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Vanity URLs: How They Keep Your Online Business On Top

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lady with laptopEvery business wants to stand out from their competition. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in and what content you’re pushing. You want your message, product and or service to be at the top of SEO search results, and at your target’s top of mind awareness. Vanity URLs can get you there.

In this post, you will learn how vanity URLs can help sell and scale your business. You’ll see how a seemingly small step can have a big impact on how your business is positioned and understood by both current and potential customers.

You will learn what a vanity URL is and isn’t; and the benefits, best practices, and marketing strategies being used to get your company and its offerings as much visibility as possible.
This is for you if you want to know how vanity URLs affect your business and can get you to the top and stay there. Here we go.

First things first.

Let’s briefly go over a few basic terms and ideas to lay the foundation from which we will build upon:

The word vanity refers to the clarity and instant recognition something brings to the table while serving its purpose. It shouldn’t be thought of as a negative characteristic (after all, no one wants to be considered vain), rather it refers to the quality of appearance.

As a small, midsize or enterprise company, appearances are important. How your business is showcased impacts your brand’s awareness and overall integrity. Clear and concise branding that is consistent on all channels creates trust, consistency and awareness.

What is a vanity URL?

A vanity URL has been reworked from its original URL comprising an extended sequence of numbers, letters, characters, and words, that comes across as long and hard to remember, into a short link that is truncated to become nicer looking and “clean.”

Examples:

Original: https://plus.google.com/c/10298887365432216987
Vanity URL: https://www.plus.google.com/+Callbridge

On Instagram: callbridge.social/blog
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Callbridge
On Facebook: https://facebook.com/callbridge
On LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/callbridge
For Web conferencing: http://yourcompany.callbridge.ca

This is a vanity domain, not a vanity URL:

www.callbridge.com

Use a vanity URL to:

  • Drive users online to your offering
  • Track metrics
  • Promote a call to action

girl with laptopVanity URLs used across social media channels empowers how users interact online. It’s a small aesthetic change that makes sharing content so much easier. Corporate emails, press releases, online presentation slides – include your vanity URL in any of these digital materials to make access more streamlined and less daunting. A nice-looking URL can be the difference between attracting a client or losing their attention.

The Benefits of Vanity URLs

Cleaning up your URLs brings cohesion and cleanliness across your online and offline touchpoints.

In an online meeting, for example, if you’re presenting a remote sales presentation to potential clients, at the end of your pitch, you’ll want to include direct access to all your platforms (web conferencing included). Leave a good impression with an aesthetically pleasing final page that has all your accounts neatly designed, using vanity URLs.

Here are a few more advantages:

  • Better Brand Awareness
    Your brand, your link. Don’t waste a valuable opportunity to get your brand out there which will be seen more as you share other people’s content.
  • Heightened Sense of Trust
    A vanity URL immediately conveys to users that you’re not promoting something spammy or clickbaity. Your link instills a sense of confidence that they will be directed to quality content that relates to them and is on par with your brand.
  • Link Management Control
    Your own branded link gives you free rein to edit and manage where users end up. Plus, it helps you categorize and organize for easy access and fast locating.
  • Stronger SEO
    Bonus points if you can squeeze in a keyword. Not only will your brand be seen, but you’ll rank higher with an association to your keyword everywhere you have a vanity URL.
  • Share it Offline
    Your vanity URL can be used on takeaway items like notebooks, t-shirts, and other swag; plus on all communications materials too such as direct mail, in shops and more.
  • Improved Stickiness-Factor
    Real words will always trump long number sequences with special characters. You want your url to “stick” out as much as possible rather than it being generic, and passed over.

3 Things To Remember About Vanity URLS:

  • They should be
    Concise: The shorter, the better!
  • Easy to remember: Make it snappy and “sticky” (so people can memorize it)
  • On-brand: Reflect your brand name or provide a great offer

Vanity URL Best Practices:

Practice #1

Not every single link you share needs to be a vanity URL. While its purpose is to make your brand-associated links more eye-catching and concise, if you’re already getting traffic, then no problem! Conversely, for link management purposes, taking that extra step to clean up link after link after link will be worth it later on when you’re searching for data.

Practice #2

Trust is huge. That’s why your vanity URLs should be complete words that best describe your content or brand. You want to make sure your user is clear about where the link is taking them. This transparency helps to differentiate your top-notch brand from other doubtful, sub par URLs. Be as forthcoming about content, even if the link is taking users to a third party site – mention that in the vanity URL.

Practice #3

Plug in your vanity URL as part of your SEO strategy. Visible cohesion across all your various social media and web conferencing channels work together to enhance your SEO and fortify your current marketing strategy.

With a better understanding about what a vanity URL is and isn’t; how they can build better brand awareness by promoting trust and consistency, and three things to remember when you build your own – now you might be wondering:

So how do you make a vanity url?

