Deep linking is a technique used in digital marketing that provides web users with a direct link to a specific and more relevant page within a website. It gives customers a more tailored and convenient online experience as they don’t need to search through the whole website to find the information they need.
Deep linking has been around since the beginning of the Internet and is becoming increasingly popular with the growth of mobile marketing, as it makes it easier for mobile users to find the specific information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
So what’s the point of deep linking?
Deep linking has numerous benefits for marketers. It allows them to direct customers to the product, service, or page most relevant to them, increasing the chances of a sale. This also reduces the bounce rate, i.e. the rate at which customers arrive on the website and leave without taking any action.
It can also increase user engagement as customers are more likely to stay on the website exploring when they’re directed to a more relevant page. This also provides an opportunity to show them more targeted products or services, thereby increasing the chances of a purchase.
In addition, deep linking also allows marketers to track which pages people visit, giving them useful insights into customer behaviour and preferences. This can then inform future campaigns and strategies.
Additionally, deep links can improve SEO, as they act like a comprehensive map of a website, meaning Google can easily crawl it and index the pages more effectively.
Types of Deep-Link
1. Standard deep link: This type of link takes users directly to a specific page of a website. For example, a deep link to a page on a website that sells books might link to http://www.example.com/books.
2. Homepage deep link: This type of link takes users directly to the homepage of a website. For example, a homepage deep link might link to http://www.example.com.
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Generally, a homepage deep link is used to promote a website or brand in its entirety and should be used if a user is likely to benefit from visiting more than one page on the site.
3. Dynamic deep link: This type of link will take users to a specific page on a website, but seems to operate more like a ‘find your nearest’ search. For example, a dynamic deep link might link to http://www.example.com/nearest-bookstore/2367, which will take users to the webpage of the nearest bookstore to them.
General Guidelines and Best Practices
1. Use descriptive anchor text for deep links: The anchor text for deep links should be used to describe what the user should expect to see when they click on it. For example, the anchor text for a deep link to a page about “dogs” should be something like “learn more about dogs” or “find out about dogs”.
2. Use short URLs: As deep linking often involves users clicking on links in emails, texts or social media posts, it’s best to keep the URLs as short as possible, as shorter URLs are more user-friendly on mobile devices.
3. Test deep links: Testing deep links is just as important as testing any other aspect of your digital campaign to ensure everything works as expected and to prevent any nasty surprises when customers click on the link.
4. Track results: As deep linking can provide useful insights into customer behaviour, it’s important to track and measure the results. This can be done by using a digital analytics tool such as Google Analytics, which will provide useful data on where visitors are coming from, how they’re interacting with the website and promotions, and what goals have been achieved.
5. Consider user experience: With deep linking, the user experience should be taken into consideration. Is the page pertinent to the user? Where can they go next? Are there any points of friction? Is there information that needs to be included to help them along the journey?
In conclusion, deep linking is an effective technique used in digital marketing that provides a tailored user experience and allows marketers to track customer behaviour and preferences. However, as with any digital marketing technique, it’s important to ensure that the user experience is taken into consideration and that the deep links are tested and tracked correctly.