Deep Linking in Mobile Platforms

Mobile devices have become our third hand in day-to-day life. We do everything on our mobile phones from calling to shopping; from managing a business to browsing through social media. It is very crucial to optimize the user experience of a mobile application, to engage the users for a longer time, enjoy it, and share it with their circle.

The mobile apps optimization does not only include making changes in layouts and fonts but also the implementation of deep linking. Though it looks like a small thing, it will enhance user engagement.

What is Mobile Deep Linking?

Mobile deep linking is a process of navigating the user to a specific page of an application instead of the home page through a URI scheme.

For example, if we sell a product, we would want the users to land on the product page instead of the home page to make their app journey easier.

Mobile deep linking is not as simple as website URL navigation. It comes in three different ways.

Standard Deep Linking

This is a straightforward deep linking flow that forwards users to a specific part of the app using URI. It is also known as Universal linking. This only works if the customer already has the app installed.

If a user clicks the link and does not have the app installed, they will see an error or the fallback page.

Deferred Deep Linking

Deferred deep links direct the users to particular content of the app if the app is installed already and redirects the users to the play store or Appstore to download the app, in case they do not have the app installed already.

If the users install the app, they will land on a page where they were formerly navigating.

This flow will help companies acquire more customers.

Contextual Deep Linking

This is known as Onboarding deep linking. This serves the functions of both the types mentioned above and provides more precise tracking. This is very useful for both developers and users as we can pass the data through deep links. We can use that data to customize the onboarding of the customers.

For example, we can provide different onboarding processes for different users who install the app via play store and Facebook campaign.

Benefits of Mobile Deep Linking

1. Improved User Experience

Users can access our app content via deep links easily without any navigation. So, if we link to something in our app from social media, users will be able to navigate to that content seamlessly.

2. Enhanced User retention and Engagement

Deep linking helps to increase user engagement. The rate of activation, retention is double for the deep-linked users as compared to the normal users. They visit the app twice the rate of others.

3. Improved Onboarding

We can customize the onboarding through deep linking. Contextual deep links help us to provide personalized app invites or include incentives or offers in the user onboarding flow

4. Re-Engage the users

If a user is not active for a long time, we can use deep linking to redirect him to specific content. For example, we can send him a push notification or message that links to a customized deal or new feature. So, we can re-engage that user as well.

5. Improve discoverability

Google indexes deep links. So, we can bring our app content in search results like website content. This will increase the chances of getting new users from search results.

6. Insights of Campaign effectiveness

As we can pass data through deep links, we can track installation sources. This will help us to find out which campaign gives more users or installs. So, we can concentrate on the campaign more effectively with this data.

Best Practices in Deep Linking

We need to consider the logic, architecture, and information hierarchy of the app before implementing Deep linking. We may need the user to perform some actions before accessing the deep-linked content. These cases will make the user experience poor.

We have to ensure that deep links take the user to the specific content without asking for login to provide a seamless user experience.

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