What is a Vanity URL and why you need one
Just what is a Vanity URL or Vanity Domain and why would you ever want one?
First a note for our techie critics. Technically a URL and a domain name are not the same thing. A domain name is a URL. But not all URLs are domain names. But for the layman’s purposes, in this article, we will use the terms interchangeably.
A vanity URL or vanity domain name is simply a domain name or URL that points to another domain name or URL. A Vanity URL can point to another website or even to s specific page within a website making it easier for you to brand, and easier for your customers to find. Looking at the second question is the best way to explain. Let’s say you have a business with one of those replicated websites with a long, cryptic name, such as www.BigAffiliateSales.com/affiliates/?=affiliateid=10101010102. Not too cool, is it? Hard to tell someone, impossible to remember, and it would never fit in a readable type size onto a business card. So you do the wise thing and buy a vanity domain name that is shorter, more memorable, and helps you brand yourself, your company name, or gives you some “SEO Juice”, or some “get me found on Google” superpower.
Here are some examples. Note, none of these have been checked for availability, and are not intended to be anything other than examples.
Your name is Jane Smith and you want to brand yourself or make it easy for people who know you to find your site online so you buy JaneSmith-dot-something or and redirect or forward it (point it) to your affiliate URL. When someone types in or clicks on your vanity URL they go directly to your actual, long, forgettable affiliate URL. You could do the same thing with your company name. The third possibility given above is where you try to squeeze a little SEO juice out of your vanity domain. So you buy the domain name AFewWordsJammedTogether-dot-something. Having used words someone might search on will help you get found easier on Google.
Here are some tips on choosing a vanity domain name.
- Shorter is usually better than longer. The best exceptions are short phrases with SEO juice
- Make it memorable if you can
- Acronyms that mean nothing to the layman or shortened words that may be hard to guess for the common person not familiar with your company or organization, though short, are probably not the best choices
- If the dot-com version is not available, you may want to choose one of the new Top-Level-Domains or TLD’s. A Top-Level-Domain is simply the ending – the part after the last dot, such as dot-com, dot-net, etc. There are many newer Top-Level-Domains to consider, like dot-club and others that may be perfect for your vanity domain name.