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Alternative Attribution Models You Should Consider

3 min read

Back to Insight

3 min read

Alternative Attribution Models You Should Consider

Author: Cam
Posted in Paid Media on 25th March 2020 12:00 am


A lack of conversions on your PPC campaigns can often be frustrating, but this does not necessarily mean that you are not getting results. Think back to how often you have clicked on an ad and instantly made a purchase? Most likely very rarely. Therefore, it is important to stop relying on the last-click attribution model on Google Ads to define the success of campaigns. 

Unless a customer has strong brand loyalty, they are most likely going to conduct more than one search, on more than one device, before committing to a purchase. The last-click attribution model is the default model that is set-up in Google ads, which provides all credit for the conversion to the last clicked ad and corresponding keyword. However, adopting this model does not value various touch-points that guide the user to the final attribution that completes the conversion, which can be important when measuring the success of your marketing campaigns.

Google Ads, therefore, provides a number of built-in models to help you decide which is best for your campaigns. 



Fairly self-explanatory, this alternative model allocates all credit for the conversion to the first clicked ad and corresponding keyword. This method can be helpful for brands who are looking to build brand awareness, as you may need to provide the credit to the first interaction with your brand, which initiated the conversion process to better understand how your customers are finding you.

Time Decay Model

The Time Decay model gives more credit to the ad that happened closer to the time of the conversion. Credit is distributed using a 7-day half-life, essentially meaning that a click eight days before a conversion gets half as much credit as a click one day before a conversion. Often favoured by time-sensitive promotional campaigns, this method allocates more credit to the clicks that occurred closest to the conversion, which helps further understand buying behaviours of your customers and the effectiveness of each stage of your marketing funnel.


With a Linear distribution model, this method allocates the credit for the conversion equally across all clicks on the path. For example, a customer journey of Paid Search, Facebook, Email, and then Direct – each channel shares equal credit (25% each) for the conversion. This is often preferred where each interaction with your customers is equally important for your conversions. However, as this model provides an even playing field, it does undervalue key touchpoints, and can make it tough to attribute value to your best performing campaigns


A more uncommon model of position-based attribution, allocates 40% of the credit to both the first- and last-clicked ads and corresponding keyword, with the remaining 20% spread out across the other clicks on the path. This attribution model will tell you which marketing channels are best for acquiring an audience and which are best for converting that audience, allowing you to optimise keywords/campaigns around your most pivotal touchpoints.


Identifying the correct attribution model is always an important factor when planning for a new campaign or client. If you are needing help with your PPC, as a PPC management agency in Manchester, our team of Google Ads Certified experts are happy to help, we’d love to hear from you.

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