What is deep linking?
Deep links are a type of link that sends users directly to an app instead of a website or a store. They are used to send users straight to specific in-app locations, saving users the time and energy locating a particular page themselves – significantly improving the user experience.
Deep linking does this by specifying a custom URL scheme (iOS Universal Links) or an intent URL (on Android devices) that opens your app if it’s already installed. Deep links can also be set to direct users to specific events or pages, which could tie into campaigns that you may want to run.
Why are deep links important?
Deep links produce a seamless user journey that reduces churn and increases the likelihood of an install. They let you make sophisticated campaigns while providing a better user experience, moving users onto your app in a single click.
Deep links also create the opportunity for easier incentivization. It’s simple to persuade people to try a new experience when a potential prize or offer is sent to them via a retargeting campaign. For example, let’s say you have a music app and want to promote a new album, so you allocate a budget to be spent on a popular website. However, you want the user to listen to the sample in-app, not just on the website (where they are only exposed to the album cover). Here you need a deep link to send them directly to the correct page in your app, offering a seamless user experience.
In-app deep linking can significantly increase your conversion rate and retention rate. Deep linking campaigns can be tracked, and provide extra data points on how your campaign performs. If you’d like to learn more about this, you can read up on the effects of deep linking in campaigns here.
What are deferred deep links?
Deep links are a smart way to drive conversions while offering a positive user experience, but what happens if the user is deep-linked into an app they don’t have installed? This is when deferred deep links come into play.
If a user clicks on a deep link and doesn’t have the app installed, they can be deferred to the App Store instead. The genius of deferred deep linking is that when that user installs and opens up the app, they can still be sent to the in-app location where you initially wanted them to land.