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Attribution is the act of assigning credit for your business outcomes to the marketing that led to those outcomes. So for example, if you run several ads and one of them leads to a transaction on your website, your Google Ads attribution will help you to find out which ad it was.
Traffic to your website is made up of real people, and those people don’t always behave in a way that makes your attribution easy to understand. Sometimes people come back to your website multiple times through different ads and different platforms (both paid and free) while they are in the process of purchasing or researching your offer.
To help assign value to different marketing, there are different attribution models that you can choose from in Google Ads. An attribution model sets the rules that determine how much credit each of your campaigns, ads etc should get. By default, Google Ads and Google Analytics uses the “last click” attribution model. This model gives 100% credit to the last thing that your user clicked on prior to converting on your website.
This model is helpful for tracking simple conversions like phone calls, but for more considered conversions where a user conducts initial research and then returns to buy, a model should be selected that takes into account earlier interactions. I like to use linear conversion model, and I also like to see revenue or conversions from “all users who ever came from Google Ads” – this is done by applying segments in Google Analytics or in a custom dashboard.
In addition to an attribution model, you need to set a timeframe in which Google Ads may credit the advertising as counting towards an attribution. I would typically set 30 days for a complex conversion and 7 days for a simple one like a phone call. If user clicks on an ad and then comes back to the website directly after the time has elapsed then no conversion will be recorded in Google Ads.
This tip and many others are found at https://www.petramanos.com/category/tips/