Since the Internet began, links have been the primary method of traveling from one website to another. But as online marketing became more prevalent, lengthy URLs started to present a problem. Especially as social media sites such as Twitter limit the number of characters in a message, long links are difficult to type out and often impossible to fit into a tweet. URL shortener tools emerged to address this issue.

Shortening a link creates an alias for the original URL that, when clicked, redirects users to the original site. This makes it easier to share the link with friends, embed in web content or print on a poster or flyer. Short links are also useful in analyzing clicks and other data, because they can be easily linked to Google Analytics accounts and retain UTM parameters.

Unfortunately, the popular Google URL shortener was shut down in 2019, but luckily there are still many great options out there. Hootsuite’s Owly and Bitly are two of the most trusted and reliable URL shorteners on the market, both of which offer a range of features to help you brand your links, track clicks and other metrics and more. Both of these services allow you to shorten a link and also give it a custom back-half, which can be an important part of your branding and making the link more memorable for your audience. They are also both optimized for use with Google Analytics, so you can keep track of how your links are performing. url shortener google

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