Smart Banners—mobile web-to-app

At a glance: The majority of website traffic worldwide originates from mobile devices. Use Smart Banners, on your mobile web site, to convert visitors to your app. 

Smart Banners

Implement Smart Banners by integrating the AppsFlyer Smart Banner SDK into the website. Apart from the initial integration, no further coding is required. 

By using Smart Banners you can measure the quality of app installs coming from visitors to the mobile website. Smart Banners can attribute using click-through attribution and count impressions:

  • Clicks: A user clicks the Smart Banners and proceeds to install.
  • Impressions: When the banner loads (user sees the banner), it sends an impression count event to AppsFlyer. 

 Note

Not sure whether Smart Banners is the right solution for you?
Compare Smart Banners with other AppsFlyer solutions.

Scope of work

Who's involved

Marketer and website developer.

  • The website developer only needs to enter a code snippet into the HTML of the website.
  • For all other setup actions, only the marketer is required.

Prerequisites

  • An AppsFlyer account with at least one app
  • OneLink template containing the app/s to be advertised using Smart Banners
    This is required by Smart Banners to direct your mobile web visitors to the correct app store pages according to the devices they use. 

Time required

Approximately 20 minutes.

Outcome

  • Website visitors clicking the CTA button will be sent to the correct app store or web page based on their device.
  • Mobile app users clicking the CTA button can be deep-linked into the app.
  • Users will be attributed from the click/install to your owned media sources.

 Example

Mark is a marketer working for the successful food delivery service "Feed Me".
Mark wants to convert Feed Me's mobile website visitors into app users. 

To do this Mark utilizes Smart Banners using his own visuals and texts.  

Smart Banners are powered by OneLink. When mobile website visitors click the CTA button, it automatically directs them to the appropriate app store or landing page, where it's easy for them to install the app. When existing mobile users click the CTA button, it launches the app. 

AppsFlyer then attributes the click/install to Mark's defined media source and campaign

 Important!

Use either AppsFlyer Smart Banner or iOS Safari smart app banner, but not both. Using both may cause display issues on your mobile website, and result in attribution discrepancies.

Procedures

Complete the following procedures to set up a smart banner that:

  • Directs users from your mobile site, via a Smart Banner, to the correct app store or app page based on their device.
  • Attributes the click/install to your owned media source using OneLink.

1. Website setup

To prepare your mobile site to display Smart Banners

  1. In the AppsFlyer dashboard, go to Engagement & Deep Linking > Smart Banners
  2. Click Create Website workplace.

    SB_website_workplace_en-us.png

  3. Enter a Website workplace name.
  4. Click Create.
    The Website workplace opens. 
  5. Copy the banner Code snippet. 
  6. Send the Code Snippet to your front-end developer to implement on your website.
    This quick task is done only once per website by the front-end developer, who is not involved anymore during the following steps. 
  7. [optional] Copy Web key. (This key already exists as part of the code snippet.)
  8. Click Continue.

2. Banner Group Setup

Banner Groups contain one or more banners. Here you can:

  • Select the OneLink template used by the Banner Group, which contains the mobile apps to redirect your website visitors to.
  • Set a specific deep-linking scheme
  • Define your targeting rules, scheduling, behavior, and attribution details used by all banners of the Banner Group.
  • Set which pages activate the Banner Group's banners when visited.

To set up a new Banner Group:

  • In the AppsFlyer dashboard, go to Engagement & Deep Linking > Smart Banners
  • On the left-hand side, click Add Banner Group.
  • Enter a unique Banner Group name.
    The name should reflect a general common theme between the Banners to be defined for the Banner Group (e.g., the advertised app).
  • Select the OneLink template for the Banner Group.
  • [optional] Set URI scheme for the Banner Group as a fallback for Universal Links and Android App Links users. This is rarely needed, as by default, the value is taken from the OneLink template. Set this for the Banner Group only if you need a different value than the one in the template.
  • Schedule the Banner Group's activation: start immediately (default) or set a time-limited campaign.
  • Set Locations where the Banner Group is activated for. 
    Select Worldwide to display this Banner Group to all users. If needed, exclude visitors coming from different regions, countries, or states. Select Pick specific location option to display this Banner Group to users from one or more specific locations.
  • Set the website's Active pages, where the Banner Group can be displayed to visitors:
    • Activate on all pages of the website.
    • Specify URL parts, strings, which ONLY activates the Banner Group if they appear in the full URL of the website page.
  • Set the Dismissal behavior, i.e. the minimum time allowed between a user dismissal of the banner, until the banner may be displayed again to the user. Select from one of the following:
    • By time: 1 hour, 1 day, or 1 week.
    • Next session: meaning the session that takes place 30 minutes or more after the uses closes the banner.
    • Never: the banner is not shown again. 
      Note: If the user clears the browser cache or views the site in private browsing mode the Dismissal Behaviour setting is lost.
  • [optional] Set Frequency capping
    Frequency capping determines how many times the banner is shown to a unique user. For example, if frequency capping is set to three, and a user visits the site four times, the user sees the banner on the first 3 visits but not on the fourth and onward. Frequency capping can be disabled. Select a frequency capping value or disable frequency capping.  
  • Set the Attributed sources to be attributed with new installs coming from this Banner Group. Use the following table to pick the best option for the custom link.

