Why Use Data-Driven Attribution

Valentin Kurdov
By Valentin Kurdov Director of PPC Innovation

Businesses currently have more opportunities to connect with consumers in a given day than ever before. It’s critical for marketers to know which opportunities matter, and which ones don’t.

The search process doesn’t start and end with “buy the exact product I already know I want.” People have a tendency to click on multiple ads before converting. This makes it challenging to assign the proper credit where it’s due. Last-click attribution, the default choice in AdWords, ignores everything except for the final, “buy the exact product I already know I want” ad click. But was it really that ad that made the user choose your business?

The idea of Data-Driven Attribution is to give credit for conversions based on how people search for your business and when they decide to become customers. It uses account data to find out which ads, keywords, and campaigns have the biggest impact on your business’s goals. Data-Driven Attribution applies to website and Google Analytics conversions from Search Network campaigns.

Unlike other attribution models, Data-Driven Attribution uses your conversion data to calculate the actual contribution of each keyword across the conversion path. Each data-driven model is specific to each advertiser.

AdWords’ Data-Driven Attribution feature allows you to learn which ads, keywords, ad groups, and campaigns are playing the biggest role in reaching your business’s goals while optimizing your bidding based on real data for your account. First, the model looks at all the clicks on your Google Search ads and compares the click paths of customers who convert to the paths of customers who don’t. It then identifies patterns among those clicks that lead to conversions. There may be certain steps along the way that have a higher probability of leading a customer to complete a conversion. The model gives more credit to those valuable clicks on the customer’s path.

Data-Driven Attribution requires a certain amount of data to create a precise model for how your conversions should be attributed. Because of this, not everybody has an option for the model. In order to access Data-Driven Attribution, an account must have at least 15,000 clicks and a conversion action must have at least 600 conversions within 30 days. Google can start preparing Data-Driven Attribution from the moment the minimum of attribution is reached it will stop once it drops bellow 10,000 clicks for the account or 400 conversions for the conversion action. You’ll receive an alert before this happens, and, after 30 days of continuously low data, your conversion action will be switched to a linear attribution model.

Data-Driven Attribution was introduced to AdWords back in May 2016, and since then, Google is studying how it affects performance. A recent analysis of hundreds of advertisers using the model revealed that performance improved when compared to last-click attribution, so you can expect more businesses to take advantage of its capabilities in the near future.

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