The Ultimate Guide to URL Shortening

Patrick A. Snyder
Patrick A. Snyder Published on February 16, 2023

URL shorteners convert long web addresses into short links that are easy to read, manage and share. These links redirect to the original URL, offering benefits for better marketing, tracking, and analysis.

What is a URL Shortener?

A URL shortener is an application that condenses lengthy URLs, redirecting the new link to the original URL. Some platforms, like Twitter and YouTube, include automatic URL shortening. Both free and fee-based URL shorteners exist, with additional services available through a monthly fee.

What is the Purpose of a URL Shortener?

A URL shortener aims to display better and more concise links, increasing the click-through rate and offering better tracking and analytics, which are essential for social media campaigns.

What is a URL Shortening Service?

URL shortening services are web apps that reduce the length of long URLs and maintain the connection between the new shorter link and the original long link. Some URL shortening services also offer analytics to check the number of clicks, users, and traffic patterns.

Benefits of a Short URL

Short URLs offer several benefits, such as better aesthetics, readability, simplified sharing, and analysis, higher click-through rates, improved search engine rankings, and better site structure. Short URLs can also enhance brand perception, user engagement, and trust.

How to Create a Short URL?

Creating a short URL is easy and often free, and requires just a few simple steps.

Here are the steps to follow when creating a short URL:

  1. Choose a reliable URL shortener service: Select a service that offers the features you need.
  2. Copy and paste the long URL: Enter the long URL into the input box provided by the service.
  3. Shorten the URL: Click on the "Shorten" button to create a shortened URL.
  4. Test the URL: Make sure the shortened URL redirects to the original long URL.
  5. Share the URL: Use the shortened URL to share your content.

Use cases of Short URLs

Social media: Many social media platforms have character limits for posts, such as Twitter's 280-character limit. Using a short link can help conserve space while still providing a clickable link.

Email: Some email clients, particularly those that use plain text formatting, can break long URLs and make them difficult to click. Shortening links can help ensure they remain clickable.

Print materials: If you're printing a brochure, flyer, or other marketing materials, long URLs can take up a lot of valuable space. Shortening links can help conserve space and make your materials look cleaner and more professional.

Analytics: Short links can be used to track clicks and other engagement metrics for marketing campaigns. By using a unique short link for each campaign, you can track which links are generating the most engagement and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Mobile: On mobile devices, long URLs can be difficult to type or click, especially when sent through SMS. Short links can make it easier for mobile users to access your content.


In today's fast-paced digital landscape, URL shortening is a valuable tool for businesses and individuals alike. 

Shortened URLs offer better display, branding, engagement, and analytics, among other benefits. 

Whether you're sharing links on social media, sending a link to a colleague, or tracking link performance, URL shortening can streamline your workflow and make your online presence more professional.

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