The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Deep Linking

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The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Deep Linking WWW

Table of contents 1 - Introduction 2 - What is Deep Linking and why it is important 3 - Deep Linking and Universal Links 4 - How does Deep Linking work? 5 - Practical uses 6 - Deep Linking: main advantages 7 - Instal’s approach 8 - Conclusions

1 Introduction

Introduction Digital business has changed in the last few years: we are now switching from mobile first to mobile only. Recent studies (according to App Annie) indicate that users on average spend 4 hours per day on their mobile devices and 3 hours on apps alone. Despite this, user retention is still considered a challenge. Almost 25% of users abandon an app right after one use. This situation creates a complex ecosystem of interconnected channels, where mobile marketers need to link users between web pages (desktop and mobile) and within apps (all without losing user information so that the chances of converting users into loyal customers are more likely). Deep Linking provides a powerful tool to identify, address and bring users to specific content within an app, which helps to increase traction and engagement. 4

2 What is Deep Linking and why it is important

What is Deep Linking and why it is important Deep Linking, similar to hyperlinks , is defined as the ability to link directly into a specific page within a native iOS or Android mobile app rather than simply launching it. Deep links allow the revealing of specific content pages and have the ability to pass customized data (like promo codes) even if the app isn’t installed yet. They look like standard URLs, but are set to target a precise page within an app for mobile devices to open. Deep Linking is all about advanced re-targeting. By setting up specific parameters, users can be redirected anywhere within the app, like offers pages, product lists or items they’ve searched before. This helps to construct a personalized and unique experience, which results in improved engagement and retention rates (which in the end, means increasing marketers’ revenues and ROI). Standard URL --- http: // protocol Deep Linking --- app name: // page to open iOS Deep Linking specifies a custom URL scheme while Android has an applied URL: the terminology differs but the result is the same. Deep Linking represents a powerful way to improve several kinds of metrics, from re-engagement and retention rates to in app conversions and consumer LTV. It allows users to easily move from the web to an app or to open up a specific page within the app or app store (this removes unnecessary clicks and improves the user experience). Deep Linking also increases the likelihood of app installs and makes re-targeting campaigns work better. 6

Deep Linking structure Deep Linking has a precise structure known as URI which looks like a traditional URL. URI: app name:// page to open appname:// appname://cart Open up the app Open up the app to the cart checkout 7

3 Deep Linking and Universal Links

Deep Linking and Universal Links When dealing with Deep Linking, you might come across universal links. What are they? Universal links are Apple’s way of launching apps on their OS from a website, and also defined as iOS Deep Linking. The only difference in functionality and implementation with this lies in its exclusivity to Apple devices. Instead of defining custom URL schemes, universal links match a set of web pages to in-app locations: when users open a web page that is matched as described, iOS gives users an option of continuing via app or web page. Because of this ability to choose, sometimes users can be limited to web view by mistake. This essentially means that if a user decides to preview content in web view, iOS will provide the option once again to choose between app and web page but will continue to direct the user open it in Safari even if the user wants to go back to the app. The user will not be redirected to the app unless knowledge of tapping the breadcrumb button on the left corner of the screen is known. Because of this, some users might believe the app is broken (which isn’t the case) when it’s just the standard universal link experience. iOS universal links match a set of web pages to in-app locations: when users open a web page that is matched as described, iOS gives users the option of opening via app or web page. 9

4 How does Deep Linking work?

How does Deep Linking work? Deep Linking has three main different uses and levels of customization. Let’s take a closer look at them: Basic Deep Linking Deep Linking can be incorporated into several types of mobile channels, like web pages and email. They can be used to send users to any part of an app instead of a generic welcome page. In such a way, marketers can link product advertisements on the mobile web directly to the matching product pages within an app. Without Deep Linking: when users click on a standard link, they are sent to the homepage or to a generic welcome page of an app, with the assumption that the app has been downloaded already (if they didn’t, the link won’t work). This increases the friction related to the app usage since users have to manually navigate through the app to find the content they are interested in. Elements like this can have a negative impact on user engagement. Deep Linking can remedy such issues. With Deep Linking: when users utilize Deep Linking, there are two possibilities. If the app has been installed already, they will then sent directly to specific content inside it. If the app hasn’t been installed yet, then they will be sent to the app store. Once the download is completed, users will be then be redirected to the homepage or welcome page within the app, instead of the content they were looking for. Without Deep Linking Generic welcome page With Deep Linking Page within app Page within app 11

