When it comes to improving user experience and increasing conversions, deep linking can be quite powerful. But what is deep linking, exactly? And how does it work? In short, deep links are a type of link that, when clicked, sends the user to specific in-app locations or content rather than sending them to a website or web page.
- Deep links are a type of link that, when clicked, sends the user to specific in-app locations or content rather than sending them to a website or web page
- The primary purpose of deep linking is to customize and improve user experience
- Deep linking helps make the user’s journey feel seamless and less time-consuming
- Deep linking offers many benefits that are a direct result of improving user experience, including reducing the churn rate and boosting the rate of conversions
What is Deep Linking?
Deep linking is when a link found on the web, in an email, or even in an SMS text sends you to a specific page or location within a mobile app, as opposed to an external website.
The main purpose of deep linking is to customize and improve user experience. Instead of having to look up a screen or functionality within an app, deep linking sends you directly to it.
Deep linking helps make the user’s journey feel seamless and less time-consuming, allowing the user to switch from website to app or from app to app with a single click.
Deep linking offers many benefits that are a direct result of improving user experience. Some of these benefits include reducing the churn rate and boosting the rate of conversions.
How Does Deep Linking Work?
To provide a seamless journey from the web to app or from app to app using deep links, you’ll need to use a deep linking engine. It’s a tool that enables you to define the user journey you’re looking to establish.
With a deep linking engine, you set different parameters regarding the customized user journey you’re looking to provide. One of the most notable parameters is where you want the user to be deep linked.
Deep linking engines also enable you to customize the user journey based on the operating system. So, you can set up one experience for iOS app links and another for Android app links.
Without getting too technical, the way deep linking works is that it maps out every single in-app screen, similar to a website. As a result, every webpage has an in-app equivalent. It does so using intent URLs for Android devices and custom URL schemes for iOS universal links.
For example, let’s say you’re on one of your preferred search engines, and you’re searching for a certain product. Then, you see an Amazon link for the product you’re looking for.
If you click that link, it will seamlessly direct you from mobile web browsing to the in-app equivalent of the product page you clicked on. This is with the assumption that you have the Amazon app installed, of course.
Here’s the thing, though: not all users are going to have the app to which you’re trying to deep link. In this case, “deferred deep links” come into play.
Deferred Deep Linking Technology
Deferred deep linking is the mechanism that kicks in when a given user doesn’t have the app to which you’re deep linking. In this scenario, the user is deferred to the app store, where they can download and install the app.
Once the app is installed and launched, the user will be sent to the in-app location associated with the deep link they clicked on, sparing the user the hassle of clicking the link again.
What Type of Content Can You Deep Link To?
Deep linking is quite versatile, as it can be utilized for a broad range of content. For example, a travel service can utilize deep linking to expose its app users to relevant content.
Similarly, an e-commerce app can make use of deep linking strategies to increase conversions. One way of doing that is to deep link users directly to their abandoned shopping carts so that they can complete their purchases.
Did you also know that many news apps use this very technology to deep link users to desired content and stories? Deep linking is used in just about every niche you can think of.
Another medium in which deep linking is used is push notifications. Let’s say you have an app installed, and there’s a new update for that app that comes with a newly added feature.
Rather than having you navigate said feature on your own, the app marketers can simply send you a push notification with a deep link associated with that new feature.
Clicking the deep link will prompt in-app messages or maybe an in-app tutorial that explains what that new feature is all about and how you can use it.
Why Should You Use Deep Links?
As a marketer, there are many benefits that you can reap by using deep app links. For starters, deep links will help you optimize your app marketing campaigns and increase conversions.
What’s more, you can use deep links to improve engagement, retention, and awareness. And as we mentioned earlier, deep links help with reducing churn.
Most importantly, using deep links is a surefire of providing a better app experience for your users. Instead of having them transition onto your app in several steps, deep links help them transition onto your app with one click.
When clicked, deep links seamlessly transition you from a web, email, or even SMS medium to a specific location in a corresponding app rather than to an external website or web page.
As far as deferred deep links, they’re essentially deep links that kick in if the user you’re trying to deep link doesn’t have your app installed.
In this case, after clicking the deferred deep link, the user is deferred to the App Store or Play Store, depending on their device, so they can download and install the app.
Primarily, the purpose of deep app links, as opposed to universal links (regular web links), is to provide a seamless user experience for both existing users and new users.
On top of that, deep links, along with deferred links, help improve retention, app engagement campaigns, and conversions, as well as reduce churn.