Google Announces Attribution Modeling in AdWords

By Rachael Law | @Law_Rachael | Account Analyst at Hanapin Marketing

Google has just released the Search Funnels Attribution Modeling Tool in AdWords. This tool allows you to identify campaigns, ad groups, or keywords that are assisting conversions or are a part of the conversion process. While this tool has been available in Analytics for quite some time, it’s a new feature in AdWords.

Where To Find It

You can find this by navigating to Tools and then Search Funnels. From there you can select Attribution Modeling to compare different models at the campaign, ad group, or keyword level. There are also tabs for Assist Clicks and Impressions, Assisted Conversions, and First and Last Click Analysis.

Attribution Modeling2

As a quick refresher, here is a definition of each model:

  • Last Click: credit goes to the last clicked keyword
  • First Click: credit goes to the first clicked keyword
  • Linear: credit is distributed equally among all clicks on the conversion path
  • Time decay: more credit is given to clicks that happen closer to actual conversion
  • Position-based: 40% credit is given to the first and last clicked keyword, and the remaining 20% is divided among the clicks in-between

Why It’s Helpful

While you could always access this data in analytics, it’s helpful to have it right in AdWords. The First Click attribution model is useful so that you don’t cut out or reduce bids on keywords that are aiding the conversion process but aren’t the last clicked keyword. If you find that users are visiting your page more than once via PPC ads before converting, you might change your ad copy strategy or adjust your bidding strategy.

keyword attribution
Some keywords have a greater impact as a first click or a last click.

AdWords makes it fairly simple to do this with the Model Comparison Tool and the Top Paths feature, which allows you to see all of the converting keywords in order of when they were clicked. I have also found the Query Path (within Top Paths) to be interesting to look at, as it gives you some insight as to how and when customers are searching for your products/services and clicking on your ads.

It is important to note however, that looking at this information in AdWords doesn’t quite give you the whole story. It might be worthwhile to still use Analytics to get a better understanding of all traffic sources coming to your site and how users are interacting with your site. I find that it’s helpful to look at both attribution modeling and top conversion paths in Analytics for both AdWords traffic and all other traffic.

This change isn’t an earth shattering one, but it is nice to see more Analytics features being implemented into the AdWords interface. This kind of information is helpful when making optimizations and getting an overall picture of your account and how your keywords and campaigns are interacting with each other.

What other features from Analytics would you like to see in AdWords?