Google Data-Driven Attribution: A Quick Guide

By Tinuiti Team

Tracking user behaviors that lead to conversions is vital to online advertising success. Google Data-Driven Attribution (DDA) is a unique advertiser-specific attribution model that is only available for AdWords search ads, and for website and Google Analytics Search Network conversion actions. 

DDA allows you to appropriately identify which ads drive conversions so you can optimize your investment moving forward. The following are some additional insights on the Data-Driven Attribution model.

Google Data-Driven Attribution Overview

Traditionally, AdWords and most other major ad platforms deliver conversion data based on a last-click model. Thus, the only conversion details advertisers knew about their campaigns were the last ad that a user clicked on before making a purchase. 

While this information is useful, it is limiting. DDA allows you to choose how much credit each click gets in contributing to a conversion. Advertisers get more insight into how other ads contributed to the path that led a user to a purchase, which provides a better capacity to measure AdWords performance and optimize campaigns.

How DDA Works

DDA utilizes your account data to calculate which campaigns, keywords, and ads have the greatest effect on your conversion goals by using an algorithm to assign conversion credit to marketing touch-points. It takes into consideration the paths of customers who convert versus those who don’t, and it determines the actual contribution of a search click for each conversion path.

Eligibility Requirements

Not all advertisers are eligible to implement the DDA model on their accounts. The following are key data requirements:

Additionally, after you start using DDA, you must maintain 10,000 clicks for the account or 400 conversions for a conversion action within 30 days (in order to avoid being switched to a linear attribution model).

Potential Impact of DDA Compared to Your Existing Attribution Model 

Relative to your existing AdWords attribution model, DDA allows for broader insights into how your ad campaigns and conversion data align with your search marketing and business objectives. These insights enable more optimized ad investments. You will likely learn that some of the ads that you didn't realize were contributing to successful conversion journeys may positively influence your conversions, revenue and profits.

Non-branded and prospecting campaign types, for instance, are more likely to get proper credit for their roles in contributing to your bottom-line business performance. These crucial touch points are overlooked in traditional attribution models.

More accurate cost-per-conversion allocations, device-based performance variance and maximized conversions from DDA bidding information are other likely outcomes of DDA implementation.

How DDA May Impact and Attribute Your AdWords Performance 

To fully understand the impact of DDA and AdWords performance attributions, review your Attribution Modeling Report in AdWords. Your search account manager is a big help in pulling this report and helping you interpret the results to make the best strategic decisions for your campaigns.

Testing DDA

You don't have to fully commit to DDA to gain first-hand exposure to its value. The next step is to update your attribution model in your AdWords settings to DDA. 

Again, your account manager can help you set up a test with the Data-Driven Attribution Model. To change your settings in AdWords, got to "Tools > Conversions." Then, select the conversion action and click "Edit Settings > Attribution Model." Finally, choose "Data-Driven Attribution." Click "Done" and "Save!"

The advantages of the AdWords Data-Driven Attribution Model are very compelling. And, with the ability to test DDA for comparison to your existing attribution model, there is limited risk in trying it out. For more insights, read Reach and Retain: Top 10 Performance Display Tips!

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