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Custom URL shortener: Benefits, purpose, and the best tools

Manahil AsifMustafa Niazi
10 minutes

Let’s face it, nobody enjoys those super long website links that look like they were generated by a robot. They’re a pain to type, share, and remember. 

Plus, let’s not sugarcoat it – they can be a major turn-off for potential customers.

But what if there was a way to transform those difficult URLs into sleek, memorable links that roll off the tongue? 

There is actually! Say hello to custom url shorteners.  

No more messy links, plus you get easy analytics, the ability to add UTM parameters and other handy link management features.

Here’s why your business needs a custom URL shortener – it’s a game-changer for boosting your brand and getting those clicks.

What is a custom URL shortener?

A custom URL shortener is a tool that allows users to personalize URLs attached with their custom domain. Moreover, a fully customizable URL shortener gives the flexibility to customize the tool with your branded logos, themes, favicons, email etc.

Custom URL shorteners do more than create custom URLs. They provide detailed analytics, improve brand visibility, and streamline link management, helping businesses track performance and optimize their marketing campaign efforts.

Related: How to create a custom URL

05 reasons your business needs a custom URL shortener

Businesses are always looking for tools and tips to boost their online presence and communication. One often overlooked yet powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal is the URL shortener. 

Here are five compelling reasons why your business needs a custom URL shortener:

1. Helps you stand out with your branded domain

Branded URL shorteners offer customization options, allowing you to tailor the shortened links to match your brand’s aesthetic. Other than that custom URLs are less likely to be flagged as spam compared to generic short links, making sure that your content reaches your audience without being blocked or filtered out.

Related: What is a Branded Short Domain and How Do I Get One?

2. Gain valuable insights with real-time tracking

Real-time Analytics

Another fantastic thing about custom URLs is that you can track them in real time, which means you get instant insights into how your links are doing on different platforms. And see which content your audience loves the most. 

Besides that by adding UTM tags to your links in each campaign, you can find out where your visitors are coming from( Geographical data), the total click-through rates, and much more. 

This covers everything from organic search, social media platforms, ad campaigns, email campaigns, or even offline sources. 

3. Link management capabilities

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link management made easy

Advanced custom URL tools also provide complete link management capabilities. With these tools, you can do so much more than just track performance. 

  • You can add retargeting pixels to your links, so you can reach out to people who have shown interest in your content before. 
  • Want to boost conversion rates? No problem. You can add custom calls to action to your links, guiding users towards specific actions like signing up or buying.
  • Plus, you can create white-label dashboards to give your clients or partners a smooth experience that reflects your brand. 
  • You can also make custom bio links if you’re managing multiple social profiles. These links can be added to your social bio. They will lead your visitors to a microsite where all your important brand details, like your website and other social profiles, are neatly organized.

4. Better engagement and SEO

Custom URLs are more visually appealing and take up less space, making them ideal for social media posts, email newsletters, and other marketing collateral. 

And people are more likely to click on links that convey what they lead to, increasing click-through rates.

While custom URLs themselves don’t directly influence search engine ranking, they can indirectly contribute to SEO by incorporating relevant keywords. Descriptive URLs with target keywords can improve a web page’s topical relevance in search engine algorithms.

5. Consistent branding across platforms

branded links

Whether you’re sharing links on social media, in email campaigns, or on your website, branded short links ensure a consistent brand experience across all touch points. This cohesive branding not only enhances brand recognition but also reinforces trust and loyalty among your audience.

Application of custom URL shorteners in different industries

Custom URL shorteners are versatile tools with applications across various industries, offering benefits such as enhanced branding, improved user experience, and detailed analytics. While they can be used effectively in all types of industries, their impact may be most significant in specific sectors where link management and optimization play a crucial role.

Here are some industries where custom URL shorteners are particularly applicable:

1. Affiliate marketing

Customize your affiliate link

Affiliate marketing is a wide industry and with all the future trends of affiliate marketing, it’s set to take a wild turn in the coming years. 

If you’re involved in affiliate marketing, you’ve probably discovered advanced custom URL shorteners and realized just how useful they are when used properly.

As affiliate marketers, they need to mask their links before adding them to blogs or product pages. This gives a more professional image and directs users directly to the product, enhancing the overall user experience.

