All About Deep Linking

There are so many different terms used in the world of online marketing, and so it can almost feel impossible for business owners to keep pace with everything that is going on. However, one thing you definitely need to know more about is deep linking. What is this? Why should you care? Read on to discover everything you need to know.

What is deep linking?

Let’s begin by taking a look at what deep linking is. A deep link is a type of link that is going to take you straight to the content. The vast majority of links are deep links. A link to a website homepage would not be a deep link. However, a link that takes you to a specific product page is a deep link. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, the concept is, but there is an issue, and this is the fact that deep linking in the traditional manner does not really work with mobile apps. 

The problem with traditional web deep linking and mobile apps

If you utilise a mobile device in order to open a link to a specific product, for example, a certain pair of shoes or a PS4 game, you are going to be taken to the destination in your web browser, even if you have the store app installed on your form. This is an issue because the app will provide you with a much better experience when contrasted with the mobile version of the website you are shopping on. 

How deep linking solves this 

So, how do we get around the problem that has been mentioned? Well, this is through mobile app deep links, which will point to content inside of the mobile application, rather than pointing you to the mobile website. Therefore, let’s say you want to share a pair of shoes with your boyfriend in the hope that he will buy you them for Christmas, you can send the deep link to your other half and it is going to take him directly to the app, rather than the website. Your boyfriend would have to go and downloading the app manually on the Play Store or App Store if you did not provide a deep link. This requires a lot of effort. Not only would he need to manually download the app but then he would need to search for the shoes with the search function and try to find the pair that you are interested in. This is a lot of effort and it could result in you missing out on your shoes because your boyfriend cannot be bothered with all of the hassle!

Traditional vs Deferred Deep vs Contextual Deep Links – how do they differ 

Now, we are going to look at the three main types of deep links in further detail, to help you get a better understanding. Let’s start with basic deep links. These links can be incorporated into a number of different mobile channels, including social media sites, SMS messages, emails and web pages. They can be utilised to send users to virtually any part of any app. Traditional deep links are helpful because they help to lower the friction that is associated with using an app. For example, if you were to click on a standard mobile link in an email promotion or simply online, then you would be sent to the app’s homepage, so long as you have the app downloaded. However, with traditional deep links, you are going to be sent directly to specific content within the app, instead of reaching the generic homepage. You will still need to have the app downloaded, though.

Next, we have deferred deep links. The difference between these links and the traditional form is that deferred deep links do not require that the user has downloaded the corresponding app on their smartphone in order to be directed to the page within the app that they want to access. Deferred links will send users to a location or screen within the app after the user has been directed to the app store so that they can download the app. So, you will need to download the app and install it, however, you will be sent straight to the app store, so it takes out some of the work for you. 

Next, we have contextual deep links, which many would agree are the most effective out of them all. They work in a very similar manner to the former deep links that have been discussed. However, they do not only pass user data to the app so users can install the correct app, but they also record information about you. This includes details such as who you are, who referred you, where you were referred from, which promotion code you want to apply to your order, and so on. This is highly beneficial because it means you are going to experience a much more targeted and personalised app experience. 

Why Deep linking is so important

Now that you have a good understanding of what deep linking is, as well as the different types of deep linking, let’s consider why it is so critical today. Firstly, deep linking helps to improve retention levels through enhancing user experience. Your app provides a better experience, which will keep them excited and they will want to learn more. Deep linking is also beneficial in terms of getting your app out there and improving visibility. It is also a powerful marketing technique in terms of re-engaging users. If people have used your app once but they have not come back, you can send push notifications about items that they may be interested in. Deep links also provide insights into campaign effectiveness, as well as helping you to increase the revenue you gain from advertising.

If you’re keen to learn how to leverage deep links as part of your mobile app marketing at the app match, then get in contact with the team below

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