Another great guest post brought to us by Florence Broder, content manager at AppsFlyer. In this article, Florence gives us a few tips on deep linking and warns us about its misuse.
When it comes to the desktop links users are accustomed to jump from site to site and from medium to medium with ease. It’s not an issue to see a link on social media or an email, click it, and it brings to the desired page. That has been the standard for some time and that expectation has been carried over to mobile.
Whether it’s the mainstream press or the techie one, much has been written recently about the challenge of deep linking with mobile apps. Deep linking refers to app screen links which can be within apps or to external apps. Meaning publishers that refer users to another screen within the app or publishers that link to a specific screen on a completely different app. Because there is no standard for deep linking it leads to broken links disrupting the user experience.
Deep linking is a problem plaguing both mobile commerce and mobile advertising. In September Venturebeat reported on a failed OpenTable campaign, where users clicked on an ad expecting to be taken to another ad about their favorite restaurant, but instead were driven to an another company’s ad for mobile games. This is a great example of how the deep linking problem leads to mobile marketing issues and a disruptive user experience. Users were clearly taken aback by in this campaign because of the expectations of what they would see. As a mobile marketer would you want this to happen to your campaign?
When dealing with the web, it’s well known that you lose your users with each additional clicks. If it’s too much work for users to find what they want the bounce and jump ship really quickly. The problem only grows with mobile because of users’ expectations and because mobile is an even more on-demand medium than the web. As a marketer you have two goals: users acquisition and retention, that will ultimately lead to revenue generation.
In the case of a user acquisition campaign, you want ads to lead your users to the app store. More than that, you want them to go to the appropriate app store. You wouldn’t want an iOS user to get a link to the Google Play store or vice versa. The deep link needs to detect users’ mobile device and browser settings to service them the best landing page to get them to download your app.
To achieve your retention/revenue goals you are going to want your ads to refer users to targeted screens in your app. Again if the links don’t work properly you could be losing loyal users and revenue. Sometimes these ads also can attract non-users who need to install the app on their mobile device. With deferred deep linking, potential users would be directed to the app store first to download the app and then to the screen.
The repercussions of the deep linking problem can be felt industry-wide and there are many developers working round the clock to address it. However, AppsFlyer’s OneLink solution already is integrated with deferred deep linking and more, allowing advertisers to use a universal link to track their ROI across all mediums: social media, newsletters, QR codes, and more.
It’s time for advertisers to stop the madness of bringing users to broken links, the wrong app store or no app store at all. It’s time to integrate apps with deep linking to create a non-disruptive and more targeted user experience across all mobile platforms. Ultimately deep linking will help achieve your marketing KPIs and will help you generate more revenue. Give consumers the user experience they’re looking for.
How’s your deep linking campaign doing? Share your experience in the comments below, thanks!