Despite the growing awareness of marketers when it comes to analytics and data analysis, it’s sometimes still difficult to answer the question: “Does this channel really work?”. The most popular way to measure conversions was (and still is!) the last-click attribution model, which assigns conversions to the last trackable source. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t reflect the complexity of the purchasing path and the many touchpoints the customers have with a brand.
For example, when a customer first reads about a product on a company blog, then clicks a link in an email to look at it, but finally buys it coming from a Google AdWords ad, the last-click attribution model will assign the conversion only to the last ad, completely ignoring the previous touchpoints.
Why Google Attribution?
Marketers need a solution that will help them define the most effective channels taking into account all customer touchpoints, and fully identify the customer’s journey. This way they’ll be able to compare different models, and plan budgets for specific channels to make them as effective as possible. We’re really happy to be one of the first companies in Poland that has access to Google Attribution Beta. And even though the project is still in beta, we’re already benefiting from its huge potential.
What is Google Attribution?
Google Attribution began in 2014 when the Mountain View giant purchased Adometry, a promising startup (and a tool) for measuring marketing performance. The tool later transformed into Attribution 360, and was included in the paid Google Analytics 360 Suite.
Today, Google Attribution is a tool that lets you work in 3 steps:
- data unification (AdWords, Google Analytics, and DoubleClick Search)
- cross-device, cross-channel, and data-driven attribution (More about data-driven attribution later)
- user action (easy reporting and optimization)
It’s worth mentioning that we currently have two versions of Google Attribution – the free version and the more advanced (and paid) version of Google Attribution 360:
Switch to DDA
Before I present Google Attribution in action, let’s talk about the term that I mentioned earlier – data-driven attribution. It was introduced to the world in 2013 and then included in Google Analytics 360 and Google Attribution 360. Since 2016 all Google AdWords users can use the data-driven model.
The data-driven model of attribution is based on machine learning and indicates which touchpoints affect conversions. Based on non-standard modeling, the data-driven model allocates a fraction of the “conversion credit” to each of the channels included in the conversion path. This model requires the attribution of large amounts of data, so it requires a minimum of 15,000 clicks and at least 600 conversions in the last 30 days. What’s interesting is that after launching this type of conversion attribution, the system also takes into account the data sent before the model change. If you don’t have the required number of conversions, it’s also a good idea to define micro-conversions. These could be e.g. downloads or newsletter signups. This way the model can be scaled down and applied to smaller businesses as well.
Google Attribution from the inside
So what does Google Attribution look like? Well, in the current beta phase it’s very intuitive and … simple. Yes, it’s hard to believe (especially when you’ve read all the above ;)), but using Google Attribution won’t be a problem for marketers, regardless of how advanced they are.
In the menu, we have access to 4 features: Analyze, Act, Data, and Admin:
The first one is for comparative analysis of attribution models. On the left, you can choose the base model, and on the right – the potential model. You can compare models and see conversions for individual channels:
Image source: Search Engine Land
The next option is Act, where you can select the conversions you want to analyze.
The Data option indicates the source of the data for Google Attribution:
The last option, Admin includes account settings – where you can change the account name, currency, and time, and add users who will have access to the account.
What are the benefits of Google Attribution?
Having access to Google Attribution, we can say that it has met our expectations and convinced us to introduce the data-driven attribution model in our AdWords campaigns.
- With Google Attribution 360 we know which channels work best when encouraging a customer to take a free trial, upgrade, or buy an account.
- We know which channels are necessary during the conversion process, and which ones close it.
- We can improve our marketing budget with information about the role of each channel.
- In a quick and simple way, we can compare each of the attribution models.
Google Attribution is the first big step in changing the awareness of marketers and customers when it comes to conversion attribution and the role of assisted conversions. In addition to purely informational purposes, this tool will make things easier not only for analysts or PPC specialists, but primarily for marketers planning campaigns and budgets in their companies.