Deep Linking 101: Deep Link vs Smart Link

on marketing, Deep linking, 101

What is mobile deep linking?

We’ve already talked about how mobile deep links ease the pain of the web-app hybrid world and gave a few ideas on how to connect your app with its audience more tightly. We've mentioned the different types of deep links along the way, which might be confusing, so it’s time to talk about them a bit more.

Mobile deep link: A link that opens a mobile app and performs a certain action.

Linking to any page within a website is natural on the web, but a mobile app needs certain preparations to do the same. But remember: normal mobile deep links work only on a mobile OS, and if you try to open them in a browser, you will get an error screen.

Example for mobile deep link: if you have a messenger app that sends you notifications about unread messages and clicking on those send you to the actual messages, then you clicked on a mobile deep link.

  • Guide: how to make iOS apps deep-linkable
  • Guide: how to make Android apps deep-linkable

    Mobile deep links can open a mobile app and perform a certain action when clicked upon. -

Deferred deep link: A special deep link that sends users to a specific section within your app even if the app has to be installed first.

  • For people that do not have your app yet, when clicked, the link will take them directly to the app store to download your app. Then, when the user opens the app for the first time, it will perform the action that was intended.
  • For actual users, these links will work as a normal deep link, sending them directly to the intended section of your app.
  • If you follow our guides to make your app deep-linkable, you will be able to create deferred deep links.

Smart link: A link boosted with a certain form of intelligence that brings users into different paths depending on the environment where the link is opened.

The HOKO platform enables app developers to create smart links:

  • Cross-platform: Smart links work on every platform, even if the app’s iOS and Android version are using different routing for the same action.
  • Deferred deep linking: Smart links act as deferred deep links thus eliminate the friction of onboarding for new users.
  • Fallback option: Smart links can store fallback URLs in case the app is not available on the given deep link.
  • Analytics: Apps can measure the clicks and app installs regarding the smart links - from every platform - on the HOKO dashboard.

Give it a try

If you want to give a try, we won’t ask for any money or credit card details. Register here for HOKO, make your app deep-link-ready in 20 minutes and enjoy the results!

If you would like to add something to this post, please tweet to @hokolinks with the hashtag #deeplinking101!

Joaquin Figaredo

Co-founder & CEO of HOKO

Joaquin Figaredo - Co-founder & CEO of HOKO