Pardot Essentials: The Importance Of Using Tracker Domains
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business. Regardless of your size and industry an effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. One way that you can ensure that you have brand consistency is by setting up a Vanity URL for your pardot assets.
What is a Vanity URL (Tracker Domain)?
When you create assets in Pardot (forms, custom redirects, and landing pages) Pardot generates a link that begins with go.pardot.com. Tracker domains are known as CNAME (Canonical name), or Vanity URL, and they enable you to mask the Pardot hosted go.pardot.com link with your branded URL.
Your tracker domain cannot be the same as your corporate domain name, so we suggest that you choose a simple alias that gives your visitors the best possible user experience. For example, if your corporate domain is www.yourname.com, then consider using one of the following:
Why should I set up a Tracker Domain?
Setting up a tracker domain allows you to maintain your corporate branding and gives assurance and security to your visitors that the links in your pages, forms or assets are legitimate and that they belong to your domain. In other words, a vanity URL is a unique web address that is branded for marketing purposes.
Setting up an effective tracker domain will ensure that visitors to your site have a seamless transition when traveling between pages and forms that you host and, Pardot-hosted campaign elements – such as landing pages and search results.
The Pardot assets that you host are likely to form part of a progressive profiling process and be data collecting – and so it is crucial that your visitor’s trust that they are sharing information with you, and no-one else.
Setting up your Tracker Domain
Before kicking off your Pardot implementation, there are some technical items to check off the list first.
In order to set up your Tracker Domain, go to your website Domain Host.
- Open the Control Panel of your Domain Host, go to Domains > Zone Editor to find Add DNS Record. (This may look different depending on your host, please contact your website provider if you are having trouble locating this).
- The next step is to create a CNAME. The CNAME (Canonical name or “alias”) record is used to point a subdomain to another hostname. Typically, you will have to set three things: Host Record, TTL (Time To Live) Type, and Points to (Alias). As a result, your Host Record could be go.yourname.com TTL is 1800 (30 minutes), Type is CNAME and Points To will be go.pardot.com, as shown in the following example:
- The next step is to set up a TXT record in your DNS, as shown in the following example with the Host Record as your company’s current URL(if your URLis locked in to the right of the entry, only add “”). The TXT value will come from the Validation Key and Status code in Pardot.
- Wait for your DNS to propagate (it may take between 30 minutes – 24 hours).
- When it has propagated you will be able to validate your domain
Congratulations you’ve successfully verified your Pardot tracker domain!
PLEASE NOTE: Domain hosts can vary. Please make sure you consult with your domain host and internal IT support to make sure that your setup is appropriate for your environment.
More help can also be found here.