If your website has a particularly long or complicated address but you need a shorter, "friendlier" URL to use in marketing materials, you may request a special URL that can be used to reach your site, ie: https://go.uab.edu/5zbbl and https://go.uab.edu/news. We refer to these as "friendlies" or "redirects."

There are three types of redirects that are offered:

GoLink Redirects

Digital Strategy & Marketing is working to transition most of our friendly URL requests to a URL shortener tool that give friendlies the prefix go, called "GoLinks." GoLinks is a service provided to the UAB community for shortening URLs in the uab.edu domain.  Below are some of the benefits of using GoLinks over server-level redirects.

  • Server-level friendlies and redirects slow UAB's web servers down, so using GoLinks removes the redirect from UAB's servers, resulting in faster web servers.
  • Friendlies and redirects impact SEO for all UAB websites; using GoLinks helps improve UAB's rankings in search engines.
  • GoLinks provide robust analytics to understand how visitors are accessing UAB's websites, which includes typing out a URL as well as accessing the page through search (Google, Bing, etc).

Traditional Server-Level Redirects

Every visitor to every page of every site at www.uab.edu has to traverse a massive list of thousands of friendly redirects before being sent to their intended destination. This only takes a short amount of time — a few milliseconds on a good day — but as the list grows, so does the time it takes for our tens of thousands of visitors a day to get through the list. Multiply those milliseconds by the number of visitors, and that equates to a significant amount of time and server load. For this reason, we may limit the number of friendlies a particular group or unit can have. When a new friendly is requested, we may ask that you verify that previously requested friendlies are still needed in order to keep the list as optimized as possible.

Server-level friendlies will be considered on a case-by-case basis for institutional-level redirects, ex. degree programs or other items (such as uab.edu/elas).

Site-Level Redirects

There are ways to create redirects within your site that you can maintain yourself. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

UTM Tagging

UTM URL tagging helps UAB track all of our marketing and communications efforts. It provides insight into how people reach content on your website. Anytime you include a link to content on your website in social, email, or paid marketing, using a UTM tag can show you how effective your communications are by clearly tracking how people reached your content.

A UTM code is a simple code you can attach to a URL in order to track a source, medium, and campaign name. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from as well as what campaign directed them to you. For more information on UTM tagging, visit Google's documentation. University Relations is happy to provide training on UTM tagging. Feel free to reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Campaign Source - utm_source Required. Use utm_source to identify a search engine, newsletter name, or other source.
Example: google, TargetX, Facebook
Campaign Medium - utm_medium Use utm_medium to identify a medium such as email or cost-per-click.
Example: cpc, email, paid social
Campaign Name - utm_campaign Used for keyword analysis. Use utm_campaign to identify a specific product promotion or strategic campaign.
Example: utm_campaign=sp18_visit
Campaign Content - utm_content Used for A/B testing and content-targeted ads. Use utm_content to differentiate ads or links that point to the same URL.

University Relations has created a tool that allows you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so that you can track data in Google Analytics.

URL Builder