If you want to turn the long link to your company’s support portal into something less scary-looking; or make the extended URL to your landing page more simple, start here:

  1. Choose a hosting service like Bit.ly or Rebrandly
  2. Select the actual vanity URL you want to use, around 8-11 characters is ideal.
  3. Buy the vanity URL using a domain registration site like GoDaddy
  4. Access the “account settings” tab in your hosting service (like Rebrandly for example) and click the “custom short domain” option. Your newly purchased vanity URL should be accessible.
  5. At this point, your vanity URL needs to be verified. Access your Domain Name System page and contact your domain registrar for next steps.
  6. Visit Rebrandly (or the specific service you chose) to confirm your shortened URL and ensure they are aware of the change.

Callbridge gives you branding power over your communication platform. Set up branded online meeting pages, emails and a web conferencing custom subdomain, www.yourname.callbridge.com

laptop
Now, what do you want to do with it? There are plenty of ways to use it to discourage emails from ending up in spam folders and encourage more click-throughs to your offering, or provide users with a clear, easy-to-read entry point to your web conference.

When marketers were asked questions like why they enjoyed using vanity URLS, if they even liked them and did they feel like vanity URLs actually do anything, some interesting insights and applications came up. Marketers use vanity URLS to:

  • Keep track of metrics (Google analytics)
    A vanity URL might be cosmetic, but they’re very handy for keeping tabs. Use them in your campaigns, emails or any kind of outreach, then follow customer behavior on Google Analytics. See who’s coming and going to and from where.
  • Build brand integrity
    With some outlets only providing 140 characters or less to get out your brand name and CTA, you’ve got to maximize small spaces with a vanity URL that gets you seen.
  • Track and advertise across social media
    Make your company known with a vanity URL on all social media outlets. Perhaps you want to generate more excitement and increase your audience to your upcoming teleseminar. Post your teleseminar’s web conference vanity URL on Instagram for an easy way for users to know what it’s about. Plus, you can track users’ behavior the moment they click on it to when a specific user leaves that destination.
  • Amp up social media conversions
    Get more traffic to your live or pre-recorded webinars via Facebook and Twitter with a vanity URL that inspires conversions. A simple copy-and-paste of your vanity URL helps to generate more responses and create more leads. That means the webinar you crafted and will be hosting via video conference will attract more viewers. Live streaming your meeting? Include your YouTube vanity URL across your social media platforms for quick and immediate access that tracks and converts.
  • Beef up Instagram
    Add to the polished and professional presentation of your personal or work-focused Instagram account by providing a vanity URL that takes users to a pre-recorded webinar or landing page. A clean and easy-reading link will inform users exactly what they’re getting themselves into.
  • Scale your brand’s empire
    Build brand recognition when all your links have your brand name in them and look tidy. This extra step may be cosmetic, but it saves characters in social media posts and doesn’t take up a lot of space in presentations, digital resumes and more.
  • Make a good impression
    Give users direct access to the launch of any new online marketing material like your recruitment campaign, service launch and more. If you’ve got a live streaming coming up or an online series of workshops – this is the perfect way to embed multiple channels without the clutter.
  • Leave in comments, email and chat
    Drop your link in the comments you leave in forums, Facebook groups, text chats, video conferences. Treat it like a business card – it’s short, concise, leaves a good impression and includes all the necessary information.
  • Include on takeaways, podcasts, radio, events and more
    Brand visibility is easier to attach across all your online and offline events. If you’re speaking, teaching, interviewing, hosting; your audience will thank you later for the catchy link. In fact, make it so catchy, you can say it out loud in the moment or add it to any printed material.
  • Customize affiliate links
    When was the last time you encountered a pretty-looking affiliate link? Probably never or at least not in a while. Jazz up your company’s blog post with affiliate links that are more efficient when they’re more appealing to the eye.
  • Create email campaigns
    Use your email list to send out newsletters, updates and important messages with vanity URLs that bring recipients to a video or open into an online chat room for a workshop.

Let Callbridge’s high-quality web conferencing technology provide you with the tools you need to create compelling content, connect your business to your audience, and also help you get your brand name out into the world. As an account holder, you have free rein to brand how you present your business in a web conference with customizable touchpoints, a brand-tailored user interface, custom sub domain and more.

Enjoy Callbridge’s full range of features that include screen sharing, meeting recording and the signature feature Cue™ – Callbridge’s very own AI-bot.

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Mason Bradley

Mason Bradley

Mason Bradley is a marketing maestro, social media savant, and customer success champion. He has been working for iotum for many years to help create content for brands like FreeConference.com. Aside from his love of pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, Mason enjoys writing blogs and reading about blockchain technology. When he isn’t at the office, you can probably catch him on the soccer field, or at the “Ready To Eat” section of Whole Foods.

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