Saving characters on webpages, social media sites, and blogs has become an integral part of creating shareable links online. But there are so many URL shorteners to choose from!
- How do you know which ones are the best?
- And what should you be looking for when choosing a URL shortener?
To help you find the best URL shortener for SEO, we’ve put together this list of the 7 top-rated URL shorteners based on their current popularity and usability;
And we’ve included helpful tips on using each service, as well as some common mistakes to avoid when creating your shortened links.
If you’re looking to shorten the URL in your next blog post or website, these are the best URL shorteners you can use.
What is a URL Shortener?
When you’re sharing links on social media, message boards, and forums, you’ll eventually run into a problem: all URLs are much too long.
The more words that are used to describe a web address, the more likely it is for someone to cut off your link before it’s finished.
To avoid running into problems like these with short URLs and long posts, consider using one of our top seven URL shorteners below
Importance of URL Shortener
Url shorteners are important because they can help you maintain privacy while still sharing your site with others.
Since most social media sites will automatically shorten a link and keep track of how many times it’s been shared, using a shortener like Bitly or Ow.ly allows you to easily customize your links so that others can’t see where people are coming from when visiting your website.
It also makes it harder for cybercriminals to crack down on certain web addresses, allowing users to continue blogging freely. These types of services also increase search engine optimization since only essential information is posted on Google rather than long and convoluted URLs.
All in all, url shorteners make sharing and maintaining privacy easy for everyone involved.
What is the best URL shortener for SEO?
A shortened url makes sense for most personal or business communication needs, but it does not make sense when you’re trying to optimize your site for search engines.
The best url shortener should give users control over their links and help with user experience, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of losing link juice to a third-party company.
Let’s look at some of the best url shorteners and their pros and cons of
before deciding whether it is a good fit or not.
One of the most popular services, and once a heavy hitter, is Bitly.
The free tier allows you to shorten unlimited links with no time restrictions, but if you want analytics on your links or access to more sharing options (Pinterest and Buffer), it will cost you $5 per month.
One of the most popular link shortening services; good for Twitter users (supports WordPress plugins).
Shortened URLs aren’t custom; 1 link/day limit on free plan.
It’s free to use, but you can also pay $10/month to get priority support.
That said, it’s easy enough to use and free enough that your time is probably better spent focusing on other aspects of your business (like marketing).
When it comes down to it, Bitly is one of those links that could go in your very own arsenal—you know, just in case something happens with your server or you need a new one.
One of our favorite shortening services, Url.ly has an incredibly straightforward interface that lets you shorten and monitor URLs from within one platform.
And you can track traffic from all of your links from one place with analytics, too. What more could you want?
Url.ly is free, but there are premium plans for $4 per month or $40 per year that let you remove ads and receive additional analytics tools like link management and detailed traffic reports. W
hat’s also cool about Url.ly is its referral program—if you help a friend or follower use a custom shortened link to sign up for something on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, they’ll get 25% off their first month (and so will you).
Though it’s not as popular as it used to be, ow.ly still has some great features that make it worth using for short links.
When you shorten a link with ow.ly, you can send traffic directly to your landing page if you want—there’s no need to redirect users to another page first and lose those precious clicks.
You can also quickly delete or modify links with ow.ly; useful when something changes on your site or a link gets broken somehow.
Most well-known, easy to use and probably best URL shortener around. However, you can only shorten about 200 characters of a link.
You also need to sign up in order to create a shortened link or to view statistics on your shortened links. It’s worth it though! ($1/month)
If you’re just looking to shrink your link for a forum or an email, TinyURL is an easy way to do so. You don’t even need to register with them; it’s simple and fast.
The only issue I have with TinyURL is that they won’t let you shorten more than three links per day—and they can tell how many times each shortened link has been clicked on—in order to prevent spamming and abuse of their services.
It doesn’t take much time at all to earn those extra clicks though; for example, users can earn one additional click by tweeting about tinyurl (so there’s no reason not to).
And if you prefer something a little more convenient—something that automatically shortens your links whenever you paste text into it—then definitely check out bitly below!
Not only is Rebrandly one of the most feature-rich URL shorteners, it’s also a social platform, allowing you to follow influencers and learn from their best content.
To make things even easier, Rebrandly has mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. You can shorten or re-engage existing links in just a few clicks or taps.
It also integrates with Facebook Messenger and Slack. Pricing ranges from free to $49 per month but is well worth it if you plan on running an active campaign on social media.
