What is a URL Shortener?
The key to social media is to ensure your content is easily memorable. This also applies to the links you share in your posts or bios. URL Shorteners aim to solve the problem of lengthy and unwieldy links by shortening them into more polished links that are easy to remember and share across social media while still directing to the same page.
URL Shorteners are often used by social media managers and small business owners to create links that are more aesthetically pleasing and less cumbersome for their online audience. Looking to use shortened links as a marketing tactic? Here are some ideas for how URL shorteners can improve your marketing.
How does a URL Shortener work?
A URL Shortener tool works by creating a new shortened link that redirects to the same page the original, complicated link redirects to.
These tools replace the URL with a new domain (e.g., buffer.com changes to buff.ly or bit.ly), and the permalink is replaced by a string of numbers and/or letters. For example, buffer.com/resources/tiktok-seo changes to buff.ly/3jeYi05/.
Most tools will also allow you to create a personalized domain and permalink, typically at a cost, which would then look like, buff.ly/tiktok-seo.
What are the benefits of using a URL Shortener?
Shortening your links should be a must-have in your social media strategy. Here are four of the top benefits of using a URL Shortener:
- It makes your links more friendly and memorable: It’s more likely that your followers will remember a short and polished-up link like buff.ly/url-shortener, rather than a long one like buffer.com/library/url-shorteners. Plus, it can be a really great opportunity to extend your branding into the shortened links you share on social media.
- You can track your link’s performance: Many URL Shortener tools offer tracking and analytics features so that you can keep track of how many clicks your link receives and where the clicks are coming from.
- It increases click-through rates: Links that look polished and clean tend to get more link clicks than long ones because they are more visually appealing and because most social media users are used to shortened links nowadays.
- They use fewer characters: When it comes to social media, every character counts, especially for Twitter. By using a URL Shortener, you can turn your long links into much shorter ones, thus cutting down your character count by quite a bit.
What are some popular URL Shorteners?
Fortunately, there are tons of URL Shortener tools at your disposal for cleaning up long links. Here are a few of the most popular ones:
- Buff.ly by Buffer: Buffer is an all-in-one social media management tool that helps you schedule, publish, and analyze your social content; any links that you drop directly into the Buffer composer when scheduling posts are automatically shortened and polished up. Start shortening up your URLs in Buffer for free.
- Bitly: Bitly is one of the most well-known URL shortener tools, offering link tracking and analytics.
- TinyURL: TinyURL is a URL shortener that is incredibly easy to use and that lets you shorten links without having to create an account.