Skip to Content
Technical Articles

URL Shorteners And Why They Are Useful

When you are posting content on your website, sending texts or emails with links in them, and trying to get your message out, long and unsightly links detract from your message. URL shortening concept is when a Uniform Resource Locator may be made significantly shorter: what you have to do is to find a short string that identifies a long URL. This short URL can be of a 6 characters long string. 

URL Shorteners

A URL shortener is exactly what it sounds like. It is a service that takes a long URL and converts it into a short link, rarely longer than twenty characters. Link shorteners have become more and more popular as we have taken up texting back and forth on services like Twitter that limit the number of characters you can put in a single message. You only have 140 characters to say what you want to say and 100 of those are hyperlinks. That does not work! So, we use a service that shortens all of those long links and then we can communicate!

Reasons Why URL Shorteners Are a Good Thing

There are several good reasons to shorten your URLs. The first is because short URLs make it easier to share information. When you have an excessively long URL in your text, it makes it harder to get your message across. This is especially true when the link takes of half of a page on your friend’s mobile device.

If you are adding URLs with useful keywords to your text for SEO reasons, you may want to keep the long link. However, it is also possible to add keywords to describe you link and accomplish the same purpose.

Tracking and compiling data is possible with a long shortening service. Such information may include geographic location, live click data, or the webpage from which the link was clicked. If your company can use this sort of data, using the right URL shortening service can be very useful.

Short Links Promote Sharing

Because you can get more URLs into a smaller space by using a URL shortener, you can provide easy links to content that you want to share while sending only a few characters of text. This is more and more important today when so much communication takes place via texting on mobile devices. Short links are part and parcel of effective daily communication in this day and age. By using a link shortener for multiple URLs you can greatly multiply the amount of information that you wish to share within a short and concise text message. This is efficient in that you do not need to send multiple text messages and it is a courtesy to those whom you are texting in that they do not need to open and read multiple messages to know what you are texting about.

URL Shorteners Help Your Business

More and more businesses are now using text messages to reach prospective customers, follow up with current ones, and expand their customer base. Having a message that is short and to the point makes it much easier to interest the reader. At the same time providing useful (and short) URLs for them to follow as desired provides them with an easy way to follow through and learn about your products, services, and reasons why you are their best option for whatever they want or need. By improving the “browsing experience” of your reader, you are more likely to keep them interested and make it more likely that they will follow through.

2 Comments
You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
  • Thanks for blog and usefulness of shorten URL.

    But, what about IT security risk? As with shortened URL is I can’t tell where I’m heading to. As per IT security training in my organisation, these URLs are a potential threat. And we simply block them in our network.

    So, I have only 2 ways, either trust the sender, which is not a very viable solution.

    Or in some way, I can know the exact URL before even I click. So, why not hyperlink the actual URL in the text? At least I can know the complete URL by just hovering my mouse cursor on that text.

    Best Wishes,
    JP

    • Excellent question, your concern is genuine, I should have mentioned it in the article. In those type of scenarios what we can do is put descriptive link text along with it.

      In some cases we suggest adding a preview option where it leads to a page that indicates where the URL will lead them, many third party security providers provide that facility.

       

      Also I strongly advise against using shortened URL for login purposes.