Imagine you are driving down the road and you see a billboard that grabs your attention. The billboard contains a website where you can visit to learn more information about a product or service. Good marketers understand they have a short amount of time to grab your attention. However, they also need to keep in mind that every website URL has to be memorable, especially if placed on a billboard. Drivers need to be able to remember your website without writing it down. How can they remember a website that contains random letters or numbers? Chances are, they won’t remember. Vanity URLs are the perfect solution for marketers.
If you are unfamiliar with a vanity URL, it might sound technical but it is an easy to use tool that can help improve your online presence.
Understanding Vanity URLs
A vanity URL is a customized URL that is shortened with the intention to promote a website, product or individual. It replaces a traditional URL, which is generally longer than a vanity URL. Vanity URLs redirect to the actual URL. The most effective vanity URLs are short and easy to remember. You might use vanity URLs on your home page, landing page, free download pages or micro-sites. You could also include the link on other marketing materials such as brochures, business cards, presentation folders, or promotional products.
It is important to know that vanity URLs are not the shortened links used for sharing web articles, like you would do on services such as Buffer or Hootsuite. In most cases, the URL you are sharing with these services is not your company or brand. However, there are services available that allow you to include your vanity URL with shortened links. This keeps the branding and allows you to share a condensed link. It has a much cleaner look.
Social media is the perfect platform for using a vanity URL. Often these sites allow you to setup your URL. I bet you didn’t know you could change your URL! For example, Facebook provides you with a default URL for your profile or page. Your profile URL will generally include unnecessary numbers after your name in the URL. This is not only confusing but also very annoying when you share your page with others. However, Facebook allows you to add a vanity URL for your profile.
Which one would you prefer to remember?
There is no question you would pick the shorter URL as opposed to the one with numbers to remember. You already know the URL for Facebook, which makes it even easier to remember!
Why should I use a vanity URL?
Here are 8 reasons why you should be using vanity URLs to promote your business and content.
- Better Search Engine Optimization
- Looks professional
- Consistency with your branding (regardless of where you share)
- Builds trust
- Unique, which will help grab your audience’s attention
- Easily shared
- Provides you with data and analytics
It is important to create a vanity URL that is unique to you or your brand. How will someone remember it? Make sure it is relevant to your brand and take careful consideration when you come up with your name. It is recommended that you capitalize the letter of each word to make it stand out better. (Example: Facebook.com/SimplexityMarketingGroup)
You should think about how the words look together as you are creating your URL. Just like a traditional URL, there should not be any spacing. Along those lines, when the words are together, how does it look? While it might be relevant to your brand, it might look inappropriate at a glance. (Example: Whorepresents.com is Who Represents) So be mindful of your word choices. You should also avoid putting slashes or dashes in your URL. You can however, include periods between your words.
Vanity URLs are a great way to build trust and maintain consistency with your brand on social media while providing valuable content to your audience.