When you enter the world of Google's paid ads, you'll want the low-down on Google's attribution models. It's important to acknowledge the steep learning curve that comes with paid ads. Not only do you need to understand the strategy behind building a successful sales funnel, but you also have to absorb all the new terminology that comes with this area of marketing. As a paid ads management house, we believe the best possible scenario for business owners is to have a high level overview of every element. Not only does this enable you to have a strong understanding of the process, it also gives you the power to understand what happens when you outsource your strategy to experts. After all, outsourcing shouldn't mean handing off your understanding of what's happening! It should actually provide you with more time to understand the strategy and think big. So, whether you're considering outsourcing or simply curious about the technical nuances of Google ads, buckle up. We're going to jump right in and explain what you should know about Google attribution models and why they matter.
The path for better ROI begins here! Are your ads on their way to effortless clicks and purchases, or are they a bit stuck? Our straightforward guide for success will tell you.
An attribution model in Google is a specific measurement point for success. When you select specific attribution models, it helps determine which marketing efforts are leading to the best results. There's no worse feeling than seeing success but being unable to pinpoint what's causing it, right? Google attribution models solve this issue when running Google ads. By using this specific point to measure success, you can now assign credit where credit is due within an ad. This informs the decision-making process about where to spend your time and budget within your ad campaign.
There are currently six different attribution models within Google ads, let's break down each one for clarity.
Last Click marks the ad last clicked on, and the corresponding search term someone used. This can be helpful when it comes to seeing the end point for your customer and what finally convinced them they needed your brand.
First Click is exactly what it sounds like. This is where we mark the ad first clicked, and the corresponding search term that someone used. It's helpful to see the first brand impression your ad created.
The Linear attribution model gives each ad in the funnel equal credit for converting a customer. The benefit here is that you receive an overall picture of your marketing strategy because it considers the entire journey of a customer.
Time Decay gives more credit to ads your customer interacts with closer to their purchase. It's measured using a seven day half life, which means an ad interacted with eight days before a purchase gets half as much credit as an ad interaction one day before a purchase. Because this model assigns more conversion credit to the interactions which are closest in time to conversion, this means you can give preference to high converting campaigns, keywords and/or ads.
This attribution model is about giving credit according to where ads are placed and interacted with. 40% of the credit for conversion will be given to the first and last ad interactions and the search terms used by your customer. The remaining 20% will be spread across all the other ad interactions along the funnel. This accounts for all the touch points in a customer’s journey right before they convert. Knowing where the first interaction occurs in a buying cycle, as well as the last touch point allows us to spread our ad budget accordingly!
With Data-Driven attribution models, we see something different. This attribution model uses your account's data to calculate the actual contribution of each interaction across the conversion path. This model is the default for most conversion actions because it gets "smarter" the more ads and campaigns you create in your funnels. The big benefit here is you learn from your actual ads and can improve accordingly.
The benefit to so many different attribution models is that you can use a different attribution model depending on your buying cycle and what performance markers you are looking to measure. Here at Cali Social, we thrive on learning and optimisation, so we consistently use the Data-Driven attribution model whenever possible. It's the kingpin of attribution, because it pinpoints how people search for your business and decide to become your customers.
Between all six options for attribution models, the Data-Driven approach is well worth taking as your ad account matures with ads and campaigns. When you're first starting out and your account doesn't have any data, it's helpful to dive in and select another option to start. But after that, Data-Driven attribution models will ultimately give you the most success! If you’re curious about measuring ad spend on other platforms with ROAS, here’s more insight.