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Deep linking - a fundamental change in the mobile app ecosystem
Intros
Why Deep Linking Matters
52% of Digital Time is Spent in Apps 
Source: ComScore
However Apps Create Challenges
“Imagine a web without URLs. 
That’s what the mobile app world looks like now” 
- VentureBeat
What is Deep Linking? 
• Linking to a specific part, page, or state of a mobile app 
• Sends the user to a richer mobile experience
Example Web vs Deep Link URL 
Link to a particular product on your website: 
http://www.gilt.com/product/123 
Link to a product screen in your mobile app: 
gilt://product/123
Industry Adoption Early but Growing 
22% of the Top 200 apps use deep link tags today
“Deep linking is quickly shifting from feature 
to requirement for context critical apps” 
- Grand St
Current Deep Linking Landscape
Source: URX Blog, "Deepscape 1.0", June 25, 2014
Tech Giants Driving Adoption
Twitter cards close the loop between app 
content, app discovery & app downloads 
• Announced in April 2013, Twitter deep-link card 
tags are older than Google’s App Indexing tags 
or Facebook’s App Links tags 
• Users tap one link to either view content directly 
in your app, or download your app 
• Twitter’s mark up tags have the highest adoption 
rate among the top apps
Twitter cards close the loop between app 
content, app discovery & app downloads 
• Announced in April 2013, Twitter deep-link card 
tags are older than Google’s App Indexing tags 
or Facebook’s App Links tags 
• Users tap one link to either view content directly 
in your app, or download your app 
• Twitter’s mark up tags have the highest adoption 
rate among the top apps
Google prioritizing App Indexing 
Expect us to most aggressively make sure that App 
Indexing happens and information is available and easily 
accessible across devices. People are looking for the 
most relevant answer, which in certain cases happens to 
be the app. 
- Q&A during Google earnings call (Q2 2014)
Apps that use Facebook App Link 
tags can deep link to each other 
• Create seamless links from one App Link-enabled app to another 
• Advertisers can use App Links in mobile ads through Facebook’s Preferred 
Marketing Developers program - Introduced at F8 2014 
“It’s an open, cross-platform solution for app-to-app linking that gives you the 
tools you need to expose deep links in your app or to link out to others.” 
- App Links site
Deep links enable app partnerships 
• The Uber integration with Google 
Maps is a great example of 
creating a relevant & seamless 
experience
“Each mobile app is it’s own silo... App discovery is 
broken; app content is locked within each app, and 
each app creates its own ‘walled garden’, in a way.” 
- Taylor Davidson
Implementing Deep Links
3 Steps 
1. Enable deep links in your app 
2. Expose your deep link structure 
3. Link user to the right location
Enabling deep links 
• Involves creating a custom URL scheme, registering it 
with the OS, and mapping routes to destinations 
• App developers should be able to set up deep links 
relatively easily 
• Open source resources can help developers enable 
deep links (e.g. Turnpike, mobiledeeplinking.org, etc.)
Exposing deep links 
• Easiest method is adding html 
meta tags to the <head></head> 
of your website 
• These tags map the content on 
your web pages to content within 
your app, which helps other apps 
& websites find your app content
Link user to the right location
Deep Linking Best Practices
Improve User Experience 
● Remove obvious steps. 
● Fill in known information. 
● Make them do as little as 
possible. 
● Send them to relevant 
screen in-app.
Increase Conversion Rates 
● Just as relevant of content as if 
were a web page and not in-app. 
● Limit the steps between Call-to- 
Action (CTA) and the offer as much 
as possible. 
● Ideal: do everything but hit the “buy 
it now” button for them.
Targeted Advertising 
● Target users with 
specific ads to re-engage 
them. 
● Measure events for 
targeting data. 
● Send event data to 
ad partners for 
targeting.
Deep Links for Advertising 
Users can easily find & view to app content because app 
developers have enabled deep link discovery.
Deep links for User Acquisition 
campaigns
Deferred Deep links using Referral
Deferred Deep links with Google Play
Deferred Deep links with iTunes
Deep links for Re-engagement 
campaigns
Deep Links for Re-engagement 
Deep links typically used to re-engage, re-target, re-market 
to existing users of the app.
Routing Parameters 
If app has a corresponding website, it is 
recommended that syntax for the app match the 
URL structure on the website. 
• Web URL 
http://www.gilt.com/category/women/handbags 
• Deep Link URL 
gilt://category/women/handbags
Routing Parameters 
Query string is optional, and might be used if to 
pass specific value, like a product ID. 
• Web URL 
http://www.gilt.com/women/handbags/?id=1059962437 
• Deep Link URL 
gilt://category/women/handbags/?id=1059962437
Routing Parameters 
Third parties append additional metadata to the 
routing parameters, so it’s important that your 
app can handle this use case. 
• gilt://category/women/handbags?click_id=100000001 
• gilt://category/women/handbags?publisher=Adwords
Attribution for Re-engagement 
• Attribute determined on app open from deep 
link. 
• 1:1 accuracy.
