Information Services Division


Drupal CMS: Promoting your web content via print or other channels

You may require a quick and easy way to direct your audiences to your website, for instance via marketing collateral (brochures, bags, etc.) or through promotion of content via social channels.

In the past, vanity or short URLs were often used but it is now more common to direct users to search for content. Many big brands now direct users to search for content instead of including a URL as the best way to connect their audiences to specific content. 

There are many reasons for this: 

  • 60-70% of all website journeys start with Google and using search terms allows many brands to take advantage of enhanced search results pages.  
  • User behaviour has changed (particularly since the rise of mobile devices) so a short phrase is both more usable and more memorable than a URL. 
  • Using search terms future-proofs your print collateral more effectively: if the page title and/or URL change, your search phrase should continue to work unless the content has changed substantially.
  • It reduces the risk of conflicts in redirect configuration and reduces the risk of performance issues caused by too many redirects. 

Find out more about the benefits of search terms over vanity URLs

Choosing search terms for print and other channels 

Simply choose the shortest and most relevant keywords or phrase and be sure to include 'UCL' or your organisational unit in the phrase. Some good examples: 

  • Search: UCL open days 
  • Search: IOE courses  
  • Search: Campaign for UCL 

You should test this in different search engines and in private mode to be sure your content is the top result. You should also test your search terms in the www.ucl.ac.uk site search. You may not need to include the term 'UCL' in search terms for purely internal campaigns although you should try to specify a term that works for both internal and external searches. 

Promoting Drupal content via social channels 

There are two ways to create short links that work well on social channels: 

  1. If your campaign is important it should be referenced anyway on your most appropriate landing page e.g. the homepage or your study page. You can then share the link to the study page e.g. www.ucl.ac.uk/brain-sciences/study instead of the longer deep link to the content. You should promote the campaign content in a prime position on your landing page. 

  1. If you need a shorter URL linking directly to specific content for a social campaign, you can add your own short URLs as redirects in Drupal. On a given node, just choose ‘Redirects’, click ‘add new’ and then add the redirect in this format /courses 

The final URL will read for instance: www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/courses 


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