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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Attribution modelling

Attribution modeling involves understanding where a channel fits or where a clean keyword fits in the conversion journey.

  • Last click: The default model is last click. So these are keywords that get 100% of the credit for the conversion because they were the last click before the conversion. Other models include things like first click. So the first click in the conversion journey gets 100% of the credit.
  • First click: 100% of the credit is given to the keyword/campaign that initiated the customer journey to conversion.
  • Position-based: The majority of the credit is given to the first and last clicks, with the remaining credit distributed to the keywords in the middle of the path to conversion.
  • Linear: All clicks in the path to conversion are given equal credit.
  • Time decay: Higher credit is given to keywords and campaigns the closer they are to conversion.
  • Data-driven attribution: Google uses historical data, search signals, AI and other factors to apply different levels of credit to keywords and campaigns in the path to purchase to help clarify how each touch point contributes to a conversion in a more scientific and metric based way.

Model comparison

What we do in Google Ads is in the top, in the attribution section of the main menu in the top, we can use our model comparison tool to see what our cost per conversion looks like when we change the different conversion models.

Suppose we’ve created a bunch of awareness campaigns. We can’t use last click conversion for these campaigns because they’re not the keywords that people use to buy our product. They’re the keywords that people use to enter the funnel to do the research and awareness.

So what we might use for those campaigns is the first interaction or first click model, or we might use position-based. Then with our closing campaigns, the campaigns that we have in the bottom of the funnel, we might use the last click campaigns, so the last interaction campaigns and the last interaction model for those particular campaigns.

The last non-direct click might be for our comparison issues. Last Google Ads click is something to test, but it may not fit within your structure. Linear is always good to look at but it’s rarely a good attribution model to apply to your campaign because it gives mixed results, likewise with time decay.

And then when there’s enough data in your account, you’re able to use the data-driven attribution model, which is Google’s artificial intelligence built machine learning model that looks at historical data, keyword interaction, and a whole load of other indicators to understand what percentage of credit each keyword campaign and ad group might get for the activity that you’re driving. So that is currently online and currently available, but not rolled out to everything just until you get the correct amount of data within your campaign itself.

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Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a digital strategist, lecturer, and trainer. He has over 15 years’ experience in eCommerce, social media, affiliate marketing, data analytics, and all things digital. He worked at Yahoo! Search in 2005 as a Senior Search Strategist for the UK Financial Services vertical. He moved to the world of agency in 2010 as Head of Search and Online Media. Cathal’s previous clients include Apple, Vodafone, Expedia, Virgin, Universal Music Group, Amazon, Compare the Market, and HSBC.

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