Mobile deep linking has been around for a long, long time. It’s been touted as something quite special, but for a long while deep linking for apps has mostly gone untouched. Considering that mobile deep linking has been around since iOS 2.0, it’s stunning to realize that it’s only really become more apparent within the last few years.
A big part of the reason behind this is because many businesses don’t truly know how to utilize deep linking for their benefit. It’s either this or businesses don’t have unlimited time on their hands and as a result they choose campaigns that will prove to bring better results for less effort.
Thankfully more opportunities for mobile deep linking are becoming available and this will make it easier for businesses to benefit without them having to undergo a lot of effort and preparation first.
In this article we’ll be discussing the best practices for deep linking apps in 2015.
Deep Linking for App Installs
Earlier in the year, Facebook put more development into their app install ads. Since May, developers are now able to set up deep linking for app installs. Unlike other methods of deep linking, this new opportunity through Facebook will allow developers to create a standard app install ad that can link to certain content within the app. Let’s explore the differences between standard app installs and deep link app installs below.
Here’s an example of a standard app install ad – A user will see a suggested app post on their smartphone whilst browsing Facebook. The ad will list an application and will encourage the user to download it. If a click happens, the user will be prompted to install the application. Once the app is installed the conversion is completed and the ad process ends here.
Here’s an example of a deep link app install ad – A user will see a suggested app post on their smartphone whilst browsing Facebook. This time, the ad could be listing a specific set of information. For example, the ad could list deals for cheaper train fares. When a user clicks the ad, the same app install prompt will appear, but once the app is installed it will open up to a relevant page within the application related to the context of the ad.
Having deep linking for app installs will remove additional steps that a standard install ad would include. Removing these steps helps improve customer experience and it brings customers one step closer to conversion.
Contextual Deep Linking
Another area of deep linking worth exploring has been known as ‘Contextual deep linking.’
Contextual deep linking is something that has popped up in recent years that big internet companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and eBay have put a lot of focus into and it opens up a lot of potential for app marketing.
Contextual deep linking is similar to the Facebook app install example above but the advertisement part is removed from the picture.
With contextual deep linking, you can create information that can lead to certain content within your application. A good example of contextual deep linking can be found in Google searches from a mobile device. If you were to download TripAdvisor, a useful app that provides users with information on travel prices and schedules, contextual information can be seen when searching Google on your smartphone.
For example, if a user with TripAdvisor were to search for a certain flight path, Google can provide deep linking for that users so that they can quickly jump to relevant information within an app.
More areas on the internet are supporting the use of deep linking for apps and it opens up a lot of potential. In a recent TechCrunch article it was shown that contextual deep linking can greatly improve user retention, long term engagement and many other important areas of user acquisition.
Hopefully these two examples of deep linking for apps will show you how you can use it yourself for your own circumstances.