About data-driven attribution

Before making a purchase or completing another valuable action on your website, people may do several searches and click several of your ads. Typically, all credit for the conversion is given to the last ad customers clicked. But was it really that ad that made them decide to choose your business?

Data-driven attribution gives credit for conversions based on how people search for your business and decide to become your customers. It uses data from your account to determine which ads, keywords and campaigns have the greatest impact on your business goals. You can use data-driven attribution for website and Google Analytics conversions from Search Network campaigns. 

This article explains data-driven attribution, including the requirements for using it. To learn more about attribution models in general, or to learn how to select an attribution model for your conversion actions, read About attribution models.

Benefits

  • Learn which keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns play the biggest role in helping you reach your business goals.
  • Optimise your bidding based on real data for your account.
  • Choose the right attribution model for your business, without guesswork.

How it works

Data-driven attribution is different from the other attribution models in that it uses your conversion data to calculate the actual contribution of each ad interaction across the conversion path. Each 'data-driven' model is specific to each advertiser.

Data-driven attribution looks at all the clicks on your Search Network ads. By comparing the paths of customers who convert to the paths of customers who don't, the model identifies patterns among those ad interactions that lead to conversions. There may be certain steps along the way that have a higher probability of leading a customer to complete a conversion. The model then gives more credit to those valuable ad interactions on the customer's path.

This means that when you're evaluating conversion data, you'll see which ads have the greatest effect on your business goals. And, if you use an automated bid strategy to drive more conversions, your bidding will use this important information to help you get more conversions.

Example

You own a tour company in Melbourne, and you use conversion tracking to track when customers purchase tickets on your website. In particular, you have one conversion action to track purchases of a bike tour in St Kilda. Customers often click a few of your ads before deciding to purchase a ticket.

Your 'data-driven' attribution model finds that customers who click your 'Bike tour Melbourne' ad first and then later click 'Bike tour St Kilda waterfront' are more likely to purchase a ticket than users who only click on 'Bike tour St Kilda waterfront'. So the model redistributes credit in favour of the 'Bike tour Melbourne' ad and its associated keywords, ad groups and campaigns.

Now, when you look at your reports, you have more complete information about which ads are most valuable to your business.

Like other non-last click attribution models, the 'data-driven' model is only available for google.com.au search ads and only for website and Google Analytics conversion actions. 

Data requirements

Data-driven attribution requires a certain amount of data to create a precise model for how your conversions should be attributed. Because of this, not all advertisers will see the 'data-driven' model.  As a general guideline, for this model to be available, you must have at least 15,000 clicks on Google Search and a conversion action must have at least 600 conversions within 30 days. We can start preparing a 'data-driven' model from the moment you receive the minimum necessary attribution data. Once we have collected sufficient data for the model for 30 consecutive days, you'll see the data in Google Ads. If you don't have enough data, you won't see an option to use data-driven attribution.

Because eligibility for data-driven attribution is determined by the data for each conversion action, you may see data-driven attribution for some of your website and Google Analytics conversion actions, and not for others.

Once you're using data-driven attribution, you won't be able to continue using this model if your data drops below 10,000 clicks on Google Search, or below 400 conversions for the conversion action within 30 days. You'll receive an alert when your data drops below this level and, after 30 days of continued low data, your conversion action will be switched to the 'linear' attribution model. If the decrease in data is unexpected, you may want to check your conversion tracking tag, the status on your 'Conversion actions' page, your conversion action settings and other account settings to make sure that everything is working properly.

If data-driven attribution isn't available to you, Google Ads offers other attribution models that don't have data requirements. Learn more about attribution models

When you're trying data-driven attribution or any new non-last click attribution model, we recommend that you test the model first and see how it affects your return on investment.

How to set up data-driven attribution for your conversions

Data-driven attribution requires a certain amount of data to create a precise model for how your conversions should be attributed. See Data requirements (above) for more information.

Follow the instructions below to update an existing conversion action's attribution model to 'data-driven':

  1.  Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2.  Click the Tools tab, then select Conversions.
  3.  In the table, select the conversion action you want to edit and then click Edit settings.
  4.  Click Attribution model, then select Data-driven attribution from the drop-down menu.
  5.  Click Done, then click Save.
Tip
If your account is eligible for data-driven attribution, you can also update your attribution model from the 'overview' attribution report, located in Tools > Attribution.
 
Click the 'Upgrade to data-driven attribution' banner at the top of the page and follow the instructions.

Learn more best practices when switching to data-driven attribution

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue