How to Deep Link from Google Search and Display Campaigns

By February 16, 2017 No Comments

Branch knows just how important a channel like Google is for our partners; as such, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and building products to support your deep linked campaigns for Search, Display, and even Universal App Campaigns. Read on to understand how we work with Search and Display ads on Google, and how easy it is for you to get started.

Deep Linking Google Display Ads

Display campaigns are relatively straightforward and require no customization. We’ve built a pre-configured Adwords link available on all of your Branch Apps.This link conforms to a URL Adwords can accept, and automatically provides keyword tracking thanks to ValueTrack parameters. We construct a Branch link by appending your Branch key, meaning your redirects are automatically populated, i.e. you can use one link for your Android and iOS Display campaigns:

Simply populate this link into your top level Display campaign settings, or at the individual ad level, and collect and measure the results using Source Analytics. Because we populate the most effective keywords into the tags label, you can slice all your installs by keywords using Source Analytics.

In case you want even more tracking, you can use the keys “channel” and “campaign” on the pre-configured link, and set the value as ValueTrack labels. For example, this would mean the pre-configured link would look something like this:{keyword}&campaign={campaignId}. We’ve given you the flexibility to take in as little or as much data as you need from your Display advertising campaigns. At this point, once the ad displays, it’s business as usual, as the users clicking on your Display ad are clicking a Branch link, meaning we’ll attribute and deep link them, too.

Deep Linking Google Search Ads

For Search campaign flavors, the experience is the exact same on iOS as described above with Display. Android is a little peculiar, but we’ve built a little extra logic using the install referrer provided by Google APIs. The reason for this peculiarity is that Ads on Android don’t leverage any tracking links, including Firebase links. To make the puzzle pieces fit, we ask that you utilize the install referrer found on Android. The only set-up required would be to add a query parameter to the end of your play store URL: &referrer=google_search_install_referrer%3D12345. You would replace 12345 with the ID of your Branch link.

If your Play Store URL was, the end result would be:

This is what you would put inside the Search Install Ad campaign user interface. The rest Branch takes care of for you automatically, including attributing your user back to the link, and turning the link ID into deep link data the first time your users open the app.

And just like that, Branch is able to support your Search and Display campaigns by building clever technical additions on top of our deep links.

Branch is a mobile linking platform providing unified mobile experiences and measurement for more than 50,000 mobile apps, including Airbnb, Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Tinder, Foursquare, Yelp, and Sephora. Branch’s linking platform can help you grow your mobile app through features like deep linking, sharing, referrals, mobile banners and interstitials, custom app onboarding, and unified attribution across platforms and channels. Learn more about Branch or contact sales today.
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