By Zieliński Jerzy

Google Analytics attribution model: conversion path optimization

On the conversion path, customers are often accompanied by different interactions with ads from the same advertiser. The Google Ads attribution model and Google Analytics provide a tool to accurately determine the share attributed to each stage of this path. In this article, I will look at various attribution models and opportunities to optimize the conversion path.

Advantages of using attribution models

Most advertisers base the evaluation of ad effectiveness on a last-click model. However, attribution models provide much more complex data, making it possible to control the attribution of conversion share for each ad interaction. This, in turn, opens up a number of opportunities:

  • Reaching customers early in the buying cycle: discover the potential to influence customers early in their conversion journey.
  • Match the model to the business: choose the model that best reflects how customers search for your offering.
  • More effective rate setting: optimize rates based on more accurate information about ad effectiveness.

Different attribution models in Google Analytics

Google Ads provides several attribution models, each with its own unique characteristics:

  • Last click: assigns the entire share of conversions to the last ad clicked and the related key phrase.
  • First click: assigns all of the conversion share to the first ad clicked and the associated key phrase.
  • Linear: evenly assigns conversion share to all ad interactions along the path.
  • Temporal distribution: assigns a higher share to clicks that occurred just before the conversion. The share is assigned taking into account the 7-day half-life.
  • Position consideration: assigns a 40% share to the first and last interactions, and the remaining 20% equally to other interactions along the path.
  • Based on data: distributes conversion share based on historical data related to the activity causing the conversion.

It is worth remembering, however, that as the introduction of
Google Analytics 4
, not all of these models remain available.

How to choose the right attribution model?

The choice of attribution model affects how conversion share is assigned, as well as how rates are optimized. If you don’t know which model to choose, the Model Comparison report allows you to directly compare two different attribution models. Examples of comparisons include:

  • Last click vs. FIRST CLICK: Identifying undervalued keywords that attract customers at the beginning of the conversion path.
  • Last click vs. linear: Discovering keywords used by customers throughout the conversion path.
  • Last click vs. based on data: Learning about the value of keywords, as determined by Google’s artificial intelligence.

Model comparison report

This report makes it possible to analyze the effectiveness of various attribution models. Value comparison
(cost per conversion) and
(return on advertising spend) across different models provides valuable insights into undervalued campaigns or keywords.

How to change attribution models?

Changing the attribution model affects how conversions are counted. For existing activities that cause conversions, you can make this change during conversion setup in Google Ads.

Changes in attribution models 2023

From 2023, data-driven attribution became the new default attribution model. using Google’s advanced artificial intelligence technology. The introduction of this change allows for better adaptation to the various customer touch points with advertising. Instead, the first-click, linear, decrease in share over time and position consideration models are withdrawn. According to Google statistics, only 3% of users were using the recalled models.

As of June 2023. There is no option to choose withdrawn attribution models for new activities that cause conversions in Google Ads. In September, a data-driven attribution model was automatically introduced. However, the change does not affect the last-click model or external attribution systems. These are important steps toward improving the precision of conversion tracking and providing more flexible advertising tools.

The attribution model is crucial to the effectiveness of online advertising. Choosing the right model allows you to better understand customer conversion paths and optimize advertising strategies. The model comparison report provides a valuable tool for analyzing the effectiveness and adjusting attribution approaches in Google Analytics 4 and Ads.

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