Branded Domains: Everything You Need to Know

By TinyURL Marketing

Last updated on February 15, 2023

Branded domains are awesome. They’re a re-do button on sites you own, and a way to get your branding on sites you don’t (like your social profiles). If you’ve ever wondered what they are, how they work, and how you can get your hands on some, this article is for you.

A branded domain is the first and most important part of a branded link. It’s the front half of the link that reflects your branding and keeps your shortened URLs both tiny and memorable. 

Branded domains are also sometimes referred to as “vanity domains”, and give online marketers a chance to show off their branding, while also turning clunky URLs into something easier to share and remember.

What are Branded Domains?

If you’re running a business named California Unicycles Inc, you might already own your own domain and website: say, It’s a descriptive and unique domain, but one that’s a bit unwieldy and hard to share on social media, or in formats like Twitter or SMS where every character counts.

Enter the branded domain. By setting up your own shorter, snappier domain, you can create more compact and memorable links that are easier to share on social media or SMS, while also looking more presentable and professional in print or digital. 

Using our previous example of California Unicycles Inc., you could purchase a domain like or to use exclusively when sharing links and marketing the business. Such shortened and branded links are easier to share and remember, pointing back to your main web page or social media presence so you don’t have to take the pains to change anything at the site level.

In short, branded domains build brand awareness and trust, as well as increasing brand engagement and sharing on your links.

How Do I Use Branded Domains?

A good branded domain is the cornerstone of shortened, branded links. There are a variety of important applications for link branding and customization in marketing:

  • Maintain your branding with short, shareable links
  • Use in marketing and media formats where brevity is crucial: tweets, SMS, etc.
  • Use in print and traditional media for easy viewer recall
  • Use in social media marketing for unobtrusive and aesthetically pleasing links and CTAs
  • Use to conceal UTMs and other tracking and analytics aids in your links.

Are Branded Domains Good for SEO?

There are misconceptions that link shortening and branded URLs can hurt your SEO. 

While redirects (the process used by most shortened and branded URLs) used to incur a penalty in Google PageRank, they now properly pass on link equity (a.k.a. “link juice”) to their destination pages. 

Assuming you’re using a clearly branded domain to a website that doesn’t call up any other red flags for SEO, then you shouldn’t have any problems.

Branded domains also provide other benefits to sites that use them: some directly SEO-related, and others, more intangible and helpful to other aspects of your marketing.

  • Branded links lead to more brand-related search queries, which can help the overall SEO variables for your brand
  • Redirects linked to branded domains let you hide UTM tags to avoid long, ugly and inscrutable URLs
  • Shorter URLs are easier to remember, so users are more likely to recall your branded link and take valuable actions like clicking through or sharing

Overall, branded domains have virtually no negative effect on SEO when used properly.

Why Choose TinyURL for Branded Domains?

TinyURL can help you harness the power of branded domains with an all-in-one service. We make it easy to secure a unique branded domain (it’s as simple as online shopping), and provide all the tools needed to use them to their full effect.


TinyURL’s branded domain service gives you a simple search interface for looking up branded links that you want, as well as presenting a number of alternatives, with a choice of a number of top level domains (TLDs) for maximum customization. 

Already have the perfect domain? You could bring it over TinyURL, and, provided you haven’t built any content on top of it, use it to create your own branded, shortened links pointing back to your website or social media presence.

We have to reiterate that domains meant for link shortening with TinyURL can’t be used to build or host a website. For the moment, they’re exclusively for branded link redirects, and only for branded link redirects.


TinyURL’s fast, no-guff domain search and purchase gives you everything you need to get started with branded domains without having to go through the process of digging through multiple domain registrars. 

If you already have your business website set up, or just want a custom domain to point to your social media presence, then importing takes only a few, easy technical steps to accomplish.

Once your new or existing domain is connected, TinyURL takes care of the rest. Simply choose your domain from the dropdown list of options when shortening a link and play around to your heart’s content.


Your branded domain is the foundation of your branded short-links, each of which can be a marketing analytics powerhouse unto themselves. 

TinyURL’s sleek but powerful dashboard makes it easy to manage your shortened links, bringing all the important metrics (like peak traffic times, device data, referrers) to your fingertips. 

Users can drill down to per-link data, or tag and group together shortened links to give a more holistic view of their marketing campaigns.

Easy link management gives you all the tools you need to optimize your branded links, and perform quick and easy A/B tests and other experiments — all while keeping your business branding front and center through your branded domain.


Branded domains are a key part of aesthetically pleasing, memorable, and easily shareable shortened links for digital and traditional marketing campaigns. 

TinyURL makes it easy to find and secure the ideal branded domain for your business, with all the tools you need to quickly customize and control your links in a convenient, all-in-one package. 

Check out more about our branded domain and link shortening features, as well as our easy to use link management and analytics tools

Once you’re ready, sign up for TinyURL’s paid plans to really get your branded link game going!

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