What is a deep link

So, today we would like to talk about such phenomenon in mobile development as Deep Linking. This technique is not pretty new, but is rather progressive and developing. Remember this because we’ll discuss it later. This article will be useful for those who are interested in the creation of Android and iOS applications, as well as those who want to find out what are deep links?

And now, for a start, let us still know, what is a deep link?

Deep Linking – globally, it is a link that leads to a certain internal page or a section of it, within the site (or application). When the number of links grows, usually the majority of high-quality websites arrange set of links leading to internal pages. When you ask these links from other application or site, then it makes sense to use a specific link that leads to the most targeted and relevant page. This refers to your partner on your page and conversely. Sometimes it is easier to create content, taking into account the future relink.

If we talk about specific things, especially in the field of mobile applications, which is the most important (under this topic, of course), let’s consider the following case study. For example, you need to inform your customers about the ongoing tender, what tools will you use? Most likely, the answer will be that you want to use some kind of distribution or mailing. And it’s right.

The next question: is there a difference what to use: e-mail, SMS or push notifications? This is the right question, but it is beyond the scope of this article. Let’s suppose that the type of distribution for us does not matter, the only thing that matters is content. We need to launch an app from URL that will be delivered by notification. Why? Quite simply, if the message only opens the application, but does not automatically redirect to the specified page (or topic), the user could simply close the application, because he does not want to search for the information. Thus, neither user nor you will get the benefit.

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And you can go the other way and make sure that by clicking on the link will be opened desired application item. This is what we will talk about – how to use deep linking in your mobile app.

Read alsoHow to create winning push notification strategy?

Mobile deep linking. How does it work?

Deep Linking is nothing like a mechanism, which was introduced from the time of HTTP and URL. It is a navigation (or rather the possibility to navigate) between any pages or websites, as well as documents. After all, you can also insert a link to a document that will lead to a specific page or section of the book. But in mobile development, it is somewhat a little different. The main distinctness is in the implementation and small hidden rocks.

As I mentioned above, to understand the work of this tool, the best option would be to describe it in the example. So, you are the company that provides some services. Sometimes you want to share the information about special offer among your customers. For this example, we still need to remember that once you read this article, your company must have a mobile application or website. Well, or at least a website in the context that you are thinking about the application development.

How good a mobile app is? There are several factors that significantly influence the formation of opinion about the brand and customer acquisition (as well as its holding). And the mobile application handles it much better:

Comfort. The smartphone is always close to the customer, which means that it can always be aware of your company’s events. If you talk about it, of course.

Wide latitude. With a smartphone, you can always bring the customer into your store / cafe or office, adding support for geolocation.

Simplicity. (this is perhaps the most interesting point) – the client can link his bank card to the application, and thus be able to easily operate with it. This is especially handy if you, for example, open the food delivery service or taxi company.

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Read alsoMobile app vs Mobile website: Which is best for your business?

Anyway, to tell the client about the action, we can send a message or a notification, which will briefly inform about the topic and lead to a  specific page with that offer (which is the subject of this article – mobile deep linking, as you might already guess).

But what if the client has no application? You must help him to install it, of course! That is, before opening a direct link, it is necessary to check the availability of the desired application. If there is no needed app installed, the algorithm should send the user to the download page and repeat the first paragraph. And only upon successful activation, it can open the desired page or application section. That’s all, this “deep link to app how to” is simple as far as possible.

How to deep link

Why is it still might be necessary? Believe it or not, but even here it’s pretty simple – the links that lead to content that is located in the application affect the rankings and search. And also, it allows running the installed application more frequently. But the main goal for which we are fighting is certainly the most relevant content for the user. And its availability, on par with the convenience of its consumption. In short, we help the user to get an interesting (and sometimes profitable) content in a convenient form , with the greatest simplicity and speed.

To accomplish this, you must follow four steps (I simplify and summarize information for Android and iOS, without going into complicated technical matter):

1. You need to be sure that your application supports adding links to external content;

2. Your application should be attached with the site (this is why above I’ve written about the importance of this step);

3. Paste a link;

4. Profit!

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But it would not be so interesting to write about if there were no other options, right? I have deliberately omitted to mention about the services that offer such functionality without the integration because they drive traffic to their site (or possibly through their website). And it can affect badly the credibility of the brand.

You can also use third-party services like: Appsflyer, Hoko and Urban Airship. These resources include native libraries, realization schemes and implementing turnkey solutions to your application.

And that’s all on how to use deep linking in your mobile app. I hope that I was able to fully cover the waterfront and help you realize how to “builddeep link to app. Is this a useful function? Of course, if you are interested in the best promotion of your product \ service, the ranking of search queries and increasing conversion. Thus, push the user with a simple “goal”.

If you are still interested in such topic as app linking for iOS or Android, want to know additional technical information, or even more – would like to cooperate with us, feel free to write us. Do not hesitate, we are always open for a dialogue!

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Deep Linking in Mobile Apps
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