URL Shorteners Features to Consider

URL Shorteners: Features to Consider in 2024

As someone who regularly shares links on social media, in emails, or on your blog, you know how important it is to have those links be as tidy and trackable as possible. Enter the handy tool known as the URL shortener. 

We’ve all been there —  you’ve got this long, messy link you want to include but it’s just taking up too much space. Or maybe you want to know how many people are clicking through.

That’s where services like Bitly, TinyURL, and others come in so handy. By shortening those lengthy web addresses down to just a few characters, they make links so much more manageable and shareable.

Plus, many of the popular shorteners out there offer some nice extra features that can help you get more out of all those links you’re putting out into the world. But with so many shorteners to choose from these days, it can be tough to know which one is going to give you what you need.

That’s why I wanted to break down some key things to consider when shopping for the right URL shortener for your needs. In this article, you’ll discover what features to look for when choosing a link-shortening tool so you truly optimize all your link-sharing efforts.

Let’s get started!

Features to Consider In a Link Shortening Tool

Below is a list of factors to consider when choosing a URL shortener.

1. Vanity URLs

When it comes to URL shorteners, you want one that lets you make those links your own. Being able to add your personalized flair is helpful for a few reasons.

One nice customization some shorteners offer is vanity URLs. Essentially, you get to choose your own shortened domain name rather than being stuck with the default one.

So instead of a long string of numbers and letters, you could have something cleaner like domainname.com/shortcustomlink. This would be much better for sharing verbally too.

Beyond just aesthetics, vanity URLs can also provide a little memory hook for people. If your link is something catchy or related to the content, readers may be more likely to recall it later on. Every extra click counts, so a memorable link is a win.

2. Click Tracking and Analytics

For any marketer, blogger, or content creator, having insight into how people are engaging with your links is super valuable. That’s where analytics comes in as a key factor when choosing a link shortener

Being able to see basic metrics like total clicks and referrers is a nice starting point. But the best shorteners out there provide way more robust tracking that can optimize your efforts. Things you’ll want to check for include:

  • Detailed analytics broken out by day, country, device, and more so you know what’s really resonating. Advanced charts and visualizations that make trends easy to spot at a glance. 
  • Customizable tracking parameters that let you tag links for specific campaigns or content. Then you can see performance by source.
  • Real-time stats so you always have an up-to-date view of clicks. Some shorteners even offer alerts when thresholds are met.

The more visibility you have into who is engaging and why, the better equipped you’ll be to optimize future outreach strategies. So make sure to prioritize shorteners known for their robust and customizable analytics dashboards.

3. Link Retargeting

Retargeting is a powerful strategy for any business, so having a link shortener that supports retargeting pixels is an important consideration. When someone visits a shortened link, retargeting pixels allow you to place a cookie on their browser.

This way, you can then show them ads on other social sites to remind them of your content. This keeps your brand top of mind and gives potential customers multiple opportunities to engage further.

Look for a shortener that makes retargeting pixels simple to implement. The best options will allow you to quickly generate pixel codes right from the analytics dashboard. That way there’s no hassle of copying and pasting codes or uploading files. 

You’ll also want a service that partners with major ad platforms like Google Ads and Facebook so the pixels are compatible. Being able to set up retargeting campaigns within those systems streamlines the process.

Advanced features like custom pixel parameters let you separate traffic for specific pages, campaigns, or user types. This granular data helps you optimize ad creatives and targeting.

4. Custom Link Previews

While automatic previews are convenient, sometimes you need a bit more control over the message and look of your links. And that’s where custom previews provide value. 

With a shortener that supports fully customized previews on Facebook, X, LinkedIn, and other sites, you can craft exactly the right introduction to each link. Maybe you want to highlight a specific call to action or piece of information not directly pulled from the page. 

Being able to add your images, titles, and descriptions gives your links more personality too. Rather than just showing a generic screenshot, you can feature the most eye-catching graphic to capture attention.

5. Integrations

When it comes to online tools, integration, and compatibility are super important these days. After all, most of us use a variety of different apps, services, and platforms as part of our daily work.

So it’s really valuable to find a URL shortener that plays well with the other tech solutions in your stack. These include WordPress, Hootsuite, and Zapier.

Beyond tracking, consider a shortener’s API capabilities too. An API allows you to pull link data or create new shortened links directly from your own applications and websites. This level of customization is great for developers.


In conclusion, when selecting a URL shortener for your needs, it’s important to evaluate the variety of features available to find one that’s the best fit for how you promote your content. Consider options that allow customization options like vanity URLs and link previews. This enables you to strategically showcase what’s behind each shortened destination. 

Click tracking and integrations with key marketing platforms simplify tracking link performance and sharing links across different channels. Link retegrating is great for maximizing reach and getting back lost customers.

Comprehensive features give the flexibility to introduce links in visually appealing, easy-to-use ways through any medium. This helps drive more traffic and engagement with your messages.

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