What are Vanity URLs, and how do you create one?

7 min read
February 6, 2024

Vanity URLs are becoming increasingly important in digital marketing. They are custom domain names that are easy to remember and can redirect people to your website. Short and catchy URLs can make it easier for customers to visit your website. Using easy-to-remember links, you can build trust in your brand and encourage more people to check out your content. 

This article will explore the concept of vanity URLs and their relevance to Digital Samba's branding.

Table of Contents 

  1. Vanity URL definition
  2. The concept and application of vanity URLs, vanity domains and vanity pages
  3. Best practices for using vanity URLs
  4. The benefits of using vanity URLs
  5. How to create a vanity URL in Digital Samba
  6. Boost your online engagement with vanity URLs using Digital Samba

Vanity URL definition

A vanity URL is a custom domain name that is easy to remember and can redirect people to your website. It is also known as a custom URL or a branded URL. Vanity URLs are designed to be short and memorable, often containing a call-to-action phrase, making them significantly more user-friendly than a standard, longer URL. 

This simplicity in design not only aids in easy recall but also sharing. Typically, Vanity URLs are used in various marketing campaigns, including digital, print and offline scenarios like radio or television ads. 

Their structure is straightforward, often incorporating the brand name and a relevant keyword, which assists in better search engine optimisation (SEO). Vanity URLs also improve a website's search rankings by including targeted keywords. 

Moreover, they efficiently replace complex URLs that include tracking parameters, simplifying the user experience without losing the functionality needed for marketing analytics.

The concept and application of vanity URL, vanity domain name and vanity page

Vanity URLs, vanity Domains and vanity Pages each uniquely enhance online branding and marketing strategies. 

As mentioned above, a vanity URL simplifies a complex URL into a concise and memorable link, typically incorporating the brand or a relevant keyword. This makes it easier for users to remember, access, and share, which is especially useful for complex web addresses on a business website.

On the other hand, a vanity domain is an entire domain that forwards to the original domain, often used in traditional marketing efforts like print or radio ads for tracking purposes. For example, a promotional vanity domain created for an ad campaign would redirect users to the business's main website, allowing for effective tracking of campaign success.

Vanity pages refer to specific, branded web pages within a website designed to target particular user needs or marketing campaigns. They are crafted for specific content or promotions, providing a focused user experience distinct from the general website content.

Vanity URL best practices

Use when necessary

Vanity URLs are not suitable for every link; their impact is most significant when the current link is too complex. Overusing them can dilute their effectiveness. They are most effective when used in contexts where a more straightforward, memorable link would significantly enhance user experience and brand recall.

Make it clear

A vanity URL should be direct and transparent, accurately reflecting the content or destination it links to. Clear and descriptive URLs establish trust and reduce confusion, ensuring users know what to expect when they click the link.

Keep it short and memorable

An excellent vanity URL is all about being short and easy to remember. Keep it brief, just a few words, to minimise typos and help users recall and share it effortlessly. This is crucial, especially on social media, where people's attention spans are short.

Use keywords related to your business strategically 

Incorporate relevant keywords into your vanity URLs to improve SEO and enhance brand association. Choose clear, concise keywords that align with your content and resonate with your audience (you can use a free keyword research tool for this). However, prioritise readability and context over keyword stuffing to maintain the URL's effectiveness and clarity.

Ensure the vanity URL reflects your brand

Your vanity URL should embody your brand identity, including your company name, product or service. Consistent branding across all online channels, including vanity URLs, strengthens brand recognition and trust. This alignment helps build a cohesive online presence, making your brand more memorable and accessible to your audience.

The benefits of using vanity URLs

How to create a vanity URL in Digital Samba

Creating a vanity URL in Digital Samba is a straightforward process that can be accomplished either through the Digital Samba API or the dashboard. 

Here's how you can do it:

Using the Digital Samba API

  • API request for room creation:

To create a new room with a vanity URL, you need to execute a POST request against the /rooms endpoint in the Digital Samba API. The request will require a privacy field (accepting "public" or "private" values), and then you can define the friendly_url field, which is going to be your custom URL or vanity URL.

Let’s have a look at a code snippet example:

Here’s an example of using JavaScript for a public room with a custom URL:

const createRoom = async () => {
    const apiUrl = 'https://api.digitalsamba.com/api/v1/rooms';
    const teamId = 'YOUR_TEAM_ID'; // Replace with your actual team ID
    const developerKey = 'YOUR_DEVELOPER_KEY'; // Replace with your actual developer key
    const authorizationHeader = `Bearer ${btoa(`${teamId}:${developerKey}`)}`;
    const roomData = {
        privacy: "public",
        friendly_url: "my-custom-meeting" // Replace with your desired vanity URL
    };
    try {
        const response = await fetch(apiUrl, {
            method: 'POST',
            headers: {
                'Authorization': authorizationHeader,
                'Content-Type': 'application/json'
            },
            body: JSON.stringify(roomData)
        });
        const responseData = await response.json();
        console.log('Room created:', responseData);
    } catch (error) {
        console.error('Error creating room:', error);
    }
};
createRoom();

This will create a meeting accessible through the following custom URL example: https://teamNameHere.digitalsamba.com/my-custom-meeting, a clear and concise URL your customers can trust. 

Using the Digital Samba dashboard

  1. Access the dashboard: Log into your Digital Samba account and navigate to the dashboard.
  2. Create or edit a room: In the 'Rooms' tab, click 'Create a new room' or access the room you want to edit.

Create or edit a room - Digital Samba 

  1. Customise your room: Fill in the necessary details for your room, including its name and privacy settings.
  2. Set the vanity URL:

In the room creation form, look for an option to set a ‘Room Name.' This is where you can define your vanity URL or custom URL.

Room Name - Digital Samba-1

For example, in the above room, you can use Marketing_weekly_standup to create the following vanity URL example:, https://teamNameHere.digitalsamba.com/Marketing_weekly_standup. This URL intuitively indicates the room's purpose - hosting the Marketing team's weekly stand-up meetings - in a clear and easily understandable manner.

Also, keep in mind that as the team owner, you can optionally personalise your platform's URL by configuring your preferred DNS CNAME record.

  • Save and share

Once you have set up your vanity URL, save your changes. Your room is now accessible via the custom URL you have created.

By following these steps, you can create a vanity URL that reflects your brand or meeting purpose, enhancing the professionalism and recognisability of your Digital Samba sessions. This custom URL is easier for participants to remember and reinforces your brand identity in digital communications.

Remember to replace placeholders like YOUR_TEAM_ID and YOUR_DEVELOPER_KEY with your actual Digital Samba credentials

Boost your online engagement with vanity URLs using Digital Samba

In today's digital landscape, vanity URLs are not just a convenience but a necessity for branding and user engagement. They offer a blend of simplicity, memorability and professionalism, which are crucial for any business to stand out in the crowded online marketplace. As we've explored, vanity URLs enhance SEO rating and brand recognition and streamline user interaction.

At Digital Samba, we enable our users to create custom room URLs that are both easy to remember and reflect their brand, enhancing the accessibility of virtual meetings and contributing to a consistent and fully branded experience. Want to try them out? You can start with our free plan.

Contact our team today to learn more about how Digital Samba can help you create a vanity URL that builds trust in your brand and encourages more users to check out your content.

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