This video provides an overview of the attribution model. It looks at simple attribution models inside of Google Analytics vs. preparing complex attribution with Excel.
- A lot of online marketing revolves around encouraging a direct response from a prospective customer. We'll show them an advertisement, a tweet, or a special offer via email, and measure success based on the click, and subsequent conversion. This is what is referred to as last-click attribution. The entire value of the customer's conversion is placed on the marketing channel or campaign that delivered the customer. Last-click attribution is easy to measure because it involves a very clear process the user takes. However, this is a really flawed method.
We know that customers take a much larger journey. They might see an email, then read through a few brand tweets, check reviews online, and compare prices prior to purchasing. Add offline influences and second-screen interactions on mobile or tablet devices, and you can see how attributing all the value to a single source isn't going to cover it. So what do we do from here? Truthfully, it's an iterative process unique to each brand, so you start with your last-click wins, and then apply some weight to your other attributions, your view-through conversions.
A view-through can be measured when an advertising platform places a cookie when a user receives your ad impression. Now if they don't click, but later come to your site and buy your product, then it'll be tracked as a view-through, but not all ad impressions are single handedly delivering sales. Again there might be social media or search playing a role as well, but applying some weight to view-through conversions will help balance the attribution model even further. With your paid advertising, you might adjust the view-through conversion by reducing the window of time that you'll accept a sale as being attributed to an ad impression.
Some brands might be willing to accept the idea that a 30 day window is reasonable, while others might prefer a much shorter time period. Be sure to review your cookie durations with any paid advertising that you're conducting. As with most everything in marketing, the idea is test, optimize, and test again. You might notice patterns emerge where you're taking a loss on your search marketing. That is to say, your cost per acquisition on a last-click attribution is higher than anticipated. But if you stop your search marketing, you could see that your display advertising suffers significantly.
This might suggest people see your banner ad, search for your brand, and click on your paid result. If your banner advertisement was relatively inexpensive, your attribution model might allow you to share some of the costs, making both campaigns pencil out in the green. You can boil attribution models down into a wholesome model, or a fractional model. So in a wholesome approach, you'll give all the credit to last-click or first-click. In a fractional model, you'll spread that attribution out, and give credit to certain channels that might only be assisting on the final decision.
There are many ways to build out your attribution models. You can track the metrics individually in Excel, and make comparisons between each channel. There are also third-party attribution tools, or if you're using Google Premium, you can modify your attribution on the fly. Now if you're not on Premium, you can still get a good idea of various attribute models by using multi-channel funnels. Let's take a closer look at that process. You'll get to your multi-channel funnels by logging into your Google Analytics account. Now I've already logged in, and I've gone ahead and pulled up a different view that contains some data.
To find those multi-channel funnels, you'll select Conversions from the left-hand side, Multi-Channel Funnels, and then Top Conversion Paths. What you'll see as you scroll down in this section is the path a user took to convert. You might see some interesting results. Here we can see that the number one source of conversions is someone visiting directly twice, followed by someone receiving a referral, and then coming to the site direct. Direct three times, and then someone doing an organic search, and then arriving at the site directly.
You can scroll through all of these conversion paths to get a sense of what channels are helping out, and to go a step further, you can look at the Assisted Conversions view here on the left-hand side. This will show you which channels are assisting in the conversion, not the actual last-click attribution, but the assist. So here on number six, we can see that Social Networks have provided 95 assisted conversions. If I drill into Social Network, we can see which social networks assisted the most. In this case, YouTube seems to be the best referring social network for assisting with these conversions.
This way you can start seeing which channels are actually bringing in the most revenue, and drive your efforts in that direction, or you can identify which channels aren't driving a lot of value, and see if you can work on those channels to increase their value. It's important to understand how you're attributing your sales, so don't pull the plug too early on various marketing efforts. Instead, use this data to see if you can identify why or why not various sources are working. Now your model might change, so continue to keep tabs on this data, and look to see if any patterns emerge.
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- What is online marketing?
- What makes a website effective?
- Working with a designer or developer
- Creating engaging web copy
- Understanding online analytics
- Using goal and event tracking
- Exploring the conversion funnel
- Defining key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Understanding SEO techniques
- Conducting keyword research
- Creating a content strategy
- Leveraging local SEO
- Understanding who's on social media
- Marketing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
- Creating compelling video marketing campaigns
- Building an email marketing plan
- Measuring the success of your marketing efforts
- Setting up a blog
- Running A/B marketing tests
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 03/08/2016. What changed?
A: We updated six movies to keep current with the latest interfaces in Google Tag Manager, Google Keyword Planner, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Brad also added one new tutorial on setting up a blog.
Q. This course was updated 03/21/2017. What changed?
A. The following topics were updated: installing Google Tag Manager, using goal tracking, looking at a conversion funnel, looking at attribution models, leveraging local SEO, introduction to search and display, launching display search ads, and deciding to use remarketing.