Why Attribution Will Change the Way You Look at PPC

Why Attribution Will Change the Way You Look at PPC

portent logoWhen was the last time you evaluated your attribution model? Most advertisers on Google Ads are still sticking with the default attribution settings when managing, optimizing, and reporting on their PPC efforts. It’s time to take another look and change the way you evaluate your performance.

What is Attribution

Attribution is deciding what efforts/actions/channels deserve credit for a conversion. Sounds relatively straightforward, right?

Google Ads defaults to an attribution model called last-click. This model gives all the credit to the last click that led to a conversion. This is so ingrained in us that most businesses have a hard time even considering alternatives in the same light. They think of alternatives as secondary. This can hold back performance and hurt the bottom line.

Consider this user journey. Does the direct visit really deserve 100% of the credit? Clearly, the other channels played a role in the sale. With last click, they’d receive no credit and you’d likely optimize away from them, hurting your chances of driving future Sales. In Google Ads, there are actually six different attribution models to consider.

Read more: Pull up to the Bumper: How Any Business Can Access Effective Video Advertising

Types of Attribution in Google Ads

  • Last click – Last click attribution gives 100% of the credit to the last click that led to the conversion.
  • First click – First click gives 100% of the first click in a path that led to a conversion.
  • Linear – Credit is distributed evenly across all clicks.
  • Time decay – Credit is weighed by the click’s proximity to the conversion using a seven-day half-life.
  • Position-based – Credit is distributed with 40% credit to the first click and 40% credit towards the last clicks. The remaining 20% is spread evenly between the clicks in the middle.
  • Data-driven – Credit is shared based on the weight of each click. Clicks that play a more significant role historically in driving conversion earn more weight.

Which Model is Right For Your Business?

Everyone has different goals and strategies at play in their PPC accounts. There is no silver bullet to picking the right model. When evaluating what model is right for you, outline your goals and expectations and use the data! Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are your goals (sales, leads, awareness)?
  • How long is your conversion funnel?
  • What strategies are you employing (search network, display network, video, etc)?
  • Is it common for users to convert after one touch? Do they require nurturing?

All of this information is important for more than just reporting on return (although that is often very important too). If you are making optimization decisions in your account based on conversion data (hopefully you are), it’s important that conversion data accurately represent user habits and your goals so you can optimize towards more value.

Read more: Facebook Ads Have Changed Once Again – Here’s What You Need to Know

How to Make a Switch

Again, most PPC advertisers are still using last-click attribution. This is likely a poor representation of the value that is driven by your investment.

There may not be a “right” model for you. Perhaps several models may combine to give you a more complete picture of what is driving your revenue/leads/traffic. Experiment with different models and see how that affects your willingness to invest in PPC.

Read more: How Cultivating a Vibrant Community Can Enhance Your Marketing Stack

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