Pros and Cons of using Rebrandly
One of Rebrandly’s biggest pros is that it allows you to create your own custom shortened links, which means they can feature your brand’s logo or use your chosen color scheme.
While using custom shortened links certainly helps with branding, it doesn’t necessarily have much of an impact on search engine optimization (SEO).
In fact, using branded shortlinks could be detrimental to your SEO because they take up more space in a text-based link.
6. Linktree Url Shortener
There are a lot of different ways to create a quick, safe link. Linktree is one of them.
One of my favorites is Linktree because it not only creates a secure link, but allows you to paste in multiple links at once and they’ll all be shortened using that same secure link.
This is great for when you’re linking out to other peoples’ sites or sharing images on Facebook!
There’s even an app you can use that makes it really easy to shorten URLs with your phone!
Pros and Cons of Linkree url shortener
Linkree is a powerful link shortener and redirecting tool, but it can also be used to increase your website’s ranking on search engines.
When you use a Linkree-based link, all of its analytics come back to Linkree instead of your original site.
Although most people don’t think about using link shorteners for SEO purposes, Linkree could give your pages an extra boost.
One of our favorite url shorteners around is bl.ink. It’s one of the more interactive url shorteners we’ve come across and has a pretty unique format, as well:
when you shorten a url, it opens up an editor where you can either paste in your text or write directly on your url. Once you’re done, just hit save and send out your tweet!
Bl.ink also allows you to customize your links so that each one ends with a phrase relevant to your brand or campaign—they also keep track of all custom links on their dashboard for easy access.
Pros and Cons of Bl.ink
While Bl.ink does have its advantages (it automatically shortens links and analyzes them for keywords), it also has a few drawbacks that may scare off some users, such as a lack of automation and link ownership.
Length is everything for URLs.
The shorter your link, the more likely people are to use it. Shortening a link can also help with search engine optimization (SEO) and tracking click-through rates (CTRs).
While there are dozens of online services that can shorten your links, these seven offer some of best options for organizations of all sizes.
Best of all, they’re free. See below for more information on each service and recommendations on which is best for you!
Pros and Cons of Clickmeter
While there is nothing wrong with using Clickmeter, you’ll need to be aware of its potential limitations in terms of real-world results.
As a browser add-on, it doesn’t work in an automated fashion and can only capture data on individual URLs that you choose to monitor.
This means that when using a tool like Clickmeter, search engine optimization efforts should not take place in a vacuum.
With over 10 million registered users, Cutt.ly is one of our favorite url shortening services.
It allows you to create a custom URL which will redirect traffic back to your original link via social media or email.
You can also use their tracking feature to check how many times your links have been clicked and by who!
Take note that there are two versions of Cutt.ly – standard and Pro. While both have great features, you’ll have to pay $5 per month for Pro if you want access to more statistics (i.e., reporting on daily clicks).
Pros and Cons of Cutt.ly
If you’re looking to gain a few extra followers on Twitter, it can be a good idea to shorten your URLs using a service like Cuty.ly.
However, there are some drawbacks with these services; if you decide to use one, keep in mind that you won’t be able to include any links—they simply redirect users to whatever page they point at.
o.k. is an easy way to shorten and track URLs, and it’s one of my favorites because it lets you get a feel for how your shortened links are performing (i.e., how many clicks they’re getting).
If you have other apps that support long urls, like Hootsuite or Bufferapp, it makes shortening your links even easier—simply copy-and-paste your long URL into o.k.’s website and Voila!
You’ve just created a short link for sharing in one of those other programs. It’s also nice because there’s no limit on how many links you can create (just remember to share responsibly).
Benefit of URL Shorteners to SEO
Shorter URLs rank higher in search engines. This is because they are easy to read and faster to access than longer versions.
Also, certain top-level domains are more valuable to engines, like .com versus .net or .biz.
Using a shortener will also allow you to keep your URLs clean, as they’ll be much easier on your visitors’ eyes (and fingers).
Most importantly, though, keeping them short will make it easier for people to share your content.
According to HubSpot, links from shorter URLs get clicked about 40% more often than links from long ones.
Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters; if your link is too long, users won’t be able to fit it into their tweet without deleting something important.
When it comes to shortening URLs, go with one of these services and you’ll be okay.
Just keep a few things in mind: It’s best to have your own tracking code (or service) built in so you can monitor how many people click on each link
And for that matter, where they are clicking from. It’s also essential to pay attention to keyword-rich URLs, which is why sites like Bit.ly and Cutt.ly URL Shortener work better than something like TinyURL.