Conditional or Deferred Deep Linking Sometimes, Deep Linking does not require users to have an app installed on their mobile devices in order to get access to specific content within the app itself. They will be able to be redirected to that content after downloading the app. In this case, the opening of specific content is deferred until after the app install is completed. Without Deep Linking: users are typically sent to the mobile site matching the app. After clicking on a banner, they are redirected to the app store. After downloading the app, they are led to the homepage or welcome page of the app itself. Finally, they will be redirected to the desired content. Once again, the level of friction is quite high and can discourage users from engaging with the app. With Deep Linking: there are two possibilities. If a user has already installed the app, they will then sent directly to the specific content within the app. If the app hasn’t been installed, the user will be redirected to the app store. Once the download is completed, users will be redirected to the content they were looking for. This is made possible by fingerprinting matching: users are assigned a fingerprint (bit string that uniquely identifies original data for practical purposes). Once the identified URL (Deep Linking) is clicked on, they are then redirected to the app page they were looking for. Without deferred deep linking Mobile website with image App store download page Generic welcome page Page within app Email with link With deferred deep linking App store download page Page within app 12

Contextual Deep Linking Deep Linking can also be used to store information about users other than user data/ previous activity. Without Deep Linking: when users click on a URL, they are sent to the store to download an app in order to be led to the desired content. With Deep Linking: there are two possibilities. If the user has already installed the app, they will be then sent directly to specific content inside it. If they don’t have it, then they will be sent to the app store. Once the download is completed, users will be automatically directed to the content they were looking for. In both cases, marketers can collect and transfer data on views, clicks and installs for specific content, channels that drive the most downloads and revenue, and identify the originally shared link. They can even obtain granular details such as the value of discounts and which promotion codes users want to apply to their purchases. Deep Linking allows developers to build advanced features to enhance the users’ experience as customized welcome messages. Contextual linking without app installed Collects and transfers data on Views, clicks, and installs for specific pieces of content. Email with link App store dowload page Channels that drive the most download and revenue. Users that contribute the most referrals and more. Page within app 13

5 Practical Uses

Practical uses Deep Linking comes in different sizes and formats and can be considered a useful and flexible solution to improve app marketing strategies with its key goal being retention. Some app verticals work better with Deep Linking - these include shopping, music and lifestyle. Gaming is not among the top 3 but the potential is still immense. It can be used to reward users with items or to message them, incentivizing the opening of apps and usage. Once again, Deep Linking is closely tied to re-engagement. Shopping Music Lifestyle Travel 0 10.000 20.000 30.000 40.000 50.000 60.000 Food and drinks Productivity Sports Games Utilities News Education Navigation Entertainment 0 2.500 5.000 7.500 10.000 Clicks over a 24 - hour period 15

Deep Linking can identify different types of content. The most popular deep links are ones associated with product lists or promo codes. Tap banner with promo code Redirect to the app store CarRenting Car Renting PROMO CODE: REN40 Download app App Install CarRenting INSTALL User makes a purchase Rent Packages 135 Rent Package 2 168 Rent Package 4 136 Rent Package 6 150 Rent Package 8 190 Rent Package 10 Rent Package 1 Rent Package 3 Rent Package 5 Rent Package 7 Rent Package 9 User applies promo code during check-out Checkout Rent Package 5 136 120 180 Coupon Applied REN40 140 200 230 Conversion rates increase while engagement and user experience are improved. Publishers and ad networks get a percentage of the sale as a result of the user’s check out experience. 16

6 Deep Linking: main advantages

Deep Linking: main advantages Deep Linking provides mobile marketers with a number of powerful advantages, several of them mentioned above - including the ability to promote specific content, increased re-engagement rates, improved customer LTV and optimizing the overall app campaign performance as a whole. ARPU Improve customer LTV Boost re-engagement Improve search rankings Improve UX User Experience Improve user experience Deep Linking allows users to access content more easily: a single click and users are redirected to the desired destination. This means no welcome pages, no additional navigation, no friction, no dissatisfied users. They can get straight to what they are looking for, which improves the user experience. 18

Boost user acquisition campaigns Deep Linking is quite useful also when it comes to user acquisition. If a user doesn’t have the app already, that is when the redirect to the app store comes into play. Once the download is completed, users are redirected to the content they were looking for. This bolsters conversions: a satisfied user is likely to become a loyal customer. Improve user retention, engagement and customer LTV A controlled test across app users underlined how Deep Linking was able to double user retention after the install. 10% of deep linking users were still using the app 3 days after the install; the same data lowers to 5% when it comes to non Deep Linking users. Retention rate Deep Link Standard Link 30 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 Days since app install Retention rate: standard links vs Deep Links Engagement rates double as well. On average, a non-Deep Linking user opens the app for almost one consecutive day after the install. A Deep Linking user tends to be more 19

engaged with the app, raising the percentage to more than 1.50 consecutive days after the install. Essentially, if users are satisfied with their first experience using the app they are more likely to open it frequently - which leads to improved retention rate, better engagement and customer LTV (all of which lowers acquisition costs). Active days by dowload link Standard 0,86 Deep Link 1,75 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 Consecutive days active after install Improve search rankings and increase installs via Google search results Google lists and indexes Deep Links: app content will appear in search engine results pages as if they were websites. This exponentially increases the likelihood of new users finding the app and installing it. 20

