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What Is Deep Link: Definition, Benefits & How to Use It

Last updated: Mar 16, 2024

What Is Deep Link: Definition, Benefits & How to Use It
Cover image: Illustration of deep link.

What is Deep Link?

Have you heard about what is deep link? A deep link is a URL that directs users directly to an application, rather than a specific website.

These deep links are commonly used to maximize user experience because users will be directed straight to a specific section within the application.

Developers can create deep links by defining specific URL schemes, such as intent URLs for Android or universal URLs for iOS. 

Moreover, deep links can also be configured to direct users straight to specific event or campaign pages.

Why is Deep Link Important?

Generally, these links can make the user experience more positive because users don't have to go through lengthy manual navigation processes.

Additionally, deep links can also help you increase app installation opportunities. For example, in e-commerce applications, deep links can be used to direct potential buyers straight to the product pages they are interested in.

This way, you can increase the overall conversion rate and customer journey experience.

Deep Link Benefits For SEO

Deep links can provide significant benefits in search engine optimization activities. Some of the benefits of deep links for SEO are as follows:

1. Reduce Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the condition when visitors access your website but immediately leave without engaging in any activities.

In this case, the presence of deep links will be very helpful. By directing users directly to the application page, they do not leave your website quickly.

This way, users can explore content, features, or products directly within the application, and site owners can reduce the overall bounce rate.

2. Maximize Domain Authority

The presence of these links can help you improve the integrity of the internal structure within a website.

So, when search engines index the website, deep links can facilitate bots in understanding the content and enhancing domain authority and overall ranking.

3. Improve User Experience

With the existence of this link, every user visiting your website can be directly directed to the relevant application page. Therefore, besides providing quick access, this can also potentially increase visitor retention rates.

How Deep Link Works

 How Does Deep Link Work
Figure 1: How Does Deep Link Work 

Before we dive into how it works, let's refresh our understanding of what is deep link? Essentially, it's a special type of hyperlink that doesn't just take you to an app's home page but instead directs you straight to a specific piece of content or functionality within the app. 

Generally, these links are created by adding a specific scheme to a hyperlink embedded in a website page.

When users click on these hyperlinks, the operating system will read the deep links scheme and direct users to the corresponding section of the application.

Once users are directed into the application, they can perform further actions, such as making purchases, listening to music, watching newly released videos, and much more.

Types of Deep Links

Here are several types of links that can be used to direct users to specific content within an application.

1. Traditional

The traditional type will direct users to the application already installed on their device. In other words, this type will not function optimally if the user has not installed the intended application.

So, what will happen? Users will see an error page indicating they cannot access the application page.

2. Deferred

Unlike the previous type, deferred deep links can still direct users to content within the application even if they haven't installed the application yet.

If the intended application is not installed, then the link will be redirected to a downloader page, such as the App Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android).

3. Contextual

Different from the traditional and deferred link types that only direct users to specific pages within an application, contextual deep links pay more attention to additional information such as user location, search history, preferences, or previous activities.

Google Supported Deep Links

According to Google, there are three deep links that Google Ads can support in the digital campaign process, that is:

1. Link Application (Android)

This link uses the destination URL in HTTP that is already available. This link will direct Android users to a specific segment within an application (provided they have installed the application).

Example of deep link URL: www.examplewebsite.com/latest_products123.

2. Universal Link (iOS) 

Similar to the previous type, this link also uses the destination URL with HTTP that already exists. With universal links, you can direct iOS users to specific applications.

Example of deep link URL: www.examplewebsite.com/product_234.

3. Custom Scheme

Custom schemes can be used by creating custom URIs to direct users to specific parts of the application.

Note: If users haven't installed the application, the custom scheme will redirect them to an error page.

Deep Links User Guide

If you want to use these links to maximize business visibility and authority, then consider the following guidelines:

  • Ensure that each page is interconnected and relevant to the needs of users or potential customers.
  • Use relevant and SEO-friendly keywords.
  • Perform link checks and testing before making them publicly available.
  • Be cautious of potential spam links.
  • Monitor and regularly analyze link performance.
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