Spoiler alert! URL Shorteners are absolutely underrated tools! To set the scene, you’re trying to post that perfect social media post, but you’ve run out of characters to insert a link… Cue the URL Shortener to the rescue.
An URL shortener helps you take a link and shorten it so that the link doesn’t use as many characters as it may have otherwise. I’d never really given much thought to whether there could be any downsides to this as the A-type personality in me is thrilled at the idea of the order and structure these shorteners can bring. After doing a bit of research I’ve found the most common pros and cons to using URL shortening services.
- It looks nice and shorter links are easier to share.
- People trust shorter links. Personally, I’m on the fence about whether this is true or not, personally I would say that I prefer seeing a bit more of the link as it gives me a better sense of what I will land on once I’ve clicked (I prefer more info upfront).
- Some service providers offer additional tracking.
- Shortened links are great for any printed collateral that you may need to add a link to.
- Shitty spammers use these URL shorteners too. If you’re unsure of a link use WhereDoesThisLinkGo
- Using a link shortening service means you are entering into the realm of relying on 3rd party services to keep your links live. If the URL shortening service you use were to disappear, it could lead to your links becoming inactive. See note about 301 redirects here
Below a very short and non-specific list of 5 URL Shortening Services to explore.
I found so many services I had never even heard of that this article may warrant an update on how to choose.
Feel free to comment and let me know which URL Shortener is your favourite and why.
In my research I kept coming across how important it is to use an URL shortening service that accommodates for 301 redirects, so I thought it may be important to mention what a 301 redirect is.
Moz says: “A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page.”
Learn more about Redirects here.
What is your favourite URL shortener and why?