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Vanity URLs

A Vanity URL is a web address that has been shortened from its original long form for purposes of publicity that redirects to the original web page. This can include any web page hosted by Tarleton State University or on any sponsored websites as well as any web page that needs additional tracking for marketing purposes, such as Google Campaign Code.

For example, "https://epay.tarleton.edu/C20203_ustores/web/store_cat.jsp?STOREID=12&CATID=42" is an extremely complex and long web address that your constituents would not want to type out after reading on a print publication, however, "www.tarleton.edu/mp-ce" is easier to read, type and also can be tracked for marketing purposes.

Vanity URLs can be used to:

  • shorten a long web address to be used in print publications
  • track visitors going to content displayed in print publications

Consider using Google Campaign Code if you want to track specific usage of a web page from your email or social media campaigns. You do not necessarily need a Vanity URL to track web page usage if:

  • the web address is embedded (hidden) in a graphical button
  • the web address is embedded (hidden) in a textual link

Vanity URL requests must be directed to Web Services. Some terms next to the Tarleton web address (www.tarleton.edu/) cannot be used for your Vanity URL if they are reserved for higher priority use. Approval of these requests depends on if the request meets all of the following criteria:

  1. The page must reside under a tarleton.edu URL (example: tarleton.edu/welcome, epay.tarleton.edu)
  2. The topic on the page must be related to a major campaign or long term strategic goal (example: President's Report, Tarleton Viewbook)
  3. The URL will be printed in/on official print collateral developed by Tarleton's Marketing & Communications
  4. The target audience must be external to the university (example: prospective students)

For more information, please contact x1819 or webmaster@tarleton.edu.

Google Campaign Code

Use campaign code to track campaigns hidden behind short URLs (Vanity URLs), textual links or graphical buttons. This allows you to track anything you can link to (i.e. external link, document, video) without providing an ugly, long address that looks even worse with the code appended to it.

Basic Examples

  1. http://www.tarleton.edu/welcome/index.html?utm_source=CollegeBoardListing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=WelcomeCBFall2014
  2. http://www.tarleton.edu/holiday2014/index.html?utm_source=Students&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Holiday2014
  3. http://www.tarleton.edu/holiday2014/index.html?utm_source=FacultyStaffRetired&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Holiday2014
  4. http://www.tarleton.edu/holiday2014/index.html?utm_source=External&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Holiday2014

Campaign Source (utm_source): Required. Use utm_source to identify a search engine, newsletter name, or other source.

Campaign Medium (utm_medium): Required. Use utm_medium to identify a medium such as email or cost-per- click or mailer or poster.

Campaign Name (utm_campaign): Required. Used for keyword analysis. Use utm_campaign to identify a specific product promotion or strategic campaign.

For further assistance or more tracking information, you can use Google's URL Builder to create the links to your emails, social media and more.