Importance of Google Analytics Attribution Models For Your Business Success

9 October 2019 7 min Read

Marketers often find themselves confused while choosing an attribution model for Google Analytics. That is primarily because attribution models can be highly varied. There is no “one true model” suitable for all businesses and campaigns. While you might be scratching your head at this information, it is a good thing! Google Analytics lays a lot of weight on customization and attribution models are no different. The ideal attribution model for your business will depend upon the needs of your marketing campaign and advertising objectives.

Choosing an attribution model for Google Analytics will be one of the most important things you do in the recent future of your business. It will most definitely affect the valuation of your marketing channels, conversion volume, and conversion value. These three parameters vary considerably between the different models. The First Touch Attribution Model credits the initial marketing channels for all conversions.

The First Touch Attribution Model

This is especially recommended for those who value their brand building above all other factors. Therefore, this model is ideal for the new players in the market, who need to establish a brand identity and thwart their contemporary competitors. New brands in the market may need to credit their conversion initiation interactions that contribute to the ROI.

Last Touch Attribution Model

Fast moving consumer goods or FMCG retailers and vendors like Tesco prefer the last touch attribution model of Google Analytics. These products do not demand the same levels of customer service. You do not need to credit the initiating interactions and the middle phase interactions in the conversion path. In such cases, the Last Touch Attribution Model is ideal for your business.

Linear Attribution Model

The necessities of customer-oriented businesses are a little different from the other business models including FMCG. In case of businesses and services that directly interact with customers more than once during a sales path, the linear attribution model is very necessary. This is also true for the customer support services of leading businesses and brands. The linear model is ideal when every customer service is equally important for conversions.

Position Based Attribution Model

As per the position-based attribution model, the first and the last interactions get 40% credit respectively. The leftover 20% credit goes to the middle interactions of the conversion path. As per this attribution model of Google Analytics, Direct channels and Paid Search channels would get a total of 80% of the credit, and the remaining 20% would automatically go to email marketing channels and social media marketing efforts. Brands that value the touchpoints that have introduced the customers to the brands over the collection of touchpoints that have driven the sales should always go for the position-based attribution model of Google Analytics.

The Time Decay Attribution Model

This one is unique as it gives the most % of the credit to the interactions closest to the sales or conversion in time. In case of the average sales model, email marketing, and direct channels get the most percent of the credit. The least fraction of credit goes to paid search channels since paid searches tend to occur earlier in the path. The middle touchpoints including social network and social marketing get mediocre credits. This is perfect for the one or two-day marketing and promotion models. As a result, all interactions that have occurred before one week or so are quite irrelevant.

Last AdWords Click Attribution Model

The most recent AdWords advertisement the customer has clicked before buying a product or service gets the maximum credit as per the last AdWords click attribution model. This attribution model proves most successful in determining which AdWords advertisements are performing the best as per the paid advertisement models.

Last Non-Direct Click Attribution Model

Google Analytics pampers the users with a plethora of attribution model options. The Last Non-Direct Click Attribution Model is ideal for non-multichannel funnel reports. In case you want to focus on the last proper marketing activity and filter out any direct traffic to your website from other channels, then the last non-direct attribution model is perfect for your company.

Which One Works Best For You?

Google Analytics provides each company and brand manager with the model comparison tool. This tool enables you to select an attribution model and check the number of conversions or the individual conversion value for each channel. You can do this for as many numbers of models as you need individually, but the model comparison tools allow the selection of three models at a time. Your choice of model should always reflect the effectiveness of your marketing channels and your business models. The model brings forth the chance to conduct multiple tests, quite similar to the A/B tests you must have already performed while deciding on the efficacy of available marketing platforms and promotional campaigns. Nonetheless, all of these models can become moot in case you do not have the proper marketing and sales data. The right numbers have more importance in the world of analytics than you can imagine. You can find out all about the proper collection, maintenance, and updating of marketing databases at

The Custom Attribution Model That Fits All Your Needs

Google Analytics offers seven default analytics attribution models, but at the same time, they also understand the increasing need for personalization and customization a business can face while optimizing an attribution model.

Therefore, you will always find the options to build your custom attribution model. Any user can create up to 10 different attribution models for one view. In fact, here are the ABCs of creating a custom attribution model for your business.

  1. Go to the model drop-down selector. Choose the Create New Custom Model option.
  2. Name your new custom model.
  3. Go to Baseline Model drop-down menu for selecting the default model that you want to utilize as your starting point of the custom attribution model for Google Analytics. (The baseline model will define the credit distribution of your custom model.)
  4. Choose from among the linear, last interaction, first interaction, position based and time decay models.
  5. You can always set the Lookback Window ON. This will set the view for between 1 and 90 days, as per your preference.
  6. You can also adjust credit based on user engagement to ON for distribution of the credit on the leading engagement metrics.
  7. Apply custom credit rules is another optional choice you can set ON to define the various conditions that can identify the touchpoints of the path. (You can choose the characteristics are first, last, assist and middle. You can also pick the traffic source type depending on your keyword and other campaign preferences.)
  8. Next, all you have to do is Save and Apply these customizations to enable your custom attribution model.

All the rules for creating a new custom attribution model for Google Analytics aim to specify relative credit distribution among the different touch points and the engagement metrics involved in your marketing campaign or sales path.

How to Share Your Custom Attribution Model?

Google Analytics also supports the sharing of the custom attribution model you have just created. You need to finish only a few steps to share the model with others in your team.

  • Check out the Solutions Gallery for easy sharing options. Go back to the Model Comparison Tool and select the Custom Models section of the drop-down selector.
  • You need to specify the sharing type – share in solutions gallery or share template link.
  • Next, click on the share option to share the template or the custom attribution model with others.

You must note that the data of your custom model remains private when you share the template, Google Analytics cares about your marketing data. When you hit Share, only the configuration information goes through. There are ways to share multiple models at the same time, complete with their data. The Assets from Google Analytics allow complete sharing of Custom Channel Groupings, Custom Attribution Models, the Reports of Custom Attribution models and Custom segments with just a few clicks.

Wrapping Things Up

The advanced attribution models from Google Analytics and their high amicability for customization, eliminate the requirement of costly marketing companies for the smaller enterprises, start-ups, and micro-enterprises. Companies can now run an analysis of their marketing campaigns and promotional offers without outsourcing them to costly marketing groups. They can successfully tell you and the marketing team, how the credit for your company’s sales and conversions needs distribution. The presence of the comparison tool further enhances the user experience, by allowing the Google Analytics users to compare and contrast the properties of each default attribution model. You can check out the credit distribution as per the seven default attribution models of Google Analytics. In fact, you can also compare the default models with the ones you have created for your brand exclusively. Most importantly, you can share the custom model with your peers and higher authority to ensure that each one can analyze their performance and the collective performance of the team for the duration of the last marketing gig.

The Author

Trudy Seeger is an RDBMS analyst. He has changed the way smaller businesses perceive SQL and NoSQL DBMS. His work with is unique and rewarding in the development of remote assistance programs for corporate database management.