Attribution – Credit Where It’s Due

In football, there’s a common view that strikers tend to be a bit on the selfish side…keen to take as much glory and credit as they can.

No comment from me… but I will say that it’s important to recognise the contribution of the whole team, even when it comes to creating the goals that the striker eventually scores.

If you gave all the credit to the player who put the ball into the net, you’d have a pretty lopsided view of the value of your team, and all the players in it.


Which brings us (as smoothly as me on an ice rink last week) to attribution modelling in PPC.

A lot of people put a ‘too complicated’ block on this, but it’s simpler than it seems. It’s just a decision about sharing credit around your team (keywords and ads) according to how they contribute towards your score (conversions).

There are rumours that Google is considering pulling the plug on ‘last click’ attribution – the current default setting – and that’s no bad thing, because ‘last click’ is the misleading ‘all-credit-to-the-striker’ model…But I recommend getting a head start on this.If you’re still using last click (which you are if you haven’t changed it…)

  • Head over to Tools > Conversions
    • Click into your main conversion, select Attribution Model and choose either…

first click – if you want to be expansive and aggressive (all credit to the keyword that first brought the eventual converter to your site).

or position based – to be more conservative, and split credit between the first click (user first finds you) and last click (user eventually buys) with a sprinkling of recognition for all the keywords used in-between.

This one, simple setting change will give you a clearer picture of what’s driving your conversions… and better information to use for optimising your campaigns.

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