Multi-Click Attribution: Is it Real?

By Tinuiti Team

Multi-click attribution is one of the biggest buzz words in the world of paid search.  Advertisers rave about the value of the first click and any sales pitch worth a grain of salt will bring up an assisted click or u-shape bidding model in the first five minutes of their pitch. But is there really value in this?

Check Your Account

Even though you can’t choose a different attribution model, AdWords does give you the data to see if you should be using one.

Under Tools dropdown select Conversions > Search Funnels > Path Length

Once you reach that point, you’ll see a breakdown similar to the one below:


I’ve worked in accounts that will have as little as 3% of their total conversions be driven by multiple clicks and in these cases it wasn’t necessary to leverage an advanced bidding model. However, an average account will have between 25% and 35% of its conversions occurring after the first click.  In these cases you can choose to either leverage a bid tool to automatically split the attribution up for you or manually mine the data and make changes yourself.

Leveraging the Data in Your Campaigns

1.)   Bid Up the Top Assisting Keyword

The “Assisted Clicks and Impressions” tab will tell you exactly what keywords have been assisting conversions.  Test bidding up your top assisting keywords and evaluating how that affects your bottom-line.  You may not see that directly see that return in AdWords, but you will see an overall boost in performance.

2.)   Re-evaluate Head Terms

Long-tail keywords will almost always drive the best returns, but capturing a user early in the search funnel and puts you in the race for their business early.  They may not always convert the first time that they click on your ad, but now they’re not only more likely to interact with your ads a second time but are also in an audience segment that you can target using remarketing and RLSA campaigns.

3.)   Choose a Model that Works for You

If you do decide to use a bid tool, you’ll have several different attribution options.  Because each account and each business model is different, there isn’t a golden model that works for all accounts.   Instead, make a decision based on what your account goals are.

If you’re focused on driving as many new clients as possible, give greater weight to the first click.  If your account is budget constrained and more conservative by nature, give greater weight to the last click.  And if you’re just not sure, try something like Kenshoo or Marin’s U-shaped bidding model that will give the greatest emphasis to the first and last clicks, splitting any in-between clicks equally.


Part of the reason that attribution is such a buzz word is that there is no universal solution.  Whether it’s determining how to split up a conversion within your paid search campaigns or amongst all of your marketing and organic efforts, it’s necessary

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