Productivity Tools

How to Create a Vanity URL

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 3 is to use a vanity URL to link to your content. In this article, we will go over what a vanity URL is, why you should use one, and how you can set one up. 

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 to a more manageable length that 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 a vanity URL 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 a Vanity URL?

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 vanity URL receive a click-through rate that is approximately 34% higher than links that do not include one. 

How to Set Up a Vanity URL

To set up a vanity URL, 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 the top link shorteners for custom domains and links as well as other features. 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 either Rebrandly or BLINK. However, if you want to make unlimited custom URLs, you can soon sign up for Droplr’s new Unlimited Custom URL Shortener. Stay tuned for further details!

rebrandly custom domain

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. And be sure to sign up for email updates about our upcoming Unlimited Custom URL Shortener, launching late 2020!

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