Deep linking is a technology that has gained considerable importance in recent years because of its effectiveness in mobile marketing . This technology has enabled marketers to greatly improve their engagement with mobile app users. Deep links – “deep links” – provide application owners with a clear and simple way to identify, address, and transport users to specific content. In general, these links can help application publishers increase their installations, conversion rates, and user engagement . These three points are among the key statistics of the success of an application.
What is a Deep Link?
As explained above, a deep link is a link that takes you directly to specific content within the application or the web. In the field of mobile marketing, this is a real innovation since it becomes much easier and more effective to promote or share a product. To better illustrate this concept, here are two examples of links:
- Example of deep link: https://www.amazon.fr/GoPro-HERO5-Megapixel-action-camera/ . This is a link that leads directly to a product on the Amazon site.
- Example of a non-deep link: https://www.amazon.fr/ . This is the link on the Amazon home page.
What happens with Deep Linking in applications?
The problem is that when you share the URL with a person – friends, family, acquaintance – when you open it, the link takes you to your mobile web browser on the mobile page of the website. And this happens even if the user has already downloaded the application of the website on his smartphone. Indeed, deep links are not compatible with native mobile apps . In this case, the user should open his own application, and find the product inside. This kind of task can very quickly become complicated, especially on a site as big as Amazon.
What can we do ?
The solution is application-specific Deep Link , which links directly to the content within the application. That is, if we wanted to share a product, this link would lead directly to the product page and not to the homepage of the site.
The different types of Deep Links
A. Traditional Deep Link
This type of link only opens if the recipient has the application on their smartphone. In this case a message will appear to allow the link to be opened via the application. Otherwise, the user will not be able to access the link. He will first have to search and download the application on the store. Then he will have to re-click on the link to access the content. This kind of Deep Link is the most used because it gives more time between each application.
B. Delayed Deep Link
In this case, the link will lead to the content, whatever happens. If the user already has the application, the link will simply show the content within the native application. By taking the case of the beginning of article, the user would fall directly on the page of Amazon within its native application.
In the case of a deferred Deep Link, if the user has not installed the application, the link will take him directly to the application page on his respective store. Once the application is installed, the user will access the shared content directly.
C. Deep Link contextual
This type of link is similar to the delayed Deep Link, with the difference that it has other advantages. These links keep information about users, where they want to go, where they clicked, who shared the link, and more.
Contextual Deep Links add very relevant information for both developers and users. This information will allow application developers to add home pages, new content, or custom referrals. Without a doubt, this type of link is very useful and greatly improves the user experience.
Deep Link on iOS: Universal Links
Since the launch of iOS 9.0, Apple has launched what is now called Universal Links . This solution was created to overcome the lack of URI functionality for Deep Links within applications.
In this case, Universal Links are standard web links that target both the web and some of the content within the application. When you open the iOS link, it searches if the application is installed on the smartphone. If so, the content is opened via the application. If not, the link opens a web version of the content via Safari. According to a study, the Universal Linkswould increase conversion up to 40%!
Deep Link on Android: App Links
The Google Links Links are the Android equivalent of the Universal LinksiOS. In the end they work in a very similar way. Just like Universal Links , the App Links target the web and also some of the content within the application. Like its iOS counterpart, App Links can improve the user experience and therefore the conversion. However, because of the fragmentation of Android versions , the adoption of these links is currently slow. The problem is that not all versions support App Links .
Deep Linking also on Facebook
In 2014, Facebook created an App Links standard to resolve the limitations of Deep Links URIs. These App Links have two main components:
- Metatags that are added to the format of the web page thanks to “http: //”. These labels indicate the specific URI contained in the application. This also indicates the behavior if the application is not installed.
- It’s a routing system for opening links. This system checks the destination of the link before opening it. As with other links the command is executed within the application. In case the app is not installed, the link will behave as predefined beforehand.
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