When you share marketing content to potential customers online, you want to advertise your brand, encourage customer trust, and increase engagement. A foolproof way to accomplish all three is to use vanity URLs to link to your content. In this article, we cover what is a vanity URL, why you should use one, and how to make one.
What is a Vanity URL?
A vanity URL is a personal URL domain that is typically used in a short link. Short links are URLs that have been shortened but nonetheless redirect to the original URL address. You can create a short link using a URL shortener, such as Bitly or TinyURL.
When you create a short URL, the domain of the new URL address becomes that of the URL shortener. So, for example, links shortened by Bitly contain the domain bit.ly. However, most link shorteners let you set up vanity URLs in place of their domain. This vanity URL, also called a custom domain, can be any domain name that you have purchased. You can set it up so that every short URL you generate contains your custom domain in place of the link shortener’s domain.
Why Should I Use Vanity URLs?
Vanity URLs help market your brand. They associate your links with your brand name, thus driving name recognition and increasing customer trust. According to Bitly, links with a custom brand name receive a click-through rate that is approximately 34% higher. So, if you want your short links to receive the most clicks and attract the most customers, you should be using vanity URLs.
How to Set Up a Vanity URL
To set up a custom domain, first you must sign up for a link shortener that allows custom domains. You can check out our list of the 5 Best URL Shorteners to compare top link shorteners for custom domains. Any of the top URL shorteners will grant you access to a custom domain, but pricing varies. If you want to use a custom domain for free, then you can choose Rebrandly. However, if you want to make unlimited custom URLs, you can sign up for a Droplr enterprise account.
After you’ve signed up for your account, you need to follow your URL shortener’s instructions for how to set up a vanity URL. For example, at Droplr, you need to set up your own domain at CloudFlare, then enter your domain name in your settings. In Rebrandly, you can purchase and register a new domain name from within your dashboard, then set it up with your account. Be sure to contact your chosen link shortener for help setting up your vanity URL. Most URL shorteners, like Droplr, have 24/7 bot/live chat support too, as well as a knowledge base answering frequently asked questions.
Once you’ve linked your vanity URL with your link shortener account, every short link you generate will include your vanity URL as its domain name. If you have set up multiple custom domains, then you can pick which one to use for each short link.
Learn More About Custom URLs
Learn more about custom branding with Droplr How-To Guides. Explore different ways to customize your URLs or read all about branded links. If you need further help picking out a URL shortener, you can check out our lists of the top free link shorteners and link shorteners for enterprises, or directly compare the two most popular URL shorteners, Bitly and Rebrandly.