Deep-linking is the ability to link in-app content from somewhere outside the app. A deeplink functions like a traditional hyperlink on a webpage. For mobile apps, there are a number of factors that make deep-linking difficult, like platform linking standards, app stores, and multiple device types and versions.
Some benefits of deep-linking:
- Deep-linking can be used to index app content.
- It can be used to reduce cost per install (CPI) by advertising content rather than the app itself.
- It allows app developers and marketers to bring users directly into a very specific location within the app with a dedicated link.
- It can automatically detect the native experience and redirect users accordingly.
- Creates a better native search.
- It drives app conversion and organic growth channels.
- Creates a better UX.
Types of deep-linking technology used today
- Basic deep links
- Deferred deep links
- Contextual deep links
Basic deep link – It can be used to send users directly to specific content within an app instead of a generic screen reducing friction. The user must have the app installed. If it’s not the case, the link will show an error or a fallback page.
Deferred deep link – This type of links direct users to a specific content within the app even if they do not have the app installed when the link is opened. The user is directed to the app store to install the app and then on first launch, the app opens to the specific in-app landing page we wanted to send them in the first place.
Contextual deep links – Besides having all the functionality of deferred deep links, this type of link records information about the user, including who they are, where they were referred from, who referred them, or which promotion code they want to apply to their order. Contextual links allow developers to give users a more personalized and targeted app experience. Marketers can gather information on how advertising campaigns and marketing channels are performing.
Using deep-linking to boost app growth
Use deep links to acquire new users
Deep linking offers new sources of installs beyond things like paid install ads. You can accurately attribute organic installs by attaching tags to the links you create. A source of installs can be your own mobile website. With deep links, you can build web pages for app content and incorporate SEO for these pages so users can discover those pages in search.
Another source to acquire new users with deep linking is your influencers. You can allow influencers to share custom experiences with their friends.
You can also set up ads to specific pieces of content and target categories of users interested in that content.
Use deep links to turn installs into active users
Deep linking improves user activation because it allows first-time users to view the content they were supposed to view. According to Branch data, there are three features that can convert installs into active users:
Personalized welcomes (custom onboarding) that consist in showing the user a unique experience based on the information you have about them. With deep links, you can attach any parameters you’d like to the link.
Deep-linked content sharing that allows the user to share specific in-app content with another person that can be a current app user or a new app user.
Mobile deep links can detect the platform a user is on and take them to the right content for the right platform.
Use deep links to retain the users you already have
You can combine email and deep linking to re-engage users. Deep links can automatically detect if a user has the app installed and automatically open it to the deal, product or offer you want to send them to.
Use deep links with push notifications
By default, push notifications direct the user to the last view they visited in the app. With deep linking, push notifications can direct to a specific view of the app (a product on sale, a new feature).