University Relations - Digital Team

Vanity URL Guidelines & Requests


What is a vanity URL?

  • A custom short URL to support print and other offline campaigns 
    • Example: to support Green and Gold Day 
  • Aligns with institutional branding 
  • University Digital Strategy (UDS) puts tracking in place to help measure usage and interaction 
  • Frequently used vanity URLs include,,, and 

Request a vanity URL


Best practices

  • A vanity URL should be easy to remember, use, & share 
  • Short and to the point maximizes usage 
    • Consider ease-of-use for mobile devices 
  • Should have context to support the marketing campaign 
    • Example: to support Alumni Weekend 2015 
  • Should not be so generic that others could request the same 
  • The vanity URL supports a Call-To-Action (CTA) and is not by itself the CTA 
  • The destination page should be mobile and tablet friendly 
  • The destination page should be a campaign-specific page - not a site homepage

"Do and Don’t" examples 




Vanity URL (event specific) (campaign) (program) (www) (subdomain) (extraneous) (hyphenation) (nesting)

Destination URL should be UAlberta

Destination Content

Google Forms




Print campaign

Radio campaign

Email links

Web links

Social media links

Business cards

Google Analytics Reports to UAlberta rollup account
Doesn’t report to rollup account


How to request a vanity URL

We're happy to help! Before submitting your request, please ensure that you have the following information ready:

  1. Any particular vanity URLs you have in mind
  2. The destination page’s URL 
    • Destination page is published (even if not complete) 
  3. The campaign timeline 
    • Campaign start 
    • Campaign end (if applicable) 
  4. Campaign objectives 
  5. Target audiences 
  6. How it will be used (Print, radio, word of mouth, etc.) 
  7. How it will support the CTA

Campaign nearly ready to launch?