Introduction to Pardot Tracker Domains and Vanity URLs

 

With the Pardot Summer ‘17 release containing updates to Tracker Domains, I thought it would be a prime opportunity to talk a little about what Tracker Domains are, what purpose they serve and how they relate to Vanity URLs.

If you have no clue about these Domain Management features, don’t worry – this is how I broke down the topic to learn the foundational knowledge.

What is a Tracker Domain?

A tracker domain is basically a variation of your own website domain – an alias.

If Fearless Marketing wanted to set up a Tracker Domain for any Pardot-hosted content we had, we would consider using one of the popular formats below:

  • go.fearlessmarketing.tech
  • www2.fearlessmarketing.tech
  • info.fearlessmarketing.tech

What’s their purpose?

Picture all the content that’s on your website. In this context, ‘content’ refers to forms, landing pages, emails, files, etc.  Some of the content will be hosted by you, via your CMS (Content Management System); but, some will be hosted through Pardot, eg. Pardot forms.

When an asset such as a Pardot form is created, it will take the ‘go.pardot’ domain like in the screenshot below:

This is the default for all accounts unless a different tracker domain has been specified. This is the view from the ‘Domain Management’ page inside Pardot:

So instead of your form URL being ‘go.pardot…’, you can use something similar to the bulleted suggestions in the first section.

You could think of it as white labelling. As URLs for Pardot-hosted content are rewritten to appear that they are hosted by your company for:

  • Credibility ie. a trustworthy page.
  • ‘Seamless transition’ from your hosted pages to Pardot-hosted assets.
  • Able to use Vanity URLs (we’ll get to that later!)
  • Prevents hindering SEO

What’s the key process stages?

This is an advanced topic, so I’m not going to go into deep details in this post.

First, you will need to find out whether you have Domain Management enabled or not. There are different processes depending on whether this is enabled for your account or not.

To access Domain Management hover over Admin menu. If your Admin menu looks like the one below, then you have it enabled.

 

Then you can follow the step-by-step guide available on the Pardot Knowledge Base, and it is of course imperative you read those before attempting to configure your account domains.

What are Vanity URLs?

…and then there are Vanity URLs, which I think of as an extension of Tracker Domains. This enables you to write URLs to your liking, that is, the piece of the URL at the end after the ‘/’

eg: go.fearlessmarketing.tech/contactus

NB: you must have done the technical CNAME configuration before you can use these.

Summary

To briefly sum up (brain overload!), I hope I was able to break down the topic in a way that makes building the foundational knowledge less daunting. In around 400 words, you have been able to discover what Tracker Domains are, what purpose they serve and how they relate to Vanity URLs. Look out in the next few weeks for our post on the Domain Management updates – which will build on your new knowledge!

Thanks for reading!