How do I shorten a url?

A link or URL (we use URL and link interchangeably in this article) seems like such a simple tool in the complex, fast-changing world of the Internet, but it is a fundamental building block of the digital world.  If anything, its role has become more critical as we have evolved from simple web pages to mobile applications to involved online experiences.  A link, when doing its job well, brings you seamlessly from one channel to another. From app to app. From one activity into another. So seamlessly that you don’t even notice it.

When managed correctly, the link can grow your business, optimize investment and build better customer experiences.  So how do you manage your links correctly? With a link management platform that transforms your links from unwieldy, unreadable pieces of code, to shortened URLs packed with power.

What are short URLs and links?

Here is an example of a what a shortened link looks like for the “Learn More” button on the homepage:
As you can see, the link is much more manageable to share across channels,  plus now you are able to easily measure link performance.

How does a shortened URL work?

How can I customize my short link?

When you create your short link with Bitly, you have four customization options:

Custom branded domains: If you have multiple custom branded domains, you can decide which one to use for the link. This is helpful if you’re managing different brands or teams and want to distinguish every link shared from each respective property.

Tag: If you tag your links with a tag like “Marketing Campaign Q1” or “Social Media” or “Product Marketing” or “Landing Page”, you can filter for all of the Bitly links with that tag later, which makes it easy to get a quick view of how all those related links are performing.

Title: Add a title to every new Bitly links to make sure that your links are organized and searchable.

The Back-Half: You can customize the back-half of every Bitly link to reflect the landing page, campaign, brand, product, and more. This helps the link pop when it’s shared, showing your audience what they can expect and prompting them to take action.

If you customized the back-half of your link or want to see your history of redirected URLs, you can click “Custom Bitly links” from the feature menu.

This is where you can view all of the data behind your customized Bitly links. You can take a comprehensive look at how different URLs have performed, giving you insight into which one did the best over time.

If you’re like Mashable and use Bitly to track Instagram referral traffic, the redirect history can be an invaluable tool in figuring out which content engaged the audience the most.


Shortened URLs can help you track customer touchpoints from start to finish. By measuring engagement on each of these touchpoints, you can build a view of how your customers are interacting with your brand as they browse, research, engage, and buy. That lets you personalize your outreach and target your next campaign, so you can see how each channel is performing, from start-to-finish.

Ben Scandlen @bitly