Looking for the best URL shortener to shrink your site’s links, analyze clicks, use your own custom domain, or help you use retargeting?
Nobody like long URLs like this: https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-cases-and-hospitalizations-rise-in-u-k-as-variant-from-india-takes-hold-11622289600
Short URLs are easier to type and share: https://t.ly/dTQ0
Have you ever wanted to know how many people click on your links? As well as where those clicks came from? Short URL can give you all of that information and more. You can use them to improve your marketing efforts and provide a better experience for your customers and social media followers.
In this article, you’ll learn all about URL shorteners, including the new shortest URL shortener T.LY.
What Exactly is a “URL”?
“URL” stands for “Uniform Resource Locator,” and they’re a way of identifying the location of a file on the internet.
Is a URL the same as a domain name?
Well, not exactly although, the terms are often confused and used interchangeably. A domain name is just one part of a URL. The image below shows the difference:
What is a URL Shortener?
A URL shortener is a digital tool that enables you to take a long link and create a new, shorter one that takes people to the same location.
These days, most link shorteners allow you to track your link metrics. However, if you just need a shorter link, using a URL shortener couldn’t be easier.
How to Shorten a Link
Let’s take a quick look at how to shorten a URL using T.LY.
- Copy your long link to your clipboard.
- Go to T.LY.
- Paste or write your link into the box provided.
- Click “Shorten”
- Your new short URL is automatically copied to your clipboard to share.
To make shortening links possible, many URL shorteners have short domain names themselves, such as T.LY
Many also allow you to create short links with your own customized URL. We’ll cover these in more detail below.
Why Should You Use a URL Shortener?
Let’s dig into some reasons why you should be using a URL shortener.
First, URL shorteners make it easier to share and manage long URLs. This is especially true when sharing URLs on blogging platforms, or in SMS messaging applications which are limited to 160 characters.
Next, URL shorteners can help you avoid excessively long and confusing URLs or any which contain jumbles of letters and numbers. What’s more, some link shorteners allow you to create custom branded URLs. Branded URLs are much easier to read, memorize, and type. This makes them particularly useful when sharing URLs in any form of print advertising, such as posters, flyers, magazines, or business cards.
Plus, branded short links receive up to 39% more clicks when compared to generic short URLs. These branded short links also have another key benefit. Unfortunately, URL shorteners are often used by spammers to hide the URL destination. That way, unsuspecting people are more likely to click on them. However, by branding your short URLs, you can avoid being perceived as a spammer.
As long as your custom short URL domain relates to your brand and is used regularly, people will trust your links. Lastly, despite being called URL “Shorteners,” one of the key benefits of shortening links is actually the ability to track how your audience engages with your links. Modern URL shorteners provide access to a host of metrics and insights that marketers can use to review and improve their campaigns.
For instance, T.LY dashboard provides numerous metrics, including:
- Total Clicks
- Total Unique Clicks
- Top Referrers
- Top Locations
- Top Browsers
- Top Platforms
- And other additional statistics