customize your short links.

We’ve narrowed down the long list of URL shorteners to give you the websites that offer the most for your shortened links.


10 Best Sites for URL Shortening:


Why Use URL Shorteners?

Most—if not all—people prefer short links. URL shorteners do more than shorten an unwieldy link for aesthetic purposes.

url shorteners

1. Character limits on some social media sites will no longer be a problem.

This is the most obvious advantage of shortening your links. While Facebook allows you to have much longer posts, others like Twitter have a character limit. But even if social media sites provide for longer posts or captions, it’s still a good idea to shorten your link to prevent cumbersome and messy-looking captions. 

Another bonus of shortened links is that it becomes easier for others to share, boosting your awareness and engagement.

2. Long links can be mistyped and break more easily.

Copying and pasting might seem like a flawless solution, but the chances of a long link breaking are naturally higher when you have 100-character-long links. With short links, you can be sure that you’ve either correctly typed or copy-pasted the entire length of the link. It’s also easier to check the accuracy of short links, especially if you have a custom branded link.

3. Short links can be customized for branding purposes.

Many URL shorteners now offer custom short links for those who are keen on branding. These custom URLs, sometimes called vanity links, are a great chance for businesses to create brand awareness through their links. These can work especially well for posts that encourage sharing among social media users. Customized shortened links will not only circulate the link you want to promote, but the custom name of the link will drive brand awareness as well.

4. Shorter links provide more credibility.

Imagine encountering a link with so many characters, words, and random letters inserted. Wouldn’t it look suspicious, like a phishing scam or a hacking attempt? Shortening your links will make them look safer and more credible, upping your chances of getting clicks.

5. Tracking performance through shortened links is easier.

Many link shorteners also provide tools to help you track and measure metrics, which is essential in marketing. These data allow you to gauge whether or not your campaigns are successful. It will help you adjust properly in order to obtain better results, and maintain or even level up on what works.


Best URL Shorteners:

1. TinyURL

TinyURL

If you’ve been hanging around online since the early 2000s, chances are, you’ve probably come across TinyURL, ostensibly the first website to offer link shortening services. 

TinyURL was developed back in 2002, when creator Kevin Gilbertson found it difficult to include links, which apparently were quite bulky, in emails for his website. 

If you’re someone who just needs a short URL every once in a while, TinyURL is a good tool to use. Just go to the website, input your long URL, and receive a tiny URL in seconds. No need to register for an account to use the service, even for a customized tiny URL. 

But if you want link management services, tracking and monitoring, and customization, you’ll be better off signing up for an account. TinyURL does offer a free account—with limitations, of course. Paid accounts start at $9.99 a month, but you can also contact them for custom options.


2. Bit.ly

Bit.ly

Another well-known link shortener is Bit.ly. Even though TinyURL came before them, Bit.ly has overtaken the former to be arguably the most popular URL shortener for marketers. No doubt you’ve seen several “bit.ly” links on social media—some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Disney, ESPN, Buzzfeed, and The New York Times, all use Bit.ly for their link shortening needs.

Bit.ly’s popularity is not unfounded. When it comes to features, this URL shortener provides pretty much what every marketer needs. Similar to TinyURL, occasional users can just go to Bit.ly’s homepage, input a long URL, and receive a shortened link within seconds. Those who require more links or more features can sign up for an account. Prices start from an affordable $8 a month to $199 for premium accounts, but you can also get a free account or an enterprise account with custom features.


3. BL.INK

BL.INK

Created especially for businesses, BL.INK is a URL shortener tool that only offers paid plans. It’s definitely not for individual users who only need to shorten several to several dozen links a month.

BL.INK’s cheapest plan is the Expert+, tagged at $48 a month. The features they offer are diverse and impressive. They provide not only the usual link management, data analytics, and customization as Bit.ly and TinyURL, but they also have domain management features and integration with several other marketing tools.

If you get a customized Enterprise plan, you get access to all of the BL.INK tools available, plus additional modules designed specifically for enterprises such as:

  • Broken link report
  • Audit logs
  • Advanced account security
  • Whitelisting and blacklisting
  • Private links

Because BL.INK’s plans are quite pricey, all four options have a 21-day free trial, so brands can get a feel of what plan suits them the most.

BL.INK boasts of high-profile clientele, including Target, Coca-Cola, AirBNB, and Chevron.


4. Ow.ly by Hootsuite

Ow.ly by Hootsuite

Ow.ly is Hootsuite’s link shortening tool. Ow.ly used to be a separate URL shortener that could be used by anyone, but Hootsuite decided to integrate it into one dashboard for added security. You’ll need a Hootsuite account to use the URL shortener, but the good news is that Ow.ly is still free for account users.

The difference between Ow.ly and other link shorteners is that Ow.ly is one tool among the many features of Hootsuite, so we can technically say that the link shortener is actually a feature of the Hootsuite social media management platform. If you are already using Hootsuite, then it would make sense to just use Ow.ly to shorten your URLs instead of opting for other free shorteners or signing up for an account at a separate website.

Hootsuite’s plans are priced similarly with BL.INK’s, with their cheapest option at $49 per month. However, it’s worth noting that Hootsuite is an all-in-one toolkit for social media management, which includes content curation, post scheduling, and social media analytics. 

