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What Are Conversion Attribution Models & How To Get The Most From Them?

Good morning, afternoon or evening (depending on what time you are reading this and where in the world you currently are), welcome back to the Digital Marketing dojo, a place where you can develop your skills in search of the coveted Digital Marketing black belt.

This week we are focusing on the Conversion Attribution Models in Google Ads (aka Google AdWords to all you old school purists out there), a nifty feature to help you understand how much credit each click gets for a conversion during the conversion path.

Each option offers something unique, providing you with a different angle for your data analysis to determine the best and worse performing areas of your account.

What Is A Conversion Attribution Model?

On a users journey to converting on your website, they may do multiple Google searches and interact with multiple adverts before they convert. Attribution Models allow you to choose how much credit each advert interaction receives for the conversion.

Using the right Attribution Model can you help you gain a much better understanding of how your ads and keywords perform, helping you to optimise in a more efficient way.

It is worth noting that Attribution Models are only available for clicks on the Google Search Network and Shopping adverts on, meaning that they don't cover ad interactions outside these networks.

Benefits Of Using The Right Conversion Attribution Model

Most Google Ads account managers will work from the Last Click basis to measure the successes of their online advertising efforts. This will give 100% of the conversion credit to the advert and keyword that was clicked on last by the user prior to them converting. This means that any other keyword or advert that was part of the user's journey to converting has been ignored and are not given any credits as a result.

There is nothing essentially wrong with this, but wouldn't you want to gain more control over how much credit each advertising interaction received for each conversion? By doing so you could:

  • Reach & engage with customers earlier in the purchase cycle, by finding new opportunities to engage with customers earlier on their conversion path.

  • Use an Attribution Model that works better for your business, allowing you to see how people search for what you offer.

  • Optimise your bids at a much more accurate level, building upon visibility in the right places while reducing any overspending for poor-performing adverts and keywords.

Choosing The Right Conversion Attribution Model For You

Now that we have covered how Attribution Models can help you understand the performance of your keywords and adverts in Google Ads, it is time to break down what each available Attribution Model can do for.

  • Last Click (default) - Gives all credit for the conversion to the last-clicked keyword. This is the most conservative option for growth.

  • First Click - Gives all credit for the conversion to the first clicked keyword. This is the most growth-orientated strategy.

  • Liner - Distributes the credit for the conversion equally across all the clicks on the path. This is a moderate strategy for growth.

  • Time Decay - Gives more credit to the clicks that happened closer in time to the conversion. This is the most conservative strategy.

  • Position Based - Gives 40% of the conversion credit to both the first and last clicked keywords in the conversion path, with the remaining 20% of the credit spread across the other clicks on the path. This is a moderate growth-orientated strategy.

  • Data-Driven - Gives credit to the clicked keywords based on how imperative they were in the conversion process. (Note that this option is only available when enough data is generated on the account).

The approach that you choose is going to alter how you view your customer's path to purchase which will change how you optimise your Google Ads account. Remember that attribution is all about putting your accounts keyword performance into the proper perspective, where previous performance using the pre-existing last-click models could be very different to what you see after switching to a new Conversion Attribution Model.

How To Change Your Conversion Attribution Model In Google Ads

Changing your Attribution Model is super simple. Just follow these steps and you will have them updated in no time:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account

  2. In the top right corner of your account, click on the TOOLS icon (looks like a spanner).

  3. Now select Conversions from the Measurement column.

  4. Select the conversion action that you wish to update the Conversion Attribution Model by clicking on its name (in blue).

  5. Click on Edit Settings and then click on the small drop-down arrow of the Attribution Model option.

  6. Select the Attribution Model that you wish to use, then click Save and then Done.

Put It Into Action

So there you have it, Conversion Attribution Models can now be ticked off the list of things you should be doing to get the most out of your Google Ads accounts 🔥

I would love to know how you get on with this, and how using these helped you gain a better understanding of your customer's conversion path so feel free to drop me a message about it at

Ciao for now,




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