What is a Shortlink and How to Use It
A shortlink is a shortened version of a long URL that can be used to share content online. Shortlinks are useful for saving space, making links more memorable, and tracking clicks and performance. There are many services that offer free or paid shortlink creation and management, such as Bitly, TinyURL, and T.LY.
In this article, we will explain what are the benefits of using shortlinks, how to create them, and how to track their performance.
Benefits of Using Shortlinks
Shortlinks have several advantages over long URLs, such as:
- They save space: Shortlinks are ideal for platforms that have a limited number of characters, such as Twitter or SMS. They also make the links more readable and less cluttered.
- They are more memorable: Shortlinks can be customized with keywords or phrases that are relevant to the content or the audience. For example, bit.ly/3HwQ8tO is easier to remember than https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/10/25/the-quest-to-make-a-bot-that-can-smell-as-well-as-a-dog.
- They allow tracking: Shortlinks can provide analytics on how many people clicked on the link, where they came from, what device they used, and more. This can help measure the effectiveness of the content and optimize the marketing strategy.
How to Create Shortlinks
There are many tools and services that can help you create shortlinks in a few steps. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Bitly: Bitly is one of the most widely used shortlink services, with over 800 million links created monthly. Bitly allows you to shorten any URL, customize it with your own domain or keyword, and track its performance with advanced analytics. Bitly also offers QR code solutions, link-in-bio features, and integrations with various apps and platforms. You can use Bitly for free or upgrade to a paid plan for more features and support.
- TinyURL: TinyURL is another popular shortlink service that has been around since 2002. TinyURL lets you shorten any URL with a simple click, and optionally customize it with your own alias. TinyURL does not require registration or account creation, and does not expire or delete your links. However, TinyURL does not provide analytics or other features that Bitly does.
- T.LY: T.LY is a newer shortlink service that focuses on simplicity and speed. T.LY lets you shorten any URL with one click, and provides basic analytics on clicks and referrals. T.LY also supports custom domains, password protection, link expiration, and bulk link creation. You can use T.LY for free or upgrade to a premium plan for more features and support.
How to Track Shortlink Performance
One of the main benefits of using shortlinks is that they allow you to track how your content is performing online. Most shortlink services provide some form of analytics that can help you measure the impact of your links. Here are some of the metrics that you can track with shortlinks:
- Clicks: This is the number of times your link was clicked by users. This can help you gauge the popularity and reach of your content.
- Referrals: This is the source of traffic that led users to click on your link. This can help you identify which channels or platforms are driving more engagement and conversions.
- Devices: This is the type of device that users used to access your link, such as desktop, mobile, tablet, etc. This can help you optimize your content for different screen sizes and user preferences.