URL Shorteners – What in the World are Those?

The Basics
URLS are the website links or web addresses that take you to a given website.  Below you will see examples of original ChildCareInfo.com links and their shortened links.  The original and the shortened take you to the exact same place!

Examples of URL and URL Shortened

Why Would I Use a Shortener? 

  1. When you are tweeting you can’t use original URL’s because they are too long for the 140 character requirement
  2. You get to keep track of what links people are clicking on!

Did you hear that?  You get to keep track of what links people are clicking on!

Do you ever feel like you shouldn't bother with the information you post on social networks, on your website or in your blog because you don’t get a reaction or communication from your followers about them?  This is your solution!  URL shorteners keep analytics of each link that is clicked so you know by the hour what is clicked on and how many times.  

What account should I use?

The ones used in the table above are:

bitly.com- This is a free account and keeps track of data for you for up to 30 days.  You can set up alerts for trending links and even create bundles of links you want to share.  After you create the bundle you can share ONE link in order to share 7 others within the bundle. 

goo.gl from google - Also a free account and keeps track of data for you.  However, google provides you with all-time statistics for free.  This is different from both  bit.ly and ow-ly.  The other companies will charge you for that data.

ow-ly from hootsuite – If you have a hootsuite account to manage your social media platforms and use their link shortener box, this will automatically shorten the link to ow-ly.  You can access your statistics from the hootsuite account.

In Conclusion – Use These and Get Rewarded!

These are GREAT tools to help you understand what people are clicking on when posting to Facebook or Twitter, or even links in your websites.  Reward yourself and find out that people are interacting with your social media posts!  Sign up for an account and get one of these today!


Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.