Now if you don’t know what link masking is. Let us tell you, link masking – also known as link cloaking – involves creating a clean, branded URL that redirects to a longer, more complex affiliate link. This practice offers several benefits:

  • Professional appearance
  • Avoiding link theft
  • Improved user experience
  • Preventing commission loss
  • Managing broken links
  • And much more…

Besides that, implement custom URLs to track referrals from partners or affiliates. This helps you understand where your website traffic originates and measure the effectiveness of your partnerships.

Related: A quick guide on affiliate decloaking 

2. E-commerce marketing

Custom URL shorteners are incredibly valuable for e-commerce marketing, they help reduce marketing costs, reduce cart abandonments, monitor click-through rates (CTR), and offer many additional benefits. Here’s how:

  • Custom URLs can act like little signposts within a store’s website. Instead of clicking through endless menus, a custom link with deep linking abilities can take you straight to a specific category or product you’re interested in. 
  • When relevant keywords are included in these URLs, search engines can better understand the website’s content structure, potentially boosting its SEO ranking for those keywords.
  • Add retargeting pixels within your URLs to show personalized ads to users who have already shown interest in your products or services. Retargeted ads typically have higher click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates compared to standard display ads.
  • URL shorteners with traffic routing features help eCommerce marketers improve their marketing campaigns performance. Traffic routing, also referred to as link rotation, is a feature that allows users to create customized links with preset conditions such as time, date, device, country etc. This allows you to show personalized content and run targeted campaigns at specific dates for specific regions or even for specific device users etc. And the amazing part is that you have the option to set link expiry dates so when the campaign is over, the short URL will be deleted.
  • Custom URLs also facilitate A/B testing, allowing businesses to compare different versions of a URL to see which one performs better.

3. Social media marketing

Content and social media marketers use URL shorteners to keep their links neat and professional, especially when they have a large social media following.

Plus you get to create bio links, add UTM parameters, track social media campaigns, and more.


Social media platforms have character limits, and a lengthy URL can eat up precious space. So you may not be able to add all the important details regarding your brand, portfolio, etc.

Bio links are a custom page that houses all your important social links, brand details, and more. You can then add this single bio link to your Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or Twitter bios, saving space and giving your audience easy access to everything they need to know about.


Social media tracking & retargeting

Custtom link shorteners aren’t just for looks! Many offer powerful campaign tracking features. Using UTM parameters, you can gain valuable insights into where your audience is coming from and how they interact with your campaigns. 

See which platforms drive the most traffic, and which content resonates most, and refine your strategy accordingly. Besides that, by using custom URLs for each social media campaign you can easily measure their effectiveness and optimize future efforts.

Additionally, integrating social media retargeting as part of your tracking strategy allows you to show personalized ads to users who have already engaged with your content or visited your website. This targeted approach increases the likelihood of conversion and enhances the overall effectiveness of your social media campaigns.

Quick tip

Add calls to action to your links or bio link pages, encouraging visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, contact you for inquiries, or explore your website. 

Convert your followers into customers with single bio link.

Uplift your conversion rates by connecting all of your social accounts and business pages with a single bio link.

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single Bio Links

4. Email marketing

Custom URL shorteners boost your email marketing campaigns efforts, as they offer several benefits such as…

  • Firstly, it streamlines the appearance of emails, making them more visually appealing and professional.
  • Email deliverability is crucial for the success of your email campaigns. Custom URL shorteners can help improve deliverability by reducing the length of your URLs, which can sometimes trigger spam filters.
  • Additionally, it enhances tracking capabilities, providing valuable insights into campaign performance in real-time.
  • The inclusion of UTM parameters ensures consistent branding across campaigns, while retargeting pixels facilitating targeted follow-up ads and driving conversions.
  • Email remarketing leverages tracked information to showcase relevant ads. By displaying tailored special offers related to recently viewed products, it re-engages visitors effectively.
  • Moreover, email remarketing aims to reduce cart abandonment by sending targeted emails to users who have abandoned their carts. Segmenting this audience and sending reminders about the items left in the cart, personalized recommendations, and sometimes special offers or discounts to incentivize the completion of the purchase.

5. White-label marketing

White-label marketing involves rebranding tools as your own that are produced under another company’s brand. This can be effectively achieved using white-label branding tools. 


