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Attribution for Google Ads conversion upload

4 Minutes Reading time
Two different attribution methods Attribution in etracker analytics Attribution in Google Ads Spoilt for choice

by Katrin Nebermann

Marketers can use etracker analytics to efficiently manage their Google Ads campaigns and automatically synchronize conversions with Google Ads. This allows the success of the ads to be analyzed directly in Google Ads and automatic bid optimization to be used. You can choose between these attribution methods for the conversion upload:

  • Attribution in etracker analytics (external attribution model)
  • Attribution in Google Ads

Prerequisite: An etracker analytics Pro or Enterprise license to be able to use the conversion upload.

Two different attribution methods

Attribution models can be used to determine how ads and organic sources contribute to conversions. The different models differ in how high the proportion is that is allocated to each contact on the path to conversion. Assignment presupposes that journeys can be measured accurately, which is very limited in view of the consent requirement for analytical cookies and the browser protection measures of Apple & Co. Data quality is therefore crucial for effective campaign management.

Sufficient data quality can be established both for attribution in etracker analytics and in Google Ads, because

  • With etracker analytics, all campaign and website interactions and conversions can be tracked independently of the user’s consent and
  • with Google Ads all Google Ads advertising interactions

be measured.

So there are two types of customer journeys:

  1. Comprehensive customer journey: The contacts from the respective click across all sources that led to a visit to the website and a conversion (measured with etracker Analytics).
  2. Platform-specific customer journey: The advertising playouts and interactions in the Google universe (measured in Google Ads) and the website conversions (measured with etracker Analytics).

The overarching customer journey enables a precise allocation of success in comparison and interaction with other channels and measures. The platform-specific customer journey is less about the value contribution of ads and keywords and more about the optimal display of ads, i.e. the question of when and how often ads should be displayed.

These are therefore two fundamentally different methods of optimizing Google Ads bids.

Attribution in etracker analytics

The following attribution models are available for attribution in etracker Analytics:

  • Last Ad (last click): The conversion is only assigned to the last non-direct contact (unless only type-ins were measured).
  • First Ad (first click): The conversion is only assigned to the first non-direct contact (unless only type-ins were measured).
  • Linear (equal distribution): The conversion is distributed evenly across all non-direct contacts in the path (unless only type-ins were measured).
  • position (“bathtub model”): 40% of the conversion is allocated to the first contact and 40% to the last contact. The remaining 20% is distributed among the other contacts in the journey. Type-ins are only taken into account if no non-direct contacts were measured.

With the last ad and first ad model, conversions are only assigned to Google Ads campaigns if they are clicked at the appropriate points in the journeys on the way to conversion.

Attention! If one of the four models above is selected in the settings in etracker Analytics for the conversion upload, the attribution option Use external attribution model must be selected when configuring conversions in Google Ads.

Attribution in Google Ads

When it comes to attribution in Google Ads, only the data-driven attribution model can be used in conjunction with etracker Analytics.

Fig.: Attribution setting when configuring conversions via external data sources in Google Ads.

The data-driven attribution model works by analyzing all available data from the Google Ads account, such as clicks, impressions, conversions, device types, browsers, locations and time of day. It then uses a statistical algorithm to find patterns and trends in how visitors convert after viewing and interacting with the ads. Based on these patterns, the model calculates the probability that an ad insertion will lead to a conversion.

To be eligible for this model, websites must have at least 3,000 Google Ad clicks and 600 resulting conversions within 30 days.

Attention! The data-driven attribution model must be selected both when configuring conversions in Google Ads and in the conversion upload settings in etracker Analytics. The conversions are attributed in etracker Analytics according to the last ad model and transmitted appropriately without distribution model assignment.

Spoilt for choice

one method or another generally leads to better campaign performance. For smaller customers, the data-driven model will not be an option simply because of the amount of data required and therefore the high Google Ads budget. Otherwise, factors such as the marketing mix and the targeting of Google Ads are likely to play a role. Attribution in Google Ads ignores other marketing channels that can contribute to the conversion path. On the other hand, attribution in etracker Analytics cannot take into account possible ad views without a click.

Regardless of the attribution method selected, marketers benefit from the best data quality for managing their Google Ads campaigns thanks to etracker analytics:

  • Consent-free measurement of conversions without consent-related data loss and data distortions,
  • Measurement of all visits and conversions despite ad blockers when tracking via a separate domain and
  • automatic upload of the measured conversions to Google Ads.
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