Why Should I Use Branch for Universal Links?

This is a question we’ve gotten a few times since Universal Links launched on iOS 9. Branch is fully compatible with Universal Links and, in fact, makes the setup process much easier. Plus, Branch handles the edge cases when Universal Links fail – which is often.

iOS 9 Universal Links with Branch

Universal Links don’t work on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any apps with webviews

They aren’t as universal as they sound. Apple allows the individual apps to control whether to utilize Universal Links. So far, none of the platforms have opted to leverage it, so you must fall back to traditional routing that was necessary in iOS 8. Branch handles these edge cases well.

Without Branch, a user with the app installed still ends up on your mobile site

After being linked via a Universal Link, the user can very easily click the domain button at the top right to be taken to your mobile website. They can also open Safari and visit your mobile site directly. Either way, you now need to leverage traditional methods to re-open the app from Safari and deep link the user appropriately. Universal Links won’t help you there.

Deepviews or the Branch smart banner boost user acquisition from mobile web to app

If the user doesn’t have the app, the Universal Link will route them to your mobile website. You can use Branch’s smart banner to convert that traffic into installations. If you don’t have a mobile website, Branch can host and render a Deepview for you automatically. Either way, Branch allows you to deep link that new user to the content they were viewing. Personalizing the install with Branch will improve activation conversions and retention by 2X on average.

Attribution and Analytics

It’s hard to drive growth without good information on where it’s coming from. Branch offers a solid set of attribution analytics tools for free, along with the ability to export user attribution data to your platform of choice in real time using our webhooks system.  

Setting up Universal Links is easier with Branch

With Branch, you don’t need to host a mobile website. Apple requires you to configure and certify a structured file on your server in order to turn your domain into a Universal Link. Branch does this entirely for you, so you don’t have to. You can literally enable them with the click of a button on the dashboard. We’ve even created a Universal Links Validator so you can easily that your domain is properly configured.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our best practices for Universal Links. What are you waiting for, get started!