These custom branding tools allow you to create custom white-label dashboards where you can add your logo, custom domain, colors, and more. Additionally, you can:

  • Generate custom URLs for your white-label brand.
  • Track key metrics like clicks, engagement rates, and conversions.
  • Create deep links to direct users to specific content.
  • And much more…

By providing these customization options and features, you can meet your clients’ unique needs, build trust and transparency, and drive successful marketing campaigns.

6. QR code marketing

QR codes are an effective way to bridge offline and online marketing efforts. Custom URLs can be added in QR codes to direct users to specific landing pages, promotions, or product information.

QR code marketing

By using custom URLs shorteners, businesses can ensure that the scanned links are easy to read, memorable, and aligned with their branding, thereby enhancing the user experience and improving the effectiveness of QR code campaigns.

The best custom URL shortener

Choosing the right custom URL shortener is important if you want to maximize the benefits of custom URLs.

You might see many popular but common custom URL shorteners in the market. However, we got the complete link management solution that is a great affordable alternative to Bitly or even Rebrandly.

Drum roll please…

Replug, the ultimate solution for professional marketers and agencies.

Replug URL shortener

The platform comes with top notch features, such as:

  • Personalized shortened URLs with custom domains and slugs.
  • Create microsites using bio links.
  • Create and add different types of CTAs on your links.
  • Add retargeting pixels to your links.
  • Generate QR codes.
  • Track link clicks and conversions.
  • Add & hide UTM codes for any link.
  • A white-label branding plan
  • And much more…

If you are looking for a complete URL shortener link management tool, then Replug has no alternative.

Still doubts?

Take a free first-hand experience to Replug and judge yourself.


  • Basic – $19 /mo
  • Professional – $49 /mo
  • Agency – $79 /mo

Link Management Made Easy

Your go to link management tool for CTAs, branded and bio links, QR Codes, tracking and retargeting.

Get Started for FREE!
link management made easy

Other notable custom URL shorteners


BL.INK offers advanced features for businesses of all sizes, including custom branded links, analytics, and flexible link management options. Its advanced tracking and reporting tools help businesses gain deep insights into link performance and audience behavior.


  • EXPERT+ – $48/mo
  • SMB – $99/mo
  • TEAM – $299/mo
  • BUSINESS – $599/mo


TinyURL provides a straightforward URL-shortening service with customization options. While it may not have as many features as other custom url shorteners, it excels in simplicity and ease of use. TinyURL’s basic URL shortening service remains free, making it a good option for those on a tight budget or requiring occasional link shortening.


  • Pro plans start at $12.99 / mo
  • Bulk plans start at $129.00 / mo


And that’s a wrap for today’s blog! While there are many custom URL shorteners and link management tools on the market, Replug truly stands out thanks to its array of additional features.

One of the standout qualities of Replug is its user-friendly interface, which makes it accessible to even the least tech-savvy users. Moreover, pricing plays a significant role in choosing the right tool, and Replug offers affordability that’s rare, especially for larger businesses and agencies.

Unlike many other custom URL shorteners that come with hefty price tags for their agency or enterprise plans, Replug keeps its pricing plans reasonable. This makes it a top choice for businesses of all sizes. 

FAQs on custom URL shorteners

Can I customize the shortened URLs with my brand name?

Yes, many custom URL shorteners offer customization options, allowing you to use your branded domain and customize the shortened links to match your brand’s identity.

Do URL shorteners affect SEO?

Custom URLs do not directly impact SEO, but they can indirectly improve SEO by enhancing user experience, increasing click-through rates, and driving organic traffic to your website.

How can I track the performance of my custom URLs?

You can track the performance of custom URLs using built-in analytics tools provided by custom URL services, which offer detailed insights into link engagement.

Are there any limitations to using URL shorteners?

While custom URL shorteners offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to choose a reputable provider and be aware of any limitations such as link expiration dates, usage caps, or restrictions on certain types of content.

Manahil Asif
Meet Manahil - A wordsmith who practically buddies with B2B and B2C businesses to create digital magic. With a dash of humor and a sprinkle of wit, she whips up content more addictive than your morning coffee.
Mustafa Niazi
Mustafa Niazi is a blogging addict, a tech fanatic, and a SEO specialist.

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