A custom domain, sometimes called a vanity URL, is a way to create links that include your brand.
For example, when ESPN shortens a link through Bitly, instead of being branded with Bitly's domain (bit.ly/wG8qhgpn) the link displays their own custom domain (es.pn/2Qw1wd7).
When a link includes your brand, it helps people recognize and associate your links with your product or company. When they see your brand, they trust your links. That results in higher click-through rates.
Custom domains + Bitly
When you purchase or add a custom domain to your Bitly account, it can replace the bit.ly in your short links. In the ESPN example above, es.pn replaces bit.ly.
You can edit the end of the URL — we call that the back-half — to create an even more identifiable link, like es.pn/superbowl. Visit What is a custom link? to learn more.
Please note this domain cannot be the same exact domain that points to your website, but you can direct it there. Visit How do I redirect visitors from my custom domain? for more information.
Keep these things in mind as you choose and set up a custom domain:
- The domain for your short links must be different than your website domain.
- It can't be more than 32 characters long, including the dot.
- If you don't have one yet, Bitly offers a complimentary domain on some paid plans.