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Simply put, a so-called Vanity URL is a short address that is easy to read and remember. Technically speaking it indicates a referral link which is used to mask or replace a link composed of generic number or letter sequences with a short, catchy link instead. Ideally, the new vanity URL consists of a concise and distinctive name that your target group immediately associates with you.
Vanity URLs are the ideal solution for users wanting to create short and memorable social media links. The link addresses leading to social media profiles are often long and complicated as they are made up of many different components; first the name of the service provider, then the individual profile name and finally, cryptic strings of numbers. Thanks to vanity domains, there is finally an end to complex links to your social media profiles! Setting up a vanity URL is the most elegant way to create a catchy link which you can then share with friends, colleagues or business partners — without your target group having to memorise endless number sequences.
A vanity URL is not only visually appealing, it also offers benefits in terms of functionality. It's easy to remember, can be quickly entered into the browser search field and shared with friends, partners, clients or other interested parties. It ensures that your target group reaches the contents of your website more quickly.
Regardless of whether you want to use a vanity URL for a personal or business website, it is an extremely valuable marketing tool. It increases the visibility of your site in the search results as well as on social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn, which contain complex profile link addresses based on number sequences. These service providers offer both private users and institutions the opportunity to set up their own URLs for their profiles, thus pushing the more complex, generic standard profile links into the background.
When you register a domain, a vanity domain is characterised by the fact that the essential part of one of your URL subdomains is not a complex, code or set of numbers, but rather an individually chosen name or term which represents the owner. A good vanity URL is short, meaningful, and avoids using unnecessary words or numbers, making it easy to remember while still appearing trustworthy.
The main component of the URL could be, for example, the name of a person, company, brand, product or a made-up name. Incidentally, a uniquely named social media profile is also referred to as a vanity domain — regardless of whether a content-optimised vanity URL exists.
Many social media networks enable a vanity URL to be set up in just a few clicks. A vanity URL for a private Facebook profile, for example, is automatically generated from your Facebook username, which you can edit via the "Username" option under the "Settings" menu. But be aware: With personal Facebook profiles, the selected username and resulting URL can only be changed once, so check your submission carefully.
If you are setting up a company fan page on Facebook — or if you already have one — , there are no restrictions when it comes to the first fan page. For every subsequent fan page however, you need at least 25 fans before you can set up a vanity URL. As with personal profiles, the username can only be changed once after the initial setup.
Twitter also generates the profile URL from the username — which cannot contain more than 15 characters — and thus also generates the vanity URL automatically. With Google+ however, URLs can be personalised. On LinkedIn, you can customise your URL as often as you like via the profile settings.
Catchy URLs can be integrated into your email footer, signature or newsletter as well as into your online advertisements and websites, and printed onto business cards and other offline promotional materials. Moreover, you can also use vanity URLs to neatly and professionally redirect from your own server to your social media profile, for example by setting up a subdomain such as facebook.companyname.com or a website such as www.companyname/facebook. For IONOS customers, the Control Panel contains brief instructions on how to conveniently link your domain with your social network profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest without creating a separate website or subdomain.