Step 8: Deep Linking

Make sure the following guides have been completed before continuing with this article:

Overview:

Deep linking is a technique that allows an app to be opened to a specific UI or resource, in response to some external event. By implementing a deep linking strategy, your app becomes more responsive and capable of navigation to arbitrary content in response to push notifications, much in the same way that URLs can link you to specific pages on the Web. The Urban Airship Action framework supports the opening of deep links via the payload of a notification, a link from a Rich App Page, which includes Message Center messages and Landing Pages, or the JavaScript Interface.

Why use deep links?

When you send a push notification to a user, in general the user expects to tap on the notification and be navigated to the appropriate area in the app. Apps that don’t do this and drop the user on the home screen generally have a lower app engagement.

Deep linking provides you the ability to ensure you’ve giving your users to best app experience by delivering them to the content they want to see quickly and efficiently.

How does it all work?

Deep linking requires your app to have knowledge of the pages in your app that could be navigated to. This is generally done through the use of URL Schemes. URL Schemes allow your app to effectively wake up when a schema is recognized, and perform some action. In this case, when you define URL schemes in your app and attach a URL that meets that scheme to your push, the Urban Airship SDK can recognize and call the appropriate deep link action, for iOS or Android, so that your app can navigate to the appropriate page in your app.

How do I get started?

Note: Before you get started sending deep links in your push, you’ll need to set up the URL schemes that you support within the Urban Airship dashboard: Setting Up Deep Links

iOS and Android vary slightly with regards to set up for deep linking. Read below for our recommended best practices for implementing Deep Links on iOS and Android.

Testing:

Testing Deep Links will be critical to ensure you’re taking users to the correct experience in your app.

Once you have these links set up, you can begin using the Deep Link action within the Message Composer, and can choose from the links you have set up as well as add any additional parameters you may have added to your schemes.

Strategic Advice:

When it comes to deep linking, there are some great strategies that can help you drive traffic within your app or website for highly impactful digital experiences. One of the most important aspects of deep linking is the retention of your users across multiple steps of the given journey. You can create personalized onboarding; create campaigns that direct users to the product,  category or topic page; eliminating any barriers along the way that can cause a user to disengage.

 

Next Steps:

Now that you’ve completed deep-linking, you’re all set up for Basic Push! 

This allows for the opportunity to start implementing some advanced feature sets outlined in our the Flight Plan Implementation Walkthrough