Search Advertising assessment study guide
About attribution reports
Once you've set up conversion tracking, you'll have access to a handy set of reports about your conversions (those important actions your customers take on your website, such as a purchase or email signup).
Attribution reports show you the paths customers take to complete a conversion, and attribute the conversion to different ads, clicks, and factors along the way.
Attribution reports can give you detailed information about the paths that lead people to conversions for your business. You can see whether certain keywords assisted conversions that eventually happened through other keywords. This gives you a better sense of your potential customers' conversion paths than just looking at the last-clicked keyword.
We'll tell you where to find Attribution reports and what they can tell you below.
If you manage multiple Google Ads accounts with a manager account (MCC), you can use cross-account conversion tracking. If you are using cross-account conversion tracking, use the Attribution reports in the manager account (MCC). You'll then be able to see customers' conversion paths across multiple Google Ads accounts in your Attribution reports.
Attribution reports are only available for Search Network ads, and are not available for app and in-store conversions. Only the "Cross-Device Activity" reports include cross-device conversions..
About the reports
Attribution reports help you understand different aspects of your conversions data.
To find attribution reports:
- In the previous AdWords experience, select Tools, then Attribution.
- In the new Google Ads experience, click the tools icon in the upper right. Under “Measurement,” select Search attribution.
The “Attribution overview” report
The overview report gives you a high-level view of your conversion paths. It tells you not just how many conversions you received, but also on average how many days, ad clicks, and ad impressions it took users to convert. This provides valuable insight into the length of your conversion paths.
On the “Overview” page, you can use the history window to look back on conversions that have occurred within the last 30, 60, or 90 days. This functionality is different from the conversion window setting, which is used to determine when a click is recorded as a conversion.
The “Conversions” reports
If you have multiple conversion actions defined, the Top Conversions report tells you how many conversions you received for each conversion action.
The Assisted Conversions report show the number of conversions your advertising assisted.
Often, the last click before a conversion gets all the credit. But along the way, other clicks and impressions might have guided your customers toward that conversion. Two numbers can help you see that fuller picture:
- Click-assisted conversions: All the conversions assisted by clicks—except for the last click—for each keyword.
- Impression-assisted conversions: Conversions that were assisted by impressions before the last click. This report lets you see how many conversions each keyword, ad group, or campaign assisted with an impression.
This report is a great resource to quickly identify which keywords are helping to drive the most conversions. You may find that some keywords are the last click for very few conversions, but actually assisted many conversions. In those instances you may choose to test increasing investment for these keywords to see whether you can drive more conversions for your business.
The “Cross-Device Activity” reports
The Devices, Assisting Devices, and Device Paths reports show you not only when customers interact with multiple ads before completing a conversion, but also when they do so on multiple devices. This gives you valuable insight into how your customers use different devices on their path to conversion. For more information, see About cross-device attribution.
The “Paths” reports
Top Paths shows you the most common paths your customers take to complete a conversion. It provides this information based on the ads that were shown or clicked, or both, before a conversion took place. Within this report, you can see more specific reports by selecting options from the dropdown menu.
- Ad Group Path (Clicks), Campaign Path (Clicks), and Keyword Path (Clicks) show the sequence of clicks customers made before completing a conversion, and how frequently that sequence happened.
- Ad Group Path (Impressions), Campaign Path (Impressions), and Keyword Path (Impressions) show the sequence of impressions customers saw before they completed a conversion. To protect people's privacy, this report is cut off at a frequency of 10 or fewer conversions.
- Transition Path reports (for clicks and impressions, and at the keyword, ad group, and campaign levels) also show paths, but collapse any keywords that were repeated along the way. This is useful for seeing conversion paths that consist of different keywords, and how customers move between keywords.
Path Length gives you a high-level look at the steps your customers take or pages they look at on their way to completing a conversion.
You can use the Path Length report to look at clicks. For example, if you see that most of your conversions happen after multiple clicks, there might be some opportunities to refine your keywords and ads. Keep in mind, this report only reflects the keywords and ads in your account, so if these paths of clicks seem shorter than you might expect, that's why.
You can also use the Path Length report to look at impressions. For example, you can see whether most conversions happen after the customer searches multiple times or the first time he or she sees your ad.
Time Lag tells you how much time it takes for a customer to complete a conversion after the following:
- The first impression of a Search Network ad
- Their first click on your website
- Their last click on your website
The “Click Analysis” reports
First Click Analysis is a good way to find what keywords introduce customers to your site, while Last Click Analysis helps you see what completed the conversion. Think of these as different salespeople in a department store: one salesperson might be the person who first spoke to the customer, while another salesperson closed the deal.
The Attribution Modeling report
An attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for conversions is assigned to steps on conversion paths. You can learn more about the attribution modeling report and how to use attribution models in About attribution models.
Overall, there's a lot of great data and information to glean from your Google Ads account. Because it might take some time to remember all of it, use the list below as a cheat sheet on the terms we've mentioned here.
- Ad clicks per conversion: The total number of ad clicks on conversion paths divided by the number of conversions.
- Ad impressions per conversion: The total number of ad impressions on conversion paths divided by the number of conversions.
- Assisted conversions: The number of conversions that were assisted by a particular campaign, ad group, or keyword. Assisted conversions don't include last click conversions.
- Attribution: Assigning value to the different interactions on a customer’s conversion path.
- Last clicks: Any search ad click that happened just before a conversion.
- Last click conversions: The number of conversions that had a particular campaign, ad group, or keyword as the immediately preceding search ad click.
- Path length (impressions): The total number of search ad impressions that preceded a conversion. These could've been clicked or not clicked.
- Path length (clicks): The total number of search ad clicks, including the "last click," that preceded a conversion.
- Time lag (from first impression): The total amount of time from when the viewer first sees one of your search ads (clicked or un-clicked) until conversion.
- Time lag (from first click): The total amount of time from when the user first clicks on one of your search ads until conversion.
- Time lag (from last click): The total amount of time from when the "last click" happened, until conversion. There can be significant lag from last click, as Google Ads will count a conversion happening after the last click within your conversion window.
- Top paths (clicks): Describes the sequence of search ad clicks leading up to conversion. Can be at the keyword, ad group, and campaign level.
- Top paths (impressions): Describes the sequence of search ad impressions leading up to conversion. Can be at the keyword, ad group, and campaign level.
- Top paths (clicks, transition only): Collapses consecutive "repeat clicks" on a conversion path.
- Top paths (impressions, transition only): Collapses consecutive "repeat impressions" on a conversion path.
The new Google Ads experience is now the exclusive way for most users to manage their accounts. If you’re still using the previous AdWords experience, choose Previous below. Learn more
How to find your attribution reports
- Click the Tools tab in your AdWords account, and select Attribution.
- You'll now see a series of reports that you can click on to learn more about your clicks and conversions.
How to add attribution data to tables on your Campaigns tab
Show me how
- On the Campaigns tab, click the Columns button and select Modify columns.
There, you'll see data that you can add to your data table. Select the data you'd like to include.