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Are you squeezing every drop of value out of your PPC campaigns? If you want to, it’s essential to understand the part it’s played in influencing a customer’s journey. That’s where attribution modelling comes in to allow you to identify which channels are truly driving sales – so you can optimise your campaigns and make informed decisions about where to allocate budget

The level of data available to marketers has transformed beyond the wildest dreams of most 20th century marketers, particularly since the introduction of Google AdWords in 2000.

The other side of the coin is that the customer journey much more complex and fragmented than ever before, with 90% of consumers moving across devices and 38% across digital channels, according to Google.

With your marketing spread out across so many channels (like organic search, paid search, display, social and email), it can be difficult to evaluate what is and isn’t working – what’s influencing people to take the action you want them to, and what’s turning them off.

Do you know where your sales are coming from?

To optimise any paid search (PPC) campaign, you need to know what’s driving sales (or converting in other ways, such as filling in a form, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a brochure). Google Analytics has a range of models to help you to do this. Each has pros and cons, and so the onus is on the advertiser to decide which one most adequately meets their business objectives.

The ideal attribution model is one that looks beyond a channel’s position in the conversion path, and takes into account a channel’s ability to stimulate further interactions. It’s difficult, considering most Analytics tracking tools are naturally focused on conversion paths


Dave Karellen, Head of Paid Search, Click Consult

We’ve put together this eBook to show you:

  • How to identify which channels are truly driving sales and growing your business
  • The pros and cons of the attribution models available
  • The opportunities offered by Google’s new data-driven model
  • How you can use them to optimise campaigns and develop smarter bidding strategies
  • A football analogy to help understand how attribution works, and explain it to others

The death of last click?

Marketers are beginning to wake up to the limitations of the traditional ‘last click’ model, which attributes the value of a keyword to the last interaction before conversion. This can be misguiding it can be misleading since our path to purchase usually starts long before the last click and undermines the value of any keyword that assists a user by moving them down a purchase funnel without actually getting them to convert yet.

Our data guru John Warner uses this metaphor to demonstrate the flaw with the last click model:

“You own a shop at which consumers will potentially arrive in many ways – they may take a taxi, then a bus, then a train followed by a short walk.

“Another consumer, however, may arrive solely following a journey via any one of these methods, while still another may use any other combination of them before they eventually arrive at the shop and make a purchase.

“In this situation, it would be natural (and it is common) to see the final mode of transport as the most important and, therefore, miss the importance of all the others. While this may not cause trouble for some, if you don’t see the bus delivering any visits to the store it can seem reasonable to assume that the bus journey is not important to your business.

“What if, however – and unknown to you – the bus plays an integral role in three out of every five visits to the shop? While you may see no direct results, visits from the passengers on the buses could theoretically reduce sales by 60%. It is this that is the potential downfall of last click attribution (and, to lesser extents, other standard attribution varieties which suffer the same oversight to greater or lesser degrees).”

There are several other attribution models to consider when managing your paid search campaigns. Each has pros and cons, and so the onus is on an advertiser to decide which one most adequately meets their business objectives.

The data-driven solution

Google has been rolling out a data-driven attribution model with the potential to offer a greater level of insight into the conversion path of consumers, and a tremendous opportunity for increasing ROI and optimising campaigns to ensure the best performance possible. It’s currently only available to advertisers with at least of 15,000 clicks and 600 conversions within 30 days, but certainly indicates the shape of things to come.

There is no single solution to attribution – it’s not yet a perfect science. But it is a way for advertisers to get better answers on the value of media investments than their current strategy allows. Download this eBook to to find out how to analyse your data more accurately and apply insights that are critical to your overall performance.


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