What Search Marketers Need To Know About Google Attribution

Over the past few years, Google has been taking steps to take AdWords to a more flexible platform from an exclusively last-click platform.

For search marketers, there are quite a lot of things to benefit from the use of the simplified version of Attribution 360 known as “Google Attribution.” It is interesting to know that this effective attribution tool does not require an extra addition site tagging as it is designed to integrate well with DoubleClick Search, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics.

In a bid to provide marketers with a more holistic view of conversion actions across devices and channels for bidding information and attribution modeling, the new, free solution and retrieve data from DoubleClick Search, AdWords, and Google Analytics.

First and foremost, marketers will need to associate a Google Analytics view with a DoubleClick Search or Google AdWords account and then link it. Attribution can then be populated from the connected Analytics view with the channel performance once the account has been set up. This can include the upload of offline conversion event data to Google Analytics.

Like Analytics, marketers can easily compare models side by side with Google Attribution and even assign a model to their conversion events. As a way of informing bidding decisions, the modeled conversion data can feed back into DoubleClick Search or AdWords with the native integrations. With this tool, marketers can have a better solution to some of the challenges they face in the industry which include:

–    Identifying credit upper- and mid-funnel interactions: Marketers have come to realize that there have been some limitations with the use of last-click, as it tends to assign all the credit to the very last touch point of the user before converting. But Google Attribution helps to resolve this problem by trying to understand the full customer journey versus only last-click impact. To this end, marketers are empowered to pause a keyword or lower the bid when they can’t observe the generic keyword performing as it ought to.

–    Ease of Informing bidding decisions: based on multi-device and multi-channel conversion path data, advertisers can now see the conversion impact of their ads and keywords by simply sending modeled conversion data into AdWords automatically.

Google Attribution and AdWords Attribution

Over the last few years, Google has been taking pragmatic steps to position AdWords on a more flexible platform. Before now, this tool has been exclusively positioned on an exclusively last-click platform. Finally, in September 2016, Google introduced “converted clicks” to replace the original metric for tracking conversion events in AdWords.

Beyond last click, “Conversions” support store visits, cross-device conversions, and multiple attribution models. Before now, Google has always urged marketers and advertisers alike to employ the more advanced conversions measurement. For several years now, converted clicks and conversions have coexisted in AdWords. But since conversions support attribution modeling better than last click, Google decided to migrate from Converted Clicks to Conversions. Until last year, click and conversion assist data were shown from Analytics but when it comes to converting reporting and bidding there was no other way to set a conversion action to a model aside from last-click.

The attribution tool was only introduced for search funnels in AdWords thereby making it provide reporting on how users interact with ads. Without making use of the data-driven attribution, the attribution tool will not provide users with any insight into how ads relate to their marketing efforts on other channels. Basically, the introduction of Google Attribution was to help cater for the missing cross-channel context in AdWords attribution.

No doubt, Attribution provides more depth than Analytics. Now AdWords advertisers can be able to see Display Network data and paid search in the attribution model comparison tool and the multi-channel funnel reporting in Analytics, thanks to the current integration of the Google Analytics with Google Attribution. In fact, more touchpoints are offered in Google Attribution than in Google Analytics. Even Google’s data-driven attribution offers more features than Analytics.

Whilst only the last four touch points are included by attribution in Google Analytics, all touch points are included by Google’s data-driven attribution model regardless of whether a customer visits the site or not. However, before representing the customer journey with numbers through modeling, you’ll need to have a comprehensive and complete data set of the journey. From the CRM, marketing automation, and marketing channels, all the touchpoints and accurate data should be tracked.

When it comes to model attribution data, it is important to understand that there is a wide spectrum of possible ways to model attribution data. While some models may require advanced knowledge of data science, there are others that are just so simple and easy to apply such as the simple single-touch models.