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You've likely heard the term "deep linking" before in reference to the internet, but what exactly is it? In short, deep linking is the process of hyperlinking to a specific piece of content within a website or app as opposed to simply linking to the home page. For example, if you want to share a specific product on an ecommerce site with a friend, you would use a deep link that goes directly to that product page rather than just linking to the home page of the site.
Deep links are important for two reasons. First, they improve the user experience by taking users directly to the content they're looking for instead of making them search for it themselves. Second, from a marketing perspective, deep links can be used to track the effectiveness of different campaigns and marketing initiatives.
Most mobile apps use some form of deep linking, but there are different types of mobile deep links and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at each type so you can decide which one is right for your app.
1. Standard Deep Links
Standard deep links are the most basic type of mobile deep link. They simply take users from one place to another within an app without any additional context or information. For example, if you received an email from Airbnb with a standard deep link to their app, clicking on that link would take you directly to the Airbnb home screen. While standard deep links don't provide any extra information, they're still useful because they make it easy for users to find what they're looking for within an app.
2. Contextual Deep Links
Contextual deep links are similar to standard deep links in that they take users from one place to another within an app, but they also include additional contextual information. This information can be used by the app to provide a more seamless experience for the user. For example, if you receive an email from Uber with a contextualdeep linkto their app, clicking on that link would not only take you directly to the Uber home screen but it would also pre-fill your location so you can start using the app immediately. Contextual deep links are more work for developers to implement but they can provide a much better user experience.
3. Deferred Deep Links
Deferred deep links are similar to contextualdeeplinks in that they take users from one place to another within an app and include additional contextual information. However, deferred deep links differ in that this information is not used by the app until after installation. So, if you receive an email from Yelp with a deferreddeep linkto their app and click on it before downloading Yelp, nothing will happen. However, if you click on the link after downloading Yelp, it will take you directly to whatever restaurant or business was being promoted in the email campaign. Deferred deep linking is beneficial because it allows developers to track conversions (i.e., people who clicked on a deferreddeep linkand then downloaded and installed an app) but it can be frustrating for users because there's no guarantee that they'll actually be taken to the desired content after installation.
As you can see, there are different types of mobile deep links and each has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs. If you're not sure which type of mobile deep link is right for your app, reach out to our experienced team at Metric Marketing and we'll help you figure it out!