Why You Need to Start Shrinking Your Links

Posted on July 5, 2013

Tired of throwing unwieldy links around? There’s nothing like a long sequence of arbitrary letters and numbers to turn readers off.

And with social media character limits getting smaller and smaller these days, no one likes to ditch their links to meet posting regulations.

The good news is that a bunch of clever people out in cyberspace have come up with a host of applications to shorten your links for you. Just throw in your chosen URL and watch as their little link-making machines spit out a short 15-20 character alternative.

But why bother making big links into little links?

Nobody likes a mess

It’s easy for your message to get lost among a jumble of characters and letters. When it comes to any type of posting or social media sharing, the cleaner the better.

Limited space adds to the mix, and sometimes it’s virtually impossible to include a top quality link in your social media post in it’s original unshortened form.

Amp up your tracking capabilities

Bitly has this down pat. With a quick sign up, not only to you have access to a list of all your bitly links, but you can track the number of click-throughs and the stats associated with each link.

Owly does this too, the only difference is that the tracking capabilities are only accessible if you sign up for a Hootsuite account – which is both free and definitely worth it (more on that later).

If you aren’t familiar with the magic that is bitly, TinyURL or the Hootsuite powered Owly link feature, then here’s 5 potential link shorteners to get acquainted with right now:

Bit.ly

My personal favorite, Bitly is fun, fresh and provides simple and easy-to-follow analytics for each link. It also tracks the number of click-throughs for each platform and collates them all for future reference.

Cli.gs

No bells and whistles, just throw in your URL and you’re ready to go. The most simple of link shorteners.

Owly

Part of the almighty HootSuite tracking platform, Owly links are especially great when partnered up with a free dashboard accounts. They can then be tracked across social media channels and compiled into click summary reports upon request.

Is.gd

Another very simple link shrinking solution. Useful if you’re not too fussed about tracking and just want to cut those links down to size before sharing.

TinyURL

Minimalistic but packing a real punch, TinyURL not only allows you to shrink links but lets you hide URLs and use the shortened links to redirect pages within your site.


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