A URL serves as a passkey to access a specific content on the web.
But as things constantly change, the way URLs are being used and shared has also changed.
With the help of some tools and experts, the length of long and annoying URLs can now be shortened with a tool called URL SHORTENER.
I don’t want to assume that everyone reading this understands what a URL shortener is.
So I will explain what it means for the sake of those that are not familiar with the term.
Table of Contents
What Is A URL Shortener?
A URL shortener is a well programmed and smart tool designed in a way that makes it able to detect long URLs and shorten them to become short and simple.
Example of a shortened URL
This URL consists of 69 characters and 17 words which is much.
This URL consists of only 21 characters and 0 word which is short, simple and good.
From the example given above, you can see both URLs. I want to believe you think https://goo.gl/bSc7Yz is short and simple.
With this example given above, I’m quite sure you’d want to know how URL Shorteners work.
I’ll tell you how it works but not now. First, I’ll mention the benefits of shortening URLs before they go viral.
There are many benefits of shortening URLs before sharing them. Some of these benefits are:
It Makes People Curious
This sounds weird, right?
It should, but it’s actually a merit of shortening URLs before making them go viral.
Default URLs reveal what your web page and content is all about.
That is, they give people insight about what your web page will look like if viewed but with URL shorteners.
Your URL does not get revealed and this does not give people insight on what the web page will look like if viewed unless you attach a description to the URL.
When you shorten your URLs before putting them up anywhere, there is a 90% chance that people will take action on them.
Here’s why humans are designed to be curious.
Anyone who comes across any shortened URL like; https://goo.gl/bSc7Yz with a catchy description attached to it.
Would be eager to find out what that URL contains unlike a URL like this
And what does this mean?
It simply means your URL will get more clicks which will help people take action on the content of the URL and also help you increase your web page views and site traffic.
It Gives You Insights
Another crazy but cool advantage of shortening URLs is that it helps you get insights on that URL.
That is, most URL shortening tools possess one cool feature that allows you see the live stats and performance of your shortened URL. The performance I’m talking about here is:
The number of people that clicked on your URL
The location of the clickers
The browser used in viewing the URL
The type of device used in viewing the URL
All time analytic of all day, week, month and year click.
This feature is awesome, right?
It should because your default URL does not give you any insight on the performance of your URL.
This is not cool because nowadays, people want to know the amount of action taken on their URLs as it forms a part of their business and other internet activities.
This is another good benefit and reason for you to start keeping your URLs short and simple with the help of cool URL shortening tools.
It Helps You Keep Things Short and Simple
I personally don’t like long URLs because they look unorganized.
A research I conducted proved that over 70% of internet users lose interest anytime they come across long and unorganized URLs which makes people lose clicks and engagement.
I’m sure you don’t want to lose clicks that are meant for you. To retain your clicks, keep that long, unorganized URL short and simple.
For platforms like Twitter, short and straight to the point tweets perform best.
If you’re the type that shares your URLs on Twitter where the number of characters you’re allowed to tweet is limited.
You’re advised to reduce the length of your URL in order to make it compatible with your tweet and also compatible for other Twitter users (your supposed target audience) to read.
For instance, if your tweet is 150 characters long (without your URL) and your default URL is more 30 characters long,you’re at risk, in the sense that your characters are too much and they exceed
you’re at risk, in the sense that your characters are too much and they exceed Twitter’s character limit for a tweet.
If you are notified that you exceed the character limit while trying to tweet, you won’t be able to make that tweet and your only option is to reduce the length of the tweet to fit Twitter’s maximum number of characters.
This is a problem for because you just have to make that tweet which contains your long URL in order to convey the information you desire to channel to your audience.
If the reason you’re unable to tweet is that a number of characters in your caption is much, you’re advised to reduce it.
But if it turns out to be that a number of characters your URL possesses are much making you unable to tweet, you’re advised to grab a trusted URL shortening tool that’ll help keep that long and limiting URL short.
Which URL Shortening Tool Should You Use?
With all these points mentioned above, I’m sure you’d want to start using URL shorteners and you’d also like to find out which URL shortening tool to make use of.
There are many URL shorteners out there but I recommend these ones:
Google URL Shortener: a URL shortener created and owned by the worlds tech giant Google
Bitly URL shortener
Ow.ly URL shortener
These 3 URL shorteners are powerful, efficient and reliable they’ve been tested and trusted by me and other internet users around the world.
They are also registered and recognized globally.
How To Use URL Shorteners
Here, I’ll state how to use the 3 URL shortening tools I recommend.
The procedures involved when using URL shortening tools are not special, they are simple and actionable.
Here’s how to go about URL shorteners :
Google URL Shortener
If you prefer to use Google URL shortener, follow these easy, actionable steps :
Step 1: Go to Google Url Shortener
Step 2: Sign-in with Google account.
Step 3: When you’re logged in, you’ll find an option asking you to insert your long/default URL.
Step 4: insert the URL and click generate short URL, your generated URL should pop up. It looks like this: https://goo.gl/WeRt3v.
Step 5: copy the generated URL.
Step 6: you’re set, start using the short URL you generated.
Google URL shortener possesses URL Insight feature which allows you to view your shortened URLs performance.
To check the insights of your shortened URL, go back to https://goo.gl make sure you’re signed in to your account.
Navigate to your account’s dashboard. You should find a list of URLs you’ve shortened since you started using the tool.
Find and click on the URL whose insight you want to check. The insights of the URL should load.
The insights of every URL shortened using GooglURL shortener are always update each time action is taken on the URL.
Bitly URL Shortener
Bitly is another cool and awesome URL shortening tool.
It’s also easy to use and has almost same usage steps as Google URL shortener.
Here’s how to use Bitly URL Shortener :
Step 1: Go to Bitly Url Shortener
Step 2: Follow the instructions you get on the website to signup.
Step 3: log in to your account’s dashboard, when you’re logged in, you’ll find an option instructing you to insert your long URL.
Step 4: do the needful by inserting the URL you desire to shorten and click on the shorten or generate short URL button.
Step 5: your shortened URL should pop up. When the URL pops-up, copy it.
Step 6: you’re good to go, start using the shortened URL.
Like Google URL shortener, Bitly URL shortener is also loaded with URL insight feature which allows you to view the performance of your shortened URL.
To view the insights of your URL, navigate to your Bitly accounts dashboard and click on any URL you’ve shortened to view the insights of the URL.
Ow.ly URL Shortener
This URL shortener is associated with HootSuite.
It’s awesome and very easy to use that you don’t need to create an account before you can shorten a URL but be having an account is important as it allows you get access to premium features you can’t get when you’re unregistered.
Here’s how to go about owl.ly URL shortener :
Step 1: Go to Owl.ly Url Shortener
Step 2: Create an account.
Step 3: Log in to your account’s dashboard.
Step 4: insert the long URL you want to shorten in the box you find on the website.
Step 5: click shrink URL and your short URL should pop up.
Step 6: copy the shortened URL and start using it.
To view your URLs performance, go to your account’s dashboard and click on the URL you want to view and the analytics should show.
This URL shortening tool is unique because it shortens your URL when you share it through Hootsuite.
It also allows you view the insights of your URL directly through your Hootsuite account.
I strongly recommend you use the 3 URL shortening tools I recommended earlier. There are so many crappy URL shortening tools out there that could damage your link if used. I advise you to stay away from them.
I want to believe the points mentioned above would convince you to shorten your URLs before they go viral.
If you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to drop them in the comment section.