Why You Need Branch’s SEO App Attribution Solution

We’re excited to introduce SEO App Attribution, a new solution from Branch that equips brands and agencies with attribution insight into app events (e.g., engagement, acquisitions, revenue) from organic search traffic. Our new tool opens up the bigger channel picture and alleviates many of the pain points associated with capturing app events and attribution associated with organic web search traffic. 

By leveraging SEO App Attribution, marketers can easily identify an app event originating from an organic web search click and then attribute it to the relevant search engine. This allows you to understand the full contribution of SEO on your app growth and make more confident channel marketing decisions. 

How SEO App Attribution works


We go into much more detail below, but first, let’s explore more about why SEO matters.

Why is SEO so critical?

Search engines were made with one purpose in mind: connecting audiences to relevant web content. However, challenges arose when trying to order search results by page relevance. In order to deliver more relevant and useful results, search engines developed algorithms to rank search results with more consistency based on page content and parameters. This led to the introduction of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is defined by Optimizely as: 

“The art and science of getting pages to rank higher in search engines such as Google.” 

Search engine share


SEO is the science (and art) of increasing the likelihood of your website getting higher page visibility when a user is searching online for relevant products or services. The more visibility your website has on search engines, the more likely your link will get clicked.

How SEO works


Companies should always vie for the first page where they are most likely to get the most visibility. Because, in reality, how often does anyone really search beyond the second page of results? For example, the first position on Google generates a typical click through rate (CTR) of 39.6%. This is more than double the CTR for the second position (18.4%) and nearly four times the CTR for the third position (10.1%).

So what are some key benefits of SEO?

Build trust and credibility

If a user finds your site through a search engine, it can lead to better brand engagement, more app traffic, and higher conversions due to higher trust.

Gain a competitive advantage

When good SEO is deployed consistently, those that do it better will outrank the competition and gain a competitive edge at a lower cost than paid channels.

Reach more people

SEO helps attract users with intent at any time and will ideally widen the audience that can discover your brand content and website.

SEO is complicated

Source: Reliablesoft

SEO has been a blind spot for a long time for most mobile marketers since linking to the app can lead to a loss of visibility. Using Branch’s new SEO App Attribution solution, our customers have discovered that organic web search can be responsible for more than 16% of app opens (source: Branch), which means misattribution of organic search leads to an incomplete picture of a major source of visits and revenue. 

Branch SEO App Attribution App Opens graph

Why is SEO App Attribution a game changer?

SEO is a major growth lever for mobile brands. However, Google’s control and other content challenges have made it harder to measure than most owned, earned, and paid channels. Here are a few reasons why SEO is so hard to measure:

  • SEO teams spend countless hours tweaking content to ensure relevant results, but enabling app links historically meant losing visibility into their efforts.
  • There is no attribution on native app links by design, which means app sessions may be misattributed when the organic search result was the true last touch point.
  • Web-to-app experiences drive significant app acquisitions but have historically lacked the ability to easily tag and attribute those organic app events. 

Branch is a true cross-platform solution for the mobile ecosystem, but attribution is notoriously hard to measure considering users interact with many channels before entering the app. Branch’s mobile linking platform (MLP) delivers industry-leading deep linking and attribution for owned and earned channels. And with SEO App Attribution, we’re unlocking a key channel of the user journey. 

Our SEO App Attribution solution empowers marketers to attribute downstream funnel events back to the search engine that sourced the app session. App events are deduplicated and attributed to the corresponding search engine. This opens a window to SEO performance for a better understanding of SEO’s value and a more complete cross-channel view. 

NO SEO App Attribution
SEO App Attribution - No attribution
With SEO App Attribution
SEO App Attribution - with attribution


With SEO App Attribution, you get a clearer view of the bigger marketing picture by gaining insights into app events coming from organic web search traffic. This also helps you avoid some of the typical SEO pain points, including:

  • Blind spots in your overall marketing strategy due to limited visibility into the organic search channel.
  • Falling behind the competition by not investing enough in SEO, since SEO efforts generally get limited credit for the value they drive.
  • Missed budget and KPI goals due to erroneous credit given to paid channels, misattributed from organic traffic.
  • User frustration and drop off due to a fragmented web-to-app user experience.
Branch solves for SEO unattributed


You can even leverage our MLP to acquire net new app users with a personalized web-to-app experience using Journeys. By showing a smart banner or a CTA, you increase the likelihood of driving the organic visitor to your app. Just add tags to your smart banners and let SEO App Attribution do the hard work of capturing and attributing down funnel app events such as installs and purchases.

SEO App Attribution + Branch Journeys add acquisition

How does it work?

Get a more complete picture of how your SEO efforts impact app events coming from organic search traffic when you enable SEO App Attribution. For most brands, it does not take any additional technical expertise or developer resources to get started. 

  1. Ensure the latest Branch SDK is installed, top-level domains are registered, and Universal Links or App Links are enabled.
  2. Once a user clicks on a link indexed from a search engine (e.g. Google, Yahoo), SEO App Attribution collects specific signals and identifies the click as “organic” once the app opens.
  3. The Branch SDK simulates a click, it is captured, and attribution of the app user is assigned to the organic search channel.
  4. Access your data in the SEO section of the dashboard for review or download.
SEO App Attribution landing page


Once SEO App Attribution is enabled, you will be able to view organic search performance in the Summary report and in the Sources tab. In addition, the same data is available in Data Exports, Custom Exports, Daily Exports, and Scheduled Logs.

Branch dashboard - SEO App Attribution

What are the benefits of SEO App Attribution?

SEO App Attribution delivers many benefits to your brand by providing a better user experience across all your links and accurately measuring app events driven by SEO. Key benefits include:

Fewer blind spots 

Get a better understanding of the bigger picture by attributing app events driven by organic search traffic.

Make better decisions

Gain the confidence to make data-backed decisions based on a more complete cross-channel view.

Increase SEO value

Unlock SEO opportunities and budget with clearer visibility into the value SEO can bring to your overall marketing strategy.

Our solution helps extend visibility beyond web traffic. This means you can start attributing app events (e.g. opens, installs, purchases) by preserving existing web attribution and adding incremental visibility to app events. Branch does all this without negatively impacting SEO page ranking.

Branch is ready to help with SEO

Our mobile linking platform (MLP) delivers deep linking and attribution across all your owned and earned channels, including your website. SEO App Attribution gives you the tools you need to capture app insights from organic search traffic.

Branch’s SEO App Attribution unlocks SEO’s potential without hurting search rankings. This allows marketers to cut through the noise, identify organic traffic, and attribute downstream conversions back to the correct referring source — without the guesswork.

Learn more about SEO App Attribution.