Some of Hootsuite’s clients include Ikea, Allianz, eBay, and Imperial College London.


5. Rebrandly

Rebrandly

Rebrandly markets itself as link management tool for branded links. They specialize in providing link shortening services using a custom domain name. They offer different types of plans, categorized for individuals and for teams. Because they also provide domain name registration, you can manage all your domain needs and links in one dashboard.

The Starter plan for individuals comes out at $24 per month if you choose to pay annually. Rebrandly also offers free accounts as well as custom plans for enterprises. Features for free accounts are quite good; you receive 500 total branded links and 5 custom domain names. Analytics and link management tools are also available, although it goes without saying that you get better features for more premium plans.

Rebrandly does not have a free trial; instead, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with your purchase. 


6. ClickMeter

ClickMeter

ClickMeter is not technically a link shortening service provider per se. Like Ow.ly, the link shortener is just a feature in ClickMeter’s link tracking services. 

ClickMeter was created mostly for agencies and advertisers who need to track and monitor the different links they use for their marketing campaigns. They even have link tracking features for affiliate marketers and publishers.

Because they concentrate on optimizing their clients’ marketing links, ClickMeter’s dashboard is heavy on analytics and reports. This is why ClickMeter is perfect for teams using Google Ads or similar ad networks. In this case, the URL shortening tool becomes a simple feature of their service that allows brands to make the most out of their links.

ClickMeter does not have free plans; pricing starts at $19 per month. They have three tiers of plans, but each tier can be adjusted according to how many clicks and data points you want to track and manage each month. All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.


7. Cuttly

Cuttly

Cuttly is one of the more economical options when it comes to URL shortening services. It’s easy to use, and there’s no need to sign up for an account if all you want to do is shorten a link every now and then.

If you do sign up, though, you get access to analytics and branded domains and links. Amazingly, Cuttly’s free plan includes up to 3 branded domains, and all of their plans—including the free version—provides unlimited branded links and link redirects.

Of course, paying for plans grants you access to more in-depth analytics. Still, you get a pretty good deal on the free plan if you want to try Cuttly out first. You can then move up to the Single monthly plan, which costs $25 per month.


8. Sniply

Sniply

If conversions are your first priority, then Sniply might be your best option for a URL shortener. Sniply not only provides URL shortening services, it also allows their users to create call-to-action text and buttons for better conversions. This unique feature gives Sniply users a chance to drive more traffic to their website and landing pages with every short link that they share.

Sniply offers various plans to suit either individual or company requirements. They have a free plan with limited customization and analytics. Paid plans start at $25 per month (paid annually). While customizations are available for most plans, only the Business and Agency plans provide custom domains and custom short links. With the Agency plan, you can even create custom codes and scripts, plus integrate with third party analytics software.


9. Hyperlink

Hyperlink

What sets Hyperlink apart from other URL shorteners is their real-time notification feature. You can set up Hyperlink to notify you when someone clicks on your link, from anywhere in the world. This would be good for start-ups that want to know from where they get the most traffic, and at what hours.

For bigger brands, you can choose to receive click summaries hourly, daily, or weekly so you don’t get bombarded with push notifications in real time. Each click has data on location, type of device, and referral information for better tracking and analytics.

Hyperlink only offers two paid plans: the Standard, which comes at $39 per month billed annually; and Enterprise, priced by quotation. Both plans have custom domains and branded links. You can also choose their free plan, which comes with unlimited Hyperlinks and clicks.


10. Tiny.CC

Tiny.CC

Tiny.CC was the first free URL shortener to provide link editing. In service since 2006, the company has made a name for itself in the link shortening industry, and has gathered quite a lot of knowledge and information when it comes to URL management.

Basic plans start at a very reasonable $5 a month and includes one custom domain, two users, 1000 clicks per link per day, and 500 links. There are also affordable plans for businesses and enterprises. Analytics are available for all plans; you can also merge your Tiny.CC account with Google Analytics.

A 7-day free trial is available for those who want to try out Tiny.CC first before purchasing. Do note, however, that only features that come with the Basic plan are available for the free trial.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a URL shortening service used for?

An URL shortener is a website that can reduce the length of your URL, or Uniform Resource Locator. The concept is to minimize your web page address into something easier to remember and track. Popular link shorteners include Bitly, TinyURL, and Rebrandly.

How do I make a URL link shorter?

You can make a URL link shorter by using a URL shortener website. Go to the website, put the URL into the website, and click “make the URL shorter!” The shortened URL will appear.

Can I shorten a URL for free?

You can shorten a URL for free by using a URL shortener website. Popular link shorteners include Bitly, TinyURL, and Rebrandly.

Is URL shortening legit?

A URL shortening service is an Internet technique used to shorten and compact lengthy website addresses. A URL shortener can be used by scammers to fool people into visiting malicious websites. Many users don’t realize the scam because they don’t know how to recognize a faulty shortened URL. 

Over 30.000 marketing professionals rely on us for their news. Shouldn’t you?

Subscribe to the world’s #1 influencer marketing newsletter, delivered bi-weekly on a Thursday.