Branch is a mobile linking platform that unifies user experience and measurement across different devices, platforms, and channels. You can use the platform for free, but Branch charges $59 per month for premium solutions that integrate deep links into marketing tools — which is excellent news for app developers, as web links don’t work with native mobile apps.
To start using Branch , simply sign up or log in to your existing account. Then connect any URLs you want to track. For starters, I would recommend adding one of your websites (or blog) so you can measure how much traffic comes from each channel (mobile/tablet/web).
By default, Branch reports are organized into reports that are broken down by date range. If you need a different reporting period, you can adjust the date range by clicking the calendar icon in your reporting view.
The key metrics Branch reports include:
1) Mobile Traffic Report. This report is designed to show how much traffic you’re getting from mobile devices and on which specific campaigns/ad groups/keywords/websites. The default vertical axis of this report shows total monthly visits. You can see more valuable data, such as devices or channels, if you hover over it with your cursor, but I recommend going into Customize View for a bit more flexibility here. For example, you can add a secondary Y-axis showing unique visitors or bounce rate.
2) In-App Events Report . This report shows how many users are completing in-app events, broken down by traffic source.
3) Google Analytics Report . Not surprising given Branch’s primary focus is linking mobile apps to the web via deep links, this report tracks how many people are coming from Google search after clicking a link that points to your website.
4) Deep Linking Report . This report tracks all deep links that have been created and shows where they’ve been placed on different websites or blogs. For example, if you have a YouTube channel, you can see how many users you’re driving to your app from each video.
5) Link Destination Report . This report isn’t entirely free unless you use Google Analytics, but it’s a great way to see how many people are visiting specific web destinations after clicking a link.
6) Link Clickthroughs Report . This report is similar to the Link Destination Report but shows all clickthroughs that have been tracked via Branch links on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the number of clicks on regular URLs (not set up with Branch). Instead of using one metric such as CTR, this report separates out different types of conversions — for example, you can see how many users clicked a link and then installed your app or visited an in-app purchase.
7) Metrics . The metrics report will give you a sense of which channels/browsers/os’ deliver the most valuable visitorsfor example, iOS 6.1 is a popular OS on iOS devices right now, so if you’re developing an app specifically for this version of Apple’s mobile software, it would make sense to track the number of free and paying users that come from this device.
8) Channel Groupings Report . This report shows how many people (and the percentage) visit your website by using different channels — such as mobile web browsers like Chrome and Safari or apps like Facebook and Twitter. The default view is pageviews but you can break this down further by adding dimensions such as devices or countries/regions. You can also create custom channel groupings (see image below).
9) Country & Language Report . This report tracks which countries drive traffic to your website and what percent of those users are represented by each country.
10) Device Report . This report tracks which devices drive traffic to your website, including metrics for sales (for paid apps) or unique visitors (for non-paid apps). One interesting thing about this report is the way it separates out different types of mobile web browsers — for example, you can see how many people visit your website using Android stock browsers versus Chrome for Android. With these reports, you can learn more about who’s visiting your site and how they interact with it.
You can also use Branch to track deep links that send users into specific parts of your app (such as a game level or menu screen), but I covered this in much greater detail here . In general, Branch is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of how people find your website and the different ways they interact with it. You can see which channels drive the most traffic or revenue, from where users are converting into app downloads or in-app purchases, and so on. If you use one paid channel such as Facebook Ads for all paid conversions, but another free channel like Google Adwords for organic conversions (such as when a user clicks a deep link that takes them to your site), then Branch will show this split between using different types of marketing efforts.
You can also use this data to better understand who visits your website . For example, if you notice people from Brazil signing up for your service after clicking a link from a video on YouTube, then you’d know to focus your efforts more in Brazil and throughout South America.
This report works beautifully with Google Analytics . This goes back to the previous point about understanding which channels drive conversions for your app. If you notice that clicks from Twitter or Facebook have higher conversion rates than other channels, then it makes sense to scale these types of marketing efforts even further — because they work better at generating paid users (such as downloads or in-app purchases).
You can export reports into PDF format, but there is also an API . Because Branch has been around since 2012, many developers are already familiar with its API and toolkit. So if you want to create your own third-party integration
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