URL shorteners are handy tools for marketers to share content and track traffic. If you have been using the goo.gl URL shortener, you may have heard that Google is shutting it down on April 13, 2018.
There are many other URL-shortening services you can use to replace the goo.gl URL shortener.
Besides URL shortening, these tools offer a variety of features, such as link tracking, performance metrics, a custom short link, etc., that are particularly useful for content marketers:
URL Shortener Alternatives With Bells & Whistles
These services offer additional reporting functionalities to help you track traffic and optimize performance:
Bit.ly is one of the most popular and powerful URL shorteners available on the market.
It does a lot more than shortening links. It also allows users to measure metrics, track individual link analytics, optimize link performance, and more.
The tool is very intuitive to use. If you’re just shortening a URL, you don’t even have to create an account.
If you’re already using Hootsuite, you can consolidate reporting by using Ow.ly as your link-shortening service.
Similar to Bit.ly, Ow.ly has some robust reporting features such as link performance, individual link analytics, traffic source, social ROI, and more.
Since it’s part of Hootsuite, on which you can manage multiple social media accounts, you can create, schedule, post, and analyze your shortened links all in one place.
Want a short link that does double duty? Try Snip.ly.
When you shorten a URL with this service, you can attach a custom call-to-action button to the page and drive traffic back to your website or social media profile (or any URL you want.)
No-Nonsense URL Shortener Alternatives That Get the Job Done
The following sites do one thing and one thing only – shorten your URLs.
They’re fast and easy to use, so you can get the job done:
The simplicity of is.gd allows it to load quickly, even with a slow Internet connection. There’s no hoop to jump through to get your links shortened.
You can also easily customize your links to make them memorable, which can help capture attention when you’re promoting content.
Bit.do is another easy-to-use URL-shortening service that gets the job done.
Just like is.gd, you can customize your links to make them more memorable.
In addition, it offers a URL shortener service with a custom domain name that allows you to brand your own short domain for a monthly fee.
You can quickly shorten URLs without having to log in or create an account on soo.gd.
In addition to a short link, it also creates a corresponding QR code for the URL.
This is great for promoting content to mobile users and on print materials so visitors can simply open the website on their smartphones without having to type in the URL or copy-and-paste it into their browsers.
URL Shortener Alternatives: Geeky Ones ForWho Want More Control
If you want more control over your URL shortening tool, metrics, or data, here are a few options:
You can create a branded short link with YOURLS, which is a small set of PHP scripts that allows you to run your own URL-shortening service.
That means you own the data and don’t have to depend on any third-party service (which may shut down, like goo.gl!)
It also has features such as historical click reports, referrers tracking, and geo-location stats to help you analyze your traffic.
8. Pretty Links
Pretty Links is a WordPress plugin that allows you to shrink, cloak, track, organize, and share short links using your domain name.
You can make the links readable, easily speakable, and memorable to help promote your content.
When you incorporate custom links that contain your primary domain name, you’re also generating brand awareness as you share the URL.
9. Firebase Dynamic Links
Google retired the goo.gl shortener to direct users’ focus on Firebase Dynamic Links, which enables redirection to specific locations in iOS, Android, or web apps.
The “deep links” allow you to seamlessly transition users from your mobile website to the equivalent content within your app.
If you’re already using Google’s Firebase products for building mobile apps, this is a good option to keep everything in one place.
Final Thoughts on URL Shortener Alternatives
There are many options to choose from when it comes to URL-shortening services.
Are you going to pick one that’s a breeze to use, or would you prefer one that gives you more tracking functionalities?
Editor’s Note: This post was written by nDash community member Ling Wong, a digital marketer with a focus on SaaS B2B. To learn more about Ling, or to have her write for your brand, check out her nDash profile page.