Attribution Modeling in Google Analytics: Why it Matters
February 25, 2019
Attribution modeling is no longer a time-consuming, expensive process. If you are reviewing online marketing performance by campaign or channel – and you should be – it’s time to start consistently using attribution models to make well-informed marketing and investment decisions.
First, let’s take a step back and define attribution modeling. Simply put, an attribution model is the set of rules used to assign credit for conversions to touchpoints in a visitor’s journey. More frequently, we are seeing that a visitor’s experience spans multiple site interactions and it is important to consider everything that ultimately drove their conversion.
Google Analytics offers several out-of-the-box attribution models. In order to compare the results, I will use a single shopping experience as an example.
Consider a woman who has been shopping for a new watch for several months. At some point in her research, she clicked through on a display advertisement that took her to a new website: watch-you-see.com. After another week of research, the woman settled on a specific model and she does a Google search to find the best price. A click through on a paid search advertisement results in her second session to watch-you-see.com. Two days later, she receives an email from watch-you-see.com that sends her to her third session on the site. The next day, she goes directly to watch-you-see.com and purchases the watch for $100.
If you’re a Google Analytics 360 client, the data-driven attribution model is the most actionable option available. After activating this feature, you’ll quickly have data that attributes performance based on user activity over the previous 90 days.
If you don’t have access to that model, you should consider the goal of your marketing campaign while reviewing performance. If you’re attempting to increase brand awareness in order to find new customers, use the First Interaction model to see what channels are more likely to drive visitors that ultimately come back and convert. If your goal is to increase conversions with existing customers, use a multi-touch model for a better understanding of what drives them back to the site vs what makes them convert. The Attribution Comparison Tool in Google Analytics allows you to compare the results of multiple out of box and custom attribution models to ensure that you are not undervaluing a marketing channel or campaign.
Are you ready to optimize your user’s journey and marketing spend through attribution modeling? LiveArea is a Google Analytics 360 reseller that has assisted dozens of clients. Please drop us a line with any of your attribution model questions..