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Vanity URL best practices & examples

Manahil Asif
6 minutes
Vanity URL best practices and examples

Vanity URLs and non-vanity URLs are more than just a choice of characters. It’s a strategic decision that can define your content accessibility and appeal.

Vanity URL best practices

Considering the image above, which link would you prefer to click on?

Chances are, the second one, right? It’s clear, concise, and tells you exactly what you’re getting into. That will significantly boost your URL click rate.

But here’s the thing: it’s not just about the clickability factor (although that’s definitely a big bonus). The real magic happens behind the scenes, where search engines are busy crawling and indexing web pages. 

You see, the above vanity URL is not only user-friendly, but also sends a clear signal to search engines about the content of the page. 

On the flip side, the other URL might contain valuable content, but without any context in the URL itself, it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack. 

But hey, don’t just take our word for it. Test it out for yourself and see the difference it makes. Who knows, you might just be surprised at the impact a minor URL tweak can have on your brand’s performance. 

For your help, we created this blog post which shows some of the best vanity URL practices, and benefits alongside examples to help you get started. Keep reading…

What is a vanity URL?

A vanity URL is a customized web address created to reflect a specific brand, product, or campaign.

Unlike generic URLs, which often contain a string of random characters, vanity URLs are carefully crafted to be memorable and align with the brand’s identity. 

Difference between a generic short link and vanity URLs

Here’s a table differentiating 

Generic short linkVanity URL
CompositionRandom sequence of characters/numbersCustomized to reflect brand or keyword
LengthShortened for simplicityCan vary in length
BrandingTypically lacks brandingReinforces brand identity
MemorabilityLess memorableMore memorable and recognizable
PersonalizationLimited to shortening URLsCustom-created to align with brand
PurposePractical for sharing long URLsEnhances brand visibility and recall
SEO ImpactMinimal impact on SEOCan improve search engine visibility

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6 major benefits of using a vanity URL

Here are some of the major benefits of using a vanity URL.

  1. Improved user-experience 

Easy-to-remember links lead to a frustration-free user experience. No more struggling to decipher cryptic shortened links or wondering where they might lead.

  1. Click-through rates get a boost

Memorable links are more likely to be clicked, leading to higher engagement. A clear and enticing vanity URL piques user interest and encourages them to explore what lies behind the link.

  1. SEO advantage

Including relevant keywords in your vanity URL can give your SEO a push in the right direction. Search engines often consider the content within the URL when ranking websites, so incorporating relevant keywords can be a small but helpful SEO booster.

Related: Ultimate tips on creating SEO friendly URLs

  1. Cross-channel promotion

Vanity URLs provide a consistent and recognizable brand presence across different channels. Whether it’s social media, email marketing, or print materials, using the same vanity URL reinforces your brand identity and makes it easier for users to find and engage with your content. Which eventually helps you maximize brand reach across various platforms.

  1. Integrating a link retargeting tool

By adding a retargeting pixel to your vanity URLs, you can build custom audiences based on user interactions and show them tailored ads across various online platforms. Link retargeting enables you to retarget users who have clicked on your vanity URLs with relevant ads as they continue to browse the web.

  1. Track your URLs

With vanity URLs, you can easily track the performance of your links and gather valuable insights into user behavior. By using URL tracking tools, that offer both the generation of Vanity URLs as well as the tracking factor. One can monitor click-through rates, conversion rates, and other key metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the brand’s marketing campaigns. 

5 best practices to create a vanity URL

Best PracticesDescription
Try to keep it short and sweetAim for 3-5 words for maximum memorability. Longwinded vanity URLs defeat the purpose and become cumbersome to share.
Clarity countsUse keywords that accurately reflect the content the link leads to. Think about the search terms users might employ to find that specific information.
Brand it up
Incorporate your brand name or a relevant keyword to solidify brand recognition. This is a prime opportunity to embed your brand in the user’s mind with every share.
Simplicity is key 
Avoid special characters and complicated spelling. Imagine someone hearing the URL out loud, not just reading it. Steer clear of anything that might confuse when spoken.
Consistency is kingMaintain a consistent format for all your vanity URLs. This builds brand identity and user trust. Having a recognizable pattern for your vanity URLs makes them even more memorable and reinforces your brand image. 
Try not to add dashes or slashesIt’s best to avoid using dashes or slashes in your vanity URLs. While these characters might seem harmless, they can disrupt the flow and readability of the link. Instead, stick to using simple words separated by hyphens for clarity and ease of understanding.

Let’s have a look at some of the examples of vanity URLs

  1. Facebook 

Check out this custom vanity URL shared on Facebook by Treetop, a renowned juice brand in the USA. See how they crafted a URL specifically tailored to showcase the content of the link.

  1. Instagram 

Another example comes from Instagram, where ContentStudio, a social media management tool, strategically placed a link in its bio next to its name. This simple yet effective approach ensures that visitors to their social media page immediately understand where they can find more information or engage further with the brand.

How can I create a vanity URL?

To make your links shorter and more manageable, consider using a link-shortening tool. We recommend trying out Replug because it’s easy to use and comes with lots of extra features that other similar services might not have.

These features include managing your links easily, tracking how many people click on them, adding retargeting pixels, traffic routing, and more…

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the steps in Replug, which allows you to create vanity URLs for your links. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved:

  1. Sign up for a Replug account: 
Replug - Vanity URL Generator

Head over to Replug’s website and create a free account.

Branded Short Links

Create and track branded short links for your business for better conversions.

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Branded Short Links
  1. Add a new link: 

Log in to your Replug dashboard and click the option to add a new link.

  1. Customize your shortened URL:  

Here’s where the vanity URL magic happens!  Replug might suggest a shortened URL, but you’ll have the option to customize it with your desired vanity text.

  1. Configure link settings (Optional): 

Replug offers additional settings to optimize your link, such as adding a call to action, A/B testing, or tracking link clicks. You can explore these options if they suit your needs.

  1. Generate the custom-shortened URL: 

Once you’ve entered your desired vanity URL and configured any settings, hit the update button to generate your final custom-shortened URL.

Remember, Replug offers a free plan with limited features. Upgrading to a paid plan might unlock additional functionalities like vanity domains for your vanity URLs.


All in all, by crafting custom, keyword-rich vanity links that align with your brand identity and messaging, you can not only improve search engine visibility but also enhance user engagement and drive conversions. 


What is a vanity URL?

A vanity URL is a customized web address that reflects a specific brand, keyword, or campaign.

Are vanity URLs safe?

Yes, vanity URLs are generally safe to use as long as they are from reputable sources and don’t redirect to harmful sites.

Can vanity URLs be tracked?

Yes, vanity URLs can be tracked to monitor clicks, engagement, and other metrics using tracking tools.

Can vanity URLs expire?

Yes, vanity URLs can expire, depending on the service provider or settings, but they can often be renewed or reactivated.

Are vanity URLs only beneficial for large corporations?

Not at all! Vanity URLs can benefit businesses of all sizes by improving branding, SEO, and user engagement.

How do I create a vanity URL?

One can utilize a URL shortening tool such as Replug to custom-create vanity URLs. 

Can vanity URLs be changed after creation?

Yes, most vanity URL services allow users to edit or update their custom URLs as needed. However, it’s essential to maintain consistency to avoid confusion among users.

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Manahil Asif
Meet Manahil - A wordsmith who practically buddies with B2B and B2C businesses to create digital magic. With a dash of humor and a sprinkle of wit, she whips up content more addictive than your morning coffee.

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