    Option When to select Comments
    Use default attribution parameters 
    • Select when most mobile website visitors are organic.
    • Select when non-organic visitors don't get to the website from click ad networks or from sources with UTM parameters.  

    Important: These values are used on the custom link as a fallback if the media source, campaign, or channel names are not available.

    Use UTM parameters  Select when most non-organic visitors get to the mobile website from sources with UTM parameters. 
    • Media source name (pid) = UTM_Source 
    • Campaign (c) = UTM_campaign
    • If the UTM_source or UTM_campaign are missing, the static names are used as a fallback.
    Use incoming attribution link parameters  Select when most non-organic visitors get to the mobile website from click ad networks that use AppsFlyer attribution links. 
    • All available parameters from the incoming AppsFlyer attribution link are added to the Smart Banner link. 
    • If a parameter exists in both the incoming AppsFlyer attribution link and the Smart Banner, the incoming parameter takes precedence in the final custom link.
    Add another attribution parameter  If you want to add additional website-related attribution data. This enables granular analysis of every install.  For example, for eCommerce sites create identical custom links for every product category type, that differ by af_adset values (for example: "af_adset=fruit") 

  • Set the default attribution parameter Channel name to attribute all installs coming from the Smart Banner to the specified channel. This enables you to aggregate information from multiple media sources under the same channel in the Cohort report, Overview dashboard, Retention report, and more. 
  • Click Create Banner Group.
  • [Optional] To edit the Banner Group again, hover over Targeting & behavior and click Edit.

 Example

Mark decides to create a campaign for Feed Me's new line of vegan burgers in California.

SB_Banner_Group_en-us.png

  • He creates a new Banner Group and calls it "Feed me burgers".
  • He selects the OneLink template for Feed Me's apps, and overrides its URI scheme with the specific activity "feedme://search/veganburgers".
  • He sets the Location to California state, so only CA-based visitors see the Banner Group.
  • He specifies the URL part "burger" to display only on pages that contain "burger" in their URL.
  • He selects to attribute dynamic media source and campaign names, and sets the Channel name to "feed_me_burgers" to be able to aggregate all relevant data in AppsFlyer.

3. Banner setup

To create the first banner for a new Banner Group:

  1. Click Create Banner to enter the Add Banners page.
  2. Set the Name of the banner.
  3. Click Design creative to set the creative of the banner (details below).
  4. After finishing and saving the new creative, the banner's status becomes active. Use the toggle to switch between Active and Paused statuses. 
  5. [optional] Add banner-specific Attribution parameters if needed, e.g. Ad name.
  6. To convert the attribution link from a user acquisition type URL to a retargeting URL, add the custom is_retargeting=true parameter.
  7. Click Save all and close.

Banner Creative setup

To create a Smart Banner's creative:

  1. Enter the creative's setup after clicking on Design creative in the Banner setup page.
  2. Select a Creative template, hover over it, and click Create to enter the Build creative setup page.
  3. In the Build creative setup page, you can experiment with other creative templates.
  4. Change all texts and images to your own. 
  5. All images must be formatted as either .png, .jpeg or .jpg, and their URLs must include the file extension. https://example.com/my_image.png is a valid URL. https://example.com/my_image is not a valid URL.
    Check the tooltip for every image you use to see the recommendations for it.
  6. Click Build Creative.

SB_Build_creative_en-us.png

4. Testing

Once the creative is ready, it's time to put it to the test before setting it live and activating it for your users.

To test a Smart Banner's creative: 

Prerequisite: Make sure that the Smart Banner code snippet is integrated into your website.  

  1. In the Test Creative page, enter the link to your web page where the Smart Banner SDK is integrated (see next tab).
  2. Click Generate.
  3. Copy the generated link and send it to your test device, or scan the QR code with the test device. The link or QR should redirect you to the web page and display a banner with the creative.
  4. Click Edit Creative to return to the creative configuration, or click Done to save the creative.
Was this article helpful?