Strengthen your overall strategy Deep Linking can help strengthen one’s overall marketing strategy. For example, marketers could use push notifications and offer a 30% off deal to target users (with Deep Links), which redirects them to the app page where they can immediately make their purchase.This increases sales and drives revenues, boosting ROI as well. Deep Links can pass relevant data - allowing marketers to identify which campaigns, sources or content are driving user acquisition or installs. They would be able to identify which incentives are working and what isn’t. Campaigns can then be optimized around specific content. Boost re-engagement Deep Linking is also essential for the re-engagement of inactive users, and this is where incentivization comes into play. When users have installed an app but are not engaging with it, marketers can utilize Deep Links to redirect them to specific content or app pages in order to encourage the re-starting of app usage (instead of an ordinary welcome page). It is all about the ability to re-target people in order to bring them back into the app - which includes the appeal of trying something new or promoting exclusive deals and new futures via push notification. The end goal is to link these incentives with re-engagement. 21

7 Instal’s approach

Instal’s approach Instal’s Deep Linking is a flexible tool that can be implemented across various channels to improve the overall app marketing strategy and to optimize in app conversions and customer loyalty. Our contextual Deep Linking technology is customizable and easy to set up, with few lines of code that need to be added to the app, thanks to our SDK. We also provide a complete dashboard for analytics, which enable the gathering of data and the ability to optimize campaigns. Our technology carries advantages in the following areas: App install and email marketing campaigns User engagement App to app marketing Social media app marketing From desktop to mobile Promotion of app content Personalized boarding 23

8 Conclusions

Conclusion Deep Linking plays an imperative role in improving several app metrics. It helps marketers to counter the challenges apps create, such as retaining users and engagement. It also addresses the matter of a complex digital ecosystem of interconnected channels in which users need to be linked between web pages and an app without the loss of user data. By redirecting users to specific content within the app - this has a positive effect on the user experience and consequently, on their engagement. Deep Linking allows users to immediately find what they were looking for, with no additional navigation. A satisfied user will likely become an engaged one - and in the end, a loyal customer. Marketers will also be able to reduce acquisition costs and save money, which can be used to invest in alternative and advanced technologies. Deep Linking offers mobile marketers tremendous opportunities to be seized in order to improve their app marketing strategy, leading to improved and better business results. 25

About Instal Instal is a mobile marketing platform focusing on apps and games. Back in 2014, we learned people were having trouble in finding (among millions), the apps which met their own needs, so we decided to make apps available for everyone. That’s how we were born. We designed our advertising strategy to support mobile marketers throughout their entire app lifecycle. Our proprietary technology covers all the phases of an app’s lifetime: from targeting and re-engagement, to growing a customer base beyond installs. Today: Instal consists of 42 employees, with 5 offices located in three different continents - having covered over 200 countries, encompassed 50 custom ads formats and more than 3,000 registered publishers New York U.S.A 1216 Broadway Florence Italy Via Pindemonte 63 Berlin Germany Wattstraße 11 Milan Italy Via Copernico 38 Bejing China Di’anmen Str. 214 26

Author Giulia Coniglio Marketing and Communication Specialist Digital and social networks addicted with a passion for web marketing, social media, design and content creation. Obsessed with statistics and data analysis and always eager to learn something new. 27

About Instal nstal is a mobile marketing platform focusing on apps and games, aimed at supporting advertisers throughout their whole app lifecycle. Back in 2014, we learned people were having trouble in finding (among millions), the apps which met their own needs, so we decided to make apps available for everyone. That’s how we were born. Do you wanna know more about Instal’s Deep Linking? Visit us at instal.com/re-engagement and drop us an email at dl@instal.com to get in touch We designed our advertising strategy to support mobile marketers and to cover all the phases of an app’s lifecycle: from targeting and re-engagement, to growing a customer base beyond installs. Today, Instal consists of dozens of employees, with offices located in three different continents having covered over 200 countries, encompassed 50 custom ads formats and more than 3,000 registered publishers. Author Stesso del white paper sul fraud Take advantage of our offer today and become one of our free (exclusive) testers! You will get a credit of up to 50 in tracked links - free!

Deep Linking --- app name: // page to open iOS Deep Linking specifies a custom URL scheme while Android has an applied URL: the terminology differs but the result is the same. Deep Linking represents a powerful way to improve several kinds of metrics, from re-engagement and retention rates to in app conversions and consumer LTV. It allows

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