Holding your own domain is important in strengthening your brand’s presence. And, as you build your business’ online presence; you may hear a lot about the importance of Vanity URLs.
The word ‘Vanity URL’ might sound fancy and technical, but it’s a simple method that brings intense effect on your company’s online presence.
It provides a wonderful opportunity to fiery social involvement, amplify and extend reach for links, and build traffic and discoverability around a marketing campaign.
“A vanity URL can increase a marketing campaign’s success rate by up to 35%.”
What are Vanity URLs?
A vanity URL is a unique web address that is branded for marketing purposes.
A customized, shortened, descriptive URL/domain name that points to a related item indicated within the URL. It is easy to remember and to share URL used to promote a product or services.
It converts a traditional regular URL into a more shortened format. They are frequently used on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, which limit the number of characters you can use in an update.
When Should Vanity URLs be used?
If you have planned out your site’s IA (Information Architecture) properly and designed your site with keeping SEO in mind, you should not need to use vanity URLs.
However, this is not always the case and there are times when you may need to use vanity URLs.
- Online Promotion – Where the desired landing page URLs that you instruct your audience to go to are not easily translated into the promotional material (Flyers, Press Releases etc.)
- Direct users to your products – A vanity URL lures better user engagement and will encourage users to bookmark and remember your pages.
- Launching a new product or service – Especially when your CMS causes issues with URL naming and creates a non-user friendly URL. Preferably when you create your pages, they should be created with search engine sociability in mind.
- For most applicable landing page -As contrary to sending them to your homepage.
Why You Need Vanity URLs?
There are many reasons to use a vanity URLs when creating your social media platforms, the main one being for the benefit of search engine optimization (SEO).
As studies have shown, descriptive URLs for products and services deliver a higher click-through rate. With vanity URLs, you can describe a product or service using the words people automatically associate with the topic or product, encouraging them to click more.
How to Create Your Own Short Vanity URL
- Choose a short vanity URL
- Buy the vanity URL
- Shorten your custom domain with Bit.ly
- Create a DNS record for your new short domain
- Verify your tracking domain
- Share your custom vanity short links!
Here are 7 reasons why you should use vanity URLs for best performance:
#1 Builds trust and awareness
Adding a vanity URL allows your brand to build both trust and awareness. It’s more pleasing to the eye, also builds more trust. The consumers are more likely to click on a brand name link they see online than absurd URLs.
Using a shortened version of a brand name rather than random letters and numbers means it’s easier to remember and, subsequently, share. URL shorteners make your content & videos more appealing, and focus on the article itself.
Just a small improving change like this can have a huge impact on your marketing efforts.
#3 Improves Offline Sharing
We all know there are lots of offline ways people find websites and online social channels. As they look better and are easier to remember, vanity URLs are much better at encouraging activity online as a result of offline media and promotional resources.
And, Vanity URLs turn traditional offline campaigns into trackable, actionable, lead generating machines.
#4 Keeps Audience Focused On Your Message
The purpose of landing pages & microsites is to add focus to the digital user experience, to make it easier for visitors to speedily find and do what you want them to find and do.
That’s why separate microsites and landing pages with vanity URLs are so great, they allow you to engage and interact with users in a focused setting without any outside interruptions to ruin the conversation.
#5 Make links more manageable
Traditional long URLs do have some advantage when it comes to keywords and SEO. However, the long format URLs are often lengthy and are not easy to share on emails, web pages, and especially social media services like Facebook and Twitter. Vanity URLs help to make links more manageable to share.
In the example above, Kissmetrics, TrafficCafe, SearchMarketingExpo have their own “kiss.ly”, “tgcafe” and “smxpo” vanity URLs respectively.
#6 Track the Success of the Campaign
Today’s marketer needs to show ROI when spending in any campaign. And since almost all SMBs are marketing on a tight budget, it’s severe for them to know exactly what is making value and what isn’t.
Campaigns that drive to a microsite or landing page vanity URL take your audience directly where you want them to go, instead of taking them to a company home page with multiple messages.
It also makes sure that all the traffic, data, and conversions that come from the campaign can be tied back to your specific program instead of your parent brand.
It is much easier to measure exactly how many visitors you have, what those visitors did and didn’t do when your traffic is being engaged to a campaign specific vanity URL.
#7 Lead Your SERP with Vanity URL SEO
When users are looking for a brand, Google put social networks on the search engine results page. This is due to the exact keyword match that you’ve customized in the URL.
By having the vanity URL to your brand on many web resources, you become able to lead your SERP with your own marketing message.
Vanity URLs are an excellent way of establishing a social connection with the customer and generating links.
Vanity URLs are becoming increasingly important for content sharing on social media as leading to more shares, more views, and more clicks than the bulky traditional long URLs.
Learn from real practitioners not just trainers.