Google's announces their new and free solution to pulling data, Google Attribution. Digital Marketing Specialist, Tarik Rahman explains how this simplified version works and what problems are being solved.

  • Tarik Rahman

How Google is Solving the Last-Click Attribution Problem

As the Google Marketing Next event wrapped up in San Francisco, one of the many changes announced was the release of Google Attribution. The new and free solution can pull in data from Google Analytics, AdWords or DoubleClick to provide a more complete view of conversion actions across channels and devices from attribution modeling and bidding information.

google attribution

What is Google Attribution?

Google Attribution is a simplified version of Attribution 360 that will help advertisers measure the impact of marketing across devices and channels all in one place. An attribution model helps determine how credit for sales or conversions is assigned to various points in the consumer purchase funnel.

How Google Attribution Works

The new Google Attribution model leverages machine learning to give a weighted value to each of consumer touchpoint on the path to purchase. This is a data-driven model is designed to provide better insights in overall channel campaign performance. Data-driven models review all converting and non-converting paths, and give credit to the different touchpoints. While multi-channel funnel attribution has been around for years, the new product will be faster and provide more in-depth details by creating a prediction model that learns by weighting a set of touch points on how likely a user is to purchase something.

The Google Attribution model uses the following machine-learning data to determine touch point value:

· Order of exposure

· Total ad interactions

· Ad creative

· Best-performing clicks and keywords

What Problem Can Google Attribution Fix?

The million-dollar question when looking at every campaign always seems to be, “are my marketing efforts working?” Babak Pahlavan, Senior Director of Product Management for Google Attribution 360 suite, explains how Google Attribution aims to kick the last click attribution model to the curb, which does not give any credit to interactions like display, video, search, social, or email that precede the final click before a conversion.

The problem with last click attribution is that it gives all credit to the user’s very last touch point before converting. An example would be if user searches and clicks on an ad from a non-branded key term, then later converts from a branded key term ad, only the branded key term ad will get credit in a last click attribution model. If a marketer can’t see that a non-branded keyword actually got the ball rolling, they might lower the bid or pause the keyword altogether. There are many benefits for Google showing advertisers how their search and display ads are playing a role in the conversion path.

Why Move Away from Last Click Attribution?

Google is constantly working to improve its metrics for advertisers. As previously mentioned, last click attribution only gives credit to the last channel that converted. Previous channels, however, may have assisted top of funnel actions like research, brand awareness, etc. An article by CPC Strategy indicated that it can take 30 or more touch points (depending on what products or services you offer) before a consumer converts, meaning your first interaction with a potential customer might have been just as or more important than the last interaction. Google wants to ensure advertisers are seeing the full picture of their marketing dollars and help us understand which clicks have the most impact and drive ROI.

Final Thoughts

Google Attribution will make it much easier for advertisers to justify the effectiveness of their campaigns. In the past, a certain channel might have looked like it was poorly performing, when in reality it was supporting the consumer’s funnel to purchase.

Like many of the new features announced by Google, Attribution is currently still in beta, however, it will be rolled out to more advertisers over the next several months.

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