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How to Provide Short URLs

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 3

Dependent upon the website link (or URL) that you hope to share, you may find that it is in your best interest to shorten the link that you hope to share with others. Whether you would like to shorten an ordinary link, or perhaps even a long winded affiliate link, there are a variety of places available online where you can easily submit your link in return for a shortened version of that same link. Bear in mind that, even though your link may be shortened significantly from its original form, when a visitor clicks on it (either as a whole text URL, or linked through a wide variety of anchor text), this new link will display the same page as the original longer URL. Shortening your URL can have a wide array of applications, and many find it particularly useful and practical in the world of affiliate marketing.

For some websites, such as Twitter, not only does shortening your shared URLs make for an overall professional and aesthetically pleasing link, but it is also necessary if you would like to share a URL in the first place. This necessity stems from the fact that Twitter, per their Terms of Service, inherently disallows more than a set amount of characters in each tweet. Had you wanted to post a URL that has 150+ characters, you would be unable to on Twitter.

For whatever reason you hope to shorten your website destination URLs, following the following resources in this Info Barrel and you'll be able to shorten your URLs with ease.

Things You Will Need

  • a Computer

Step 1

In this step, you will want to acquire the long URL that you hope to convert into a shorter URL. If you own your own website domain, the character length wont typically be long enough to warrant or justify a shorter URL. On the other hand, affiliate links from such affiliate networks as Commission Junction, Amazon Associates, Share-a-Sale, and Linkshare, will be very long and complex and will require conversion to a much shorter URL.

In order to acquire the URL that you hope to shorten, you will have to copy it from the web address space above your internet browser screen. You can do this in one of two ways:
  • Highlight the desired URL, and "right click" your mouse until a menu shows up. When the menu shows up, you will want to hit the "copy" option. This can also be accomplished by choosing the "cut" function option, however, your link will then disappear (as it would have been 'cut' to you clipboard for future use).
  • You can also highlight the URL in your internet browser, and click "Ctrl + C" in order to "copy" it. When this is done, a "copy" of your URL is automatically placed onto your computer's clipboard. After that is done, you can now "paste" your link into the form provided on the website that's link conversion.

Step 2

A short URL, that will never expire, can be created simply by visiting the website "tinyurl.com". This website is one of the most popular, of many, in order to take a long URL address and effectively convert it into a much more practical, shortened, URL address. Before you click the "Make TinyURL!" button, be sure to fill in the form box entitled "Custom Alias (Optional)" which is located directly underneath the box where you would "paste" you long web address URL.

A "custom alias" can help you to at least somewhat personalize your shorter link, however, it will always have the domain URL "http://www.tinyurl.com" attached to it. Unlike a Wordpress blog functionality, in which you actually own the website domain, on tinyurl.com you must use their domain because it isn't your own. With WordPress plugins, like Pretty Link, you can do essentially the same thing here, except you would use your own domain as opposed to someone else's domain.

Step 3

The website "bit.ly" is very popular amongst those who would like to shorten their web address URL, and operates almost exactly like "tinyurl.com". While "tinyurl.com" will require you to click a "Make TinyURL!" button, on "bit.ly", the button you will click with your left mouse button is entitled "shorten". With "bit.ly", you can also receive real time click statistics analytics associated with each link you create.

As you can see, shorten your web address URL doesn't have to be an overly difficult or complicated process. Many websites do exist where you can easily shorten your web address URL, however, the two websites mentioned in this Info Barrel article are among two of the most commonly used internet wide. Not only will shortening your URL make your link more practical and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, in place of tons of text and characters that seem to go for several lines when posting, but shorter links can also be used strategically as a tool of internet marketers. By using these shortened links, you don't give nearly the impression of an affiliate link as you would had you used the entire lengthy and long winded affiliate link itself.

Tips & Warnings



Sep 29, 2010 1:02am
Good article Howie. I'm a fan of "bit.ly" myself.
Sep 30, 2010 1:00pm
Personally I don't like using URL shorteners on affiliate links, because most people like to know were they are clicking to. Which leads to a reduction in CTR and sales.
Very good article!
Oct 4, 2010 4:35am
I agree 100% - It is extremely rare that I click on a shortened URL
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