Link tracking has been around since the beginning of the web. After all, links are the lifeblood of the Google search algorithm. So it is not surprising that e-commerce companies need to track links effectively.
One way to do this is to use link shorteners, which turn long URLs into something unique and more manageable.
But how you use a link shortener can vary depending on your role in digital marketing. In my experience, there are four groups of people who use link trackers:
- affiliate marketers
- Ad buyers
- Social media managers
Each has a somewhat different need and use for a URL shortener.
marketers You want a service that can be used with WordPress to manage hundreds (sometimes thousands) of affiliate links in one place. They don’t want to worry about changing affiliate links. Optionally, a partner wants analytical tracking of clicks and conversions (if advanced).
On the other side, Ad buyers It takes care of tracking clicks and conversions and sending that data back to ad networks. Most want support for the big three ad networks: Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. TikTok is a rising ad network. Referral is essential for ad buyers and to ensure that your ad money receives a positive return on investment.
influencers You want to insert a hidden and shortened affiliate link in their social network. They are looking for a branded domain name that is ideally unique to them. They need to track the sources of clicks which are links short enough to appear in the post.
a Social media manager The main need is to introduce UTM codes to track the effectiveness of media campaigns. They want to inform their customers of the number of clicks received from their social media channels.
To understand these differences, I’ve broken down the best link crawlers into my recommendations.
What is short links? Link shorteners, also called URL shorteners or link trackers, convert long URLs into shorter, unique URLs. Link shorteners serve several purposes: they allow you to brand your links, track performance, and push character limits on social media. Also, long URLs can look fishy, so link shorteners help in this regard as well.
Not all crawlers are well suited to the task at hand. Here are my recommendations for the right affiliate tool for your specific needs:
Below is a list of all available link trackers. Some of them are summarized below in more detail.
Best overall tracker link
Of course, I am somewhat biased. LinkClicky It has features that I think are missing from all other crawlers.
LinkClicky charges any affiliate advertisement or brand affiliate marketing buyer.
Best for amazon links
Link Genius is ideal for online influencers who stick to social media accounts or use Amazon Associates Program. If an Amazon product is out of stock, Geniuslink will alert you.
They work with online storefronts like Target, Amazon, Best Buy, Bloomingdale’s, Chewy’s, DICK’s Sporting Goods, eBay, Home Depot, Walmart, and many more.
They also have automatic product localization using Amazon, iTunes, and Microsoft Store links. So you monetize every click, regardless of the country.
Finally, they have an option called “Choice Pages” that allows visitors to choose which merchant they buy from. No need to host a webpage and it is all done through their service.
Best ad link
ClickMagick has recently shifted its marketing focus beyond targeting affiliate and influencer marketing. It now focuses on tracking banner ads for any product, including affiliate products.
ClickMagick can send ad conversion data to the following systems:
- Google Ads
- Microsoft Ads (officially Bing Ads)
- Tik Tok
With ClickMagick, it doesn’t matter whether you’re promoting your own products or affiliate links; You may submit attribution information to the main advertising services.
Best free link
If you are looking for free click tracking, Rebrandly is the tool for you. Rebrandly is ClickMeter’s sister company and was born out of this service.
I prefer Rebrandly over Bitly due to the simple fact that you can have your own custom domain with Rebrandly on the free plan.
Personally, I keep my short domain, lud.live, with Rebrandly to keep track of various links on social media.
Best URL Tracker for WordPress
Beautiful Links is the go-to tool for tracking links on this list if you’re a blogger. Pretty Links has a free version, although if you need reporting in Google Analytics, Pretty Links Pro is what you want.
Personally, I’m not a fan because of the limited functionality – instead, I’d recommend it Nice links alternatives.
If you think thirsty Keep in mind that it is also owned by the same company that owns Pretty Links – MemberPress, LLC. Most importantly, Pretty Links and ThistyAffiliates have the same pricing structure and features.
Lasso is much more than a click tracking service. It is specifically designed for WordPress blogs, allowing you to manage your links in one central place. But it can do much more than that. Lasso lets you create visually appealing call-to-action boxes.
If you have an Amazon Associate program, you will also like Lasso. It allows you to automatically pull product images and pricing data from Amazon.
Bitly got out of the need to shorten links with Twitter. Founded in 2008, Bitly has been a significant part of adding links to tweets with Twitter until Twitter created its own link shortener.
Today, Bitly is one of the most popular free URL shorteners available. On the plus side, many tools allow you to create Bitly links with their service. When looking at Bitly’s paid plans, which start at $8 per month, there are better and cheaper services out there. I recommend Rebrandly over Bitly because the free Rebrandly account allows for a custom domain.
Impressofly lets you track a visitor’s journey from a UTM click-to-convert source. Traffic reporting is limited compared to my favorite tool, Woopra, but it’s more powerful than the competing link tracking tools on this list.