What is a Vanity URL?
A Vanity URL is a descriptive, memorable and pronounceable URL usually used for forwarding content, redirect URLs from one location to another. In the simplest terms, a Vanity URL is a long URL converted into customized short link also known as a Branded Link and a Custom Short URL.
Vanity URLs contain a domain name with your brand or a relevant keyword for your business. These URLs can be used is a multitude of places such as social media, print publications, and offline marketing.
Best Practices for using Vanity URLs
Vanity URLs are created to build trust and help you gain your Marketing goals. In order to do this, they should be used correctly. Here 3 rules you should follow when you are using your Branded Links:
- Use When Necessary: You don’t have to use a vanity URL for every link you share. If the link from your original website is already short you can use that. The purpose of a Vanity URL is to make a link short yet identifiable as your brand.
- Be Clear. Always clearly display your brand and use full words to describe your content. In order for people to trust your link, they need to have an idea where the link is bringing them. Be honest, clear and concise as possible.
- Use your Vanity URL with your SEO strategy – Vanity URLs, when used correctly, can be Marketing gold. Be sure that the Vanity URL you choose compliments the Marketing and SEO strategy you already have in place.
Vanity URL Examples
A great number of big and small brands as well as influencers have seen the benefit of using Vanity URLs and have started using Branded Links. Here are just a few examples of clever use of Vanity URLs.
Benefits of Vanity URLs
- Increases Brand Awareness – It is your link so why would you promote another companies brand to shorten your link when you can use your own. By using a branded links your brand name will be shared even if you are sharing content produced by other people.
- Increased Trust – The fact that you are willing to attach your brand name you are sharing a guarantee to your followers that you are not redirecting them to spam or phishing sites, but that the content you are linking them to is relevant to them and will be consistent with your brand. This increased trust can improve CTR (Click Through Rate) by up to 39% when compared to generic short URLs or long unbranded links.
- Link Management – If it your brand on a link you created so you should be given control over that link. You can delete your link, redirect the URLs destination or edit the description.
- Improves SEO – By including your keyword in your URL slug you get an added edge over competitors with SEO. You also have the added benefit of having your name associated with your keyword.
- Integrated Retargeting and UTM Tools – You can add people who click on your links so your retargeting lists which can increase your top funnel traffic by 500%. You can also build UTM parameter while you are creating your Branded Link.
- Memorable and pronounceable – Vanity URLs are real words that people can understand and read. That sounds like a simple thing to say but that means your links are more memorable and pronounceable. Instead of a generic link that people will usually scan over your link can be read giving your message another chance to be consumed.
For a more in-depth look at the benefits of Vanity URLs read our blog post Branded Links vs Short Links.
Vanity URLs for SEO
I know I mentioned this in the benefits section but I would like to look at the advantage customizing your URL has for your SEO. In fact, one of the most important parts of SEO is the URL and it is for that reason your Vanity URL is so important.
- 301 Redirect – A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect of a URL from one location to another. This can be interpreted by bots and search engines. The “link juice” remains intact but you now have a shorter more shareable link.
- Keyword in URL – You can choose relevant keywords assigned to your site. For example, we could use, Vanity URLs, Branded Links and Custom Short URLs to all link back to our website.
- Keyword Association – By using your keyword with your associated keyword is it read by bots as an association. This means that your brand name is considered relevant to your keyword.
- Clever TLDing – You can use a TLD that is associated with your Brand. A good example of this you could use “.pizza” . For example, “Dublin.Pizza/best” this means when someone googles the best pizza in Dublin which will direct to your Vanity URL.
How Do I Create a Vanity URL
Creating a vanity URL is a surprisingly easy process.
A Vanity URL is a made up of three sections. Your Branded Domain, TLD and URL Slug. As you will see below with Mr. Pencil’s Vanity URL.
Step 1 – Choose a Domain Name
Go to Rebrandly and sign in or sign up. The first thing you have to do is chose a Domain Name. It is really important that your Domain name reflects the rest of your business to keep your branding consistent and for people to be able to identify the link as yours. For Rebrandly we picked rebrandly because that’s our brand name and we love it. For my personal branded link I picked samowens. It’s short but still relevant to my personal brand. This is the hardest part of the process for most people. If you are really struggling with this you might want to read our blog post ‘How to Find the Best Domain Name for Your Branded Links’.
Step 2 – Choose a TLD
You have to choose a relevant TLD (Top Level Domain) such as .link, .click, .lol, .news, .blog, to name but a few (We have nearly 500 to choose from starting at just $2). Again, this is a very simple process and it is down to your decisiveness how fast you set up an account. We have different ones to assign to different content we share. Off the top of my head we have:
- Rebrandly.news -We use this for Rebrandly news
- Rebrandly.rocks – We use this for Rebrandly media mentions
- Rebrandly.live – We use this to share for Facebook live and webinars
- Rebrandly.blog – We use this to share our blog posts
- Rebrandly.link – We use this to share curated content
- Rebrandly.xyz – We use this for general and funny sharing
If you don’t have your Domain Name yet check if chosen domain is still available and how much does it cost.
Step 3 – URL Slug (Keyword)
Once you have chosen your branded domain name and TLD you are set up and ready to start creating Vanity URLs. Of course, the Domains you register will be saved to your account in order to easily create Vanity URLs. This can also be done quickly with our Chrome Extension, iOS app or Android App.
- Blog: Link Trust and the Psychology Behind Why they Click on Links
- Blog: What is a Branded Link
- FAQ: What is a Vanity URL
- FAQ: How Do Vanity URLs Work
- FAQ: Benefits of Using Vanity URLs
- FAQ: What is a Custom Short URL
Fun fact about Branded Links some of the first well-known adopters of Link Branding was David Beckham, Hugh Jackman, and Britney Spears.
This Article is About:
- What is a Vanity URL
- Benefits of using Vanity URLs
- How to Create a Vanity URL
- Branded Links
- Custom Short URLs
- Vanity URL’s for SEO
- Vanity URL for Redirect