01 June 2012
Posted by Jennifer Angell
Let me start by explaining what a Vanity URL is.  A Vanity URL is a shortened, descriptive URL that points to a related item indicated within the URL.  Your Facebook Profile page is a great example – mine is http://www.facebook.com/jen.angell instead of http://www.facebook.com/345625445498552.  Someone looking at the former URL knows immediately that they’ll be going to Jen Angell’s Facebook page…it’s anybody’s guess on the latter....
Studies have shown that a descriptive URL will result in a higher click through rate.  The more people clicking on your links, the more relevance Google may place on you and reward you by boosting your SEO rankings.  You also achieve an extra benefit with easy to remember URLs.
So, what does this mean with your newsroom and how can you use it?  The newsroom platform refers to a vanity url as the “SEO Title” on the Section and Press Release tools.  If you do not utilize the SEO Title, your main press release section will typically look like this:  http://newsroom.tekgroup.comsection_display.cfm?section_id=1.  By implementing the SEO Title in your section tool for your Press Release section, you can change that to something that is both meaningful to the search engines as well as to your target audience:  http://newsroom.tekgroup.com/releases/.  If someone searches for “tekgroup releases”, and they see Google list this URL in the results, there’s a greater chance the user will click on it because they will hope that they will be directed to a release listing page based on the URL structure alone.
The same principal can be applied to your press releases, “In the News” articles, bios, blog posts, etc.  For example: http://newsroom.tekgroup.comarticle_display.cfm?article_id=3883
To do this, simply provide a value to be used as the last part of the newsroom URL in the SEO Title input box in your section and article tool.  Because this value is used as part of the URL, you cannot use any spaces or special characters.  Keep the value to strictly alpha numeric as well as + or – in place of spaces.  Many people opt to use the headline as their SEO Title with dashes replacing the spaces.  NOTE: when using the press release tool, the system automatically adds the .htm.

This screenshot shows you how I've used "online-newsroom-demonstration" as the SEO Title value, which in turn automatically creates the vanity url with the .htm for me.
If you decide to utilize vanity URLs on your press releases, it is required that you first add the vanity URLs to your sections.  They go hand in hand…like Snooki and a tanning bed...one cannot subsist without the other.
TIP:  this can be automatic every time you add a new section or press release.  Ask your Client Service Manager to turn this feature on for you.  Care is taken that URLs are not duplicated during this automatic process. 
Instructions given here represent the most current online newsroom platform brought to you TEKGROUP. If your newsroom is not an exact representation of what I’ve described, perhaps it’s time to think about upgrading. See your Client Service Manager for any questions about this post and/or upgrading today!
Jennifer Angell
Client Service Manager
TEKGROUP International

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