Google Attribution: What You Need to Know to Boost Your PPC Ads

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Google Attribution: What You Need to Know to Boost Your PPC Ads

These insights can provide a better understanding of how your ads perform, put you ahead of your competitors, and help you optimize across the user’s conversion path.

It’s all about taking data, simplifying it, and getting significant results. Here’s how attribution works.

In this article, we will discuss how you can tap into this new Google Attribution model and boost your Google Google Ads campaigns.

Let’s get started…

What is an Google Attribution model?

Measuring your marketing efforts and crediting them as they deserve is pretty hard. Many tools have been developed to help marketers solve this problem.

Conversions have always been attributed to the final influence of interaction. This, of course, doesn’t completely explain customer behavior or their interaction with your product.

An Attribution Model is a rule or set of rules that determines how credit for sales and conversions are assigned to different marketing interactions across devices and channels.

Brands like Adobe, BrightFunnel, and Bizible have been developing tools to help marketers know what is working and what is not working in their marketing strategies.

However, at the Google Marketing Next Conference held on May 23, 2017, Bill Kee, Group Product Manager at Google​, announced the new Google Attribution, which integrates with Google Ads, Google Analytics, and DoubleClick Search to make it easy to bring together into one place all the data from your marketing channels.

Google Attribution uses data-driven attribution to learn about your customer’s conversion path. This can help you optimize your PPC Ads as never before.

Below are the Google Attribution Models you can leverage to appropriately credit your conversion paths and get insights to improve your marketing campaign:

  • First Click: The First Click model attributes the conversion path that drove visitors to your website for the first time with 100% credit. First Click monitors activities at the top of your marketing funnel.

If you want to determine the channel that created brand awareness as well as the channels that initially engaged your customers, you should be looking at adopting the First Click Attribution Model.

  • Last click: This model credits the last click that resulted in a sale with 100% of the conversion value. Although it doesn’t provide much benefit for any other channels, it allows you to identify and credit your Google Ads Ads that converted well.
  • Linear: The linear model credits each channel with equal portions of the conversion value in the conversion path

  • Time decay: This is a distributed attribution model that credits a large part of the conversion value to the channels closest to the conversion, and provides less conversion value to all other channels.
  • Position-based: This is another distributed attribution model that creates a hybrid of first and last interaction.
  • Data-driven: In this attribution model, credits are given to conversions based upon how people search for your business and decide to become your customers.

Next, let’s look at how Google Attribution can help you understand your customer’s path to conversion.

Understand the “paths to conversion”

Google Attribution contributes much to helping you understand your customer’s conversion path.

Your customer’s path to conversion is composed of the sequence of interactions, touchpoints, and channels, beginning from the customer awareness stage to the final decision-making process and final sales.

Image by Ion Interactive

Here is an example of your customer’s path to conversion.

Imagine that John finds your website by clicking one of your Google Ads ads. He returns one week later by clicking over from a forum. That same day, he comes back a third time via one of your email campaigns. A few hours later, he returns again directly and makes a purchase.

Google Attribution is an essential resource for examining your website’s conversion path. It will help you know where to focus more energy to improve your conversion rate.

Start bidding smarter

Smart Bidding uses machine learning to help you optimize the “bang” you get from your marketing buck. It studies huge amounts of data and helps you make better bidding decisions for your PPC campaigns.

If data-driven attribution data is available, you can select this model as the source for bidding and reporting in Google Ads.

Why use Google Ads Smart Bidding?

Google Ads Smart Bidding provides 4 key benefits that will help you save time and improve your performance..

  • Advanced machine learning: This will  help you make more accurate bidding predictions. The Machine learning algorithm learns from your data and provides you with the best possible prediction options that will  impact your conversions.

  • A wide range of contextual signals: Smart bidding provides a wide range of bidding signals for your bidding optimization.

In this case, the signals are identifiable characteristics about a person or their context at the time of a particular auction. This includes attributes of device and location.

  • Flexible performance controls: Google Ads Smart Bidding allows you to optimize search bids for your selected attribution model and to set a device-specific performance target for desktop, mobile, and tablet.
  • Transparent performance reporting: Google Ads Smart Bidding reporting tools give you deeper insights into your bidding performance and help you to quickly troubleshoot any issue.

Attribution limitations: Make do with data you currently have

Of course, everything has limitations. Google Attribution is no different. It doesn’t do everything for everyone. One of its major drawbacks is that you need enough data for Google to start building a data-driven attribution model for you in Google Ads.

You need to have at least 15,000 clicks, and your conversion action must have at least 600 conversions tied to it within the last 30 days. Only when you have enough data will you see the data-driven attribution in Google Ads.

In spite of these limitations,  go ahead and make use of the data you have at the moment. Google is moving quickly to make the data-driven attribution model more inclusive in the future.



Google Attribution is a great tool. Marketers must embrace it and learn to use it accurately to generate the results they are looking for. It provides the data and insights every business needs to thrive in today’s marketing environment..

Google is doing everything possible to ensure that you see ROI in your Google Ads campaigns.  Best of all, this all-powerful attribution tool is completely free of charge.