URL Shorteners and a free alternative

URL shorteners like Bitly are useful for a couple of reasons. The first is the most obvious. You can take a very long URL, and replace it with a much shorter one. You might need to do this in order to fit better into something like a tweet.

Another good thing about shortened URLs is that you can embed your tracking in a “wrapped” URL that might otherwise look ugly, but is hidden within the shortened URL right along with the destination URL. This can help you track which of your links or social networks are driving the most traffic to your site, and ultimately the most conversions to see which tactics are working the best.

If you swing for a custom URL shortener, then you don’t sacrifice being able to brand your shortened URLS. The downside is that those cost money. If you don’t have a branded shortener, you could also create your own shorter URLs using 301 redirects on your side. This allows you to have attractive, easy-to-remember URLs that are good for print ads or posters for people to remember later. Think something like


that redirects the user to