Deep linking - a fundamental change in the mobile app ecosystem
Re-targeting with Deep Links
Popular Types of Campaigns 
• People who did or didn't use the app recently 
• People using a specific app version 
• People who took a specific action in the app 
• People who searched or viewed a specific 
product in the app
Deep linking - a fundamental change in the mobile app ecosystem
Deep linking - a fundamental change in the mobile app ecosystem
Top Ad Platforms for Re-targeting
Re-targeting with Event Data
Measure Events for Re-targeting
Deep linking - a fundamental change in the mobile app ecosystem
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Deep linking - a fundamental change in the mobile app ecosystem

  • 4. 52% of Digital Time is Spent in Apps Source: ComScore
  • 5. However Apps Create Challenges
  • 6. “Imagine a web without URLs. That’s what the mobile app world looks like now” - VentureBeat
  • 7. What is Deep Linking? • Linking to a specific part, page, or state of a mobile app • Sends the user to a richer mobile experience
  • 8. Example Web vs Deep Link URL Link to a particular product on your website: http://www.gilt.com/product/123 Link to a product screen in your mobile app: gilt://product/123
  • 9. Industry Adoption Early but Growing 22% of the Top 200 apps use deep link tags today
  • 10. “Deep linking is quickly shifting from feature to requirement for context critical apps” - Grand St
  • 11. Current Deep Linking Landscape
  • 12. Source: URX Blog, "Deepscape 1.0", June 25, 2014
  • 14. Twitter cards close the loop between app content, app discovery & app downloads • Announced in April 2013, Twitter deep-link card tags are older than Google’s App Indexing tags or Facebook’s App Links tags • Users tap one link to either view content directly in your app, or download your app • Twitter’s mark up tags have the highest adoption rate among the top apps
  • 15. Twitter cards close the loop between app content, app discovery & app downloads • Announced in April 2013, Twitter deep-link card tags are older than Google’s App Indexing tags or Facebook’s App Links tags • Users tap one link to either view content directly in your app, or download your app • Twitter’s mark up tags have the highest adoption rate among the top apps
  • 16. Google prioritizing App Indexing Expect us to most aggressively make sure that App Indexing happens and information is available and easily accessible across devices. People are looking for the most relevant answer, which in certain cases happens to be the app. - Q&A during Google earnings call (Q2 2014)
  • 17. Apps that use Facebook App Link tags can deep link to each other • Create seamless links from one App Link-enabled app to another • Advertisers can use App Links in mobile ads through Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developers program - Introduced at F8 2014 “It’s an open, cross-platform solution for app-to-app linking that gives you the tools you need to expose deep links in your app or to link out to others.” - App Links site
  • 18. Deep links enable app partnerships • The Uber integration with Google Maps is a great example of creating a relevant & seamless experience
  • 19. “Each mobile app is it’s own silo... App discovery is broken; app content is locked within each app, and each app creates its own ‘walled garden’, in a way.” - Taylor Davidson
  • 21. 3 Steps 1. Enable deep links in your app 2. Expose your deep link structure 3. Link user to the right location
  • 22. Enabling deep links • Involves creating a custom URL scheme, registering it with the OS, and mapping routes to destinations • App developers should be able to set up deep links relatively easily • Open source resources can help developers enable deep links (e.g. Turnpike, mobiledeeplinking.org, etc.)
  • 23. Exposing deep links • Easiest method is adding html meta tags to the <head></head> of your website • These tags map the content on your web pages to content within your app, which helps other apps & websites find your app content
  • 24. Link user to the right location
  • 25. Deep Linking Best Practices
  • 26. Improve User Experience ● Remove obvious steps. ● Fill in known information. ● Make them do as little as possible. ● Send them to relevant screen in-app.
  • 27. Increase Conversion Rates ● Just as relevant of content as if were a web page and not in-app. ● Limit the steps between Call-to- Action (CTA) and the offer as much as possible. ● Ideal: do everything but hit the “buy it now” button for them.
  • 28. Targeted Advertising ● Target users with specific ads to re-engage them. ● Measure events for targeting data. ● Send event data to ad partners for targeting.
  • 29. Deep Links for Advertising Users can easily find & view to app content because app developers have enabled deep link discovery.
  • 30. Deep links for User Acquisition campaigns
  • 31. Deferred Deep links using Referral
  • 32. Deferred Deep links with Google Play
  • 33. Deferred Deep links with iTunes
  • 34. Deep links for Re-engagement campaigns
  • 35. Deep Links for Re-engagement Deep links typically used to re-engage, re-target, re-market to existing users of the app.
  • 36. Routing Parameters If app has a corresponding website, it is recommended that syntax for the app match the URL structure on the website. • Web URL http://www.gilt.com/category/women/handbags • Deep Link URL gilt://category/women/handbags
  • 37. Routing Parameters Query string is optional, and might be used if to pass specific value, like a product ID. • Web URL http://www.gilt.com/women/handbags/?id=1059962437 • Deep Link URL gilt://category/women/handbags/?id=1059962437
  • 38. Routing Parameters Third parties append additional metadata to the routing parameters, so it’s important that your app can handle this use case. • gilt://category/women/handbags?click_id=100000001 • gilt://category/women/handbags?publisher=Adwords
  • 39. Attribution for Re-engagement • Attribute determined on app open from deep link. • 1:1 accuracy.
  • 42. Popular Types of Campaigns • People who did or didn't use the app recently • People using a specific app version • People who took a specific action in the app • People who searched or viewed a specific product in the app
  • 45. Top Ad Platforms for Re-targeting
  • 47. Measure Events for Re-targeting