What is Deep Linking?

Tips for Advertisers

What Are Deep Links?

2 Minute Read | July 21st, 2021

Carrie Pittman

Carrie Pittman
Head of Marketing

Deep links are embedded URLs that drive a mobile app user to in-app content.

There are three types of deep links.

Standard Deep Links

When clicked, a standard deep link ad opens up an installed app on the users’ phone. The user lands on the launch screen of the app.

Standard Deep Links

Deferred Deep Links

Deferred Deep Links

What happens if a user doesn’t have that app installed? That’s where deferred deep links come in. Deferred deep links drive the user to the App Store or to Google Play, where they can click to download the app.

What makes this deferred? Once a user has the app installed, it will automatically open the new app, just like in the standard deep link.

Contextual Deep Links

Contextual deep linking is the most elaborate kind of deep link, and can apply to both standard and deferred deep links. This third type of link not only drives a user to an app, but also brings them to a specific piece of content. For example, if a user clicks on an ad about a vacation stay they want to book, their hotel app will launch on a preloaded search page for a hotel in a specific area. For music apps, specific playlists can show up, and for a restaurant app, meals near the user will be readily apparent.

Contextual Deep Links

How Does it Work?

Deep links pass users directly to a pre-installed app (or to that app in the app store), bypassing a mobile-web popup. At Smaato, that looks a little something like this:

How it Works

What are the Benefits of Deep Linking for Marketers?

Marketers love deep linking for user acquisition campaigns. Because deep linking comes with built-in analytics on user behavior, these links can give marketers better insights into how users engage with an app, and can help them optimize their acquisition campaigns.

Because users are driven to specific content, there is a huge opportunity for customized, personalized, and hyper-relevant creative.

With user privacy top of mind, we ensure that all deep linking at Smaato is privacy-safe and iOS 14.5 compliant. Marketers get strong attribution information without relying on device or user info.

What are the Benefits of Deep Linking for Publishers?

For publishers, the best thing about deep links is that they deliver a positive and personalized user experience.

At Smaato, our deep linking functionality is completely device agnostic, so the links are available on any format and device. Our NextGen SDK makes it even easier for publishers to monetize their apps using deep linking: the deep link schema support is built in.

For API and E2E publishers, it takes just a few steps to add in the supported URL schema.

Deep links are easy to use, and deliver relevant, engaging user experiences. Click To Tweet

Learn More

To see how Smaato can support you with your deep linking campaigns, download our complimentary overview of deep linking.

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