Before making a purchase or completing another valuable action on your website, people may click or interact with several of your ads. Typically, all credit for the conversion is given to the last ad customers interacted with. 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 engage with your various ads and decide to become your customers. It uses data from your account to determine which keywords, ads, and campaigns have the greatest impact on your business goals. Data-driven attribution looks at website, store visit, and Google Analytics conversions from Search (including Shopping), YouTube, and Display ads.
This article explains data-driven attribution. 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.
- Learn which keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns play the biggest role in helping you reach your business goals.
- Optimize your bidding based on your specific account's performance data.
- Choose the right attribution model for your business, without guesswork.
How it works
Data-driven attribution is different from the other attribution models because 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 interactions—including clicks and video engagements—on your Search (including Shopping), YouTube, and Display ads in Google 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.
You own a tour company in New York City, 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 Brooklyn. 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 New York" ad first and then later click "Bike tour Brooklyn waterfront" are more likely to purchase a ticket than users who only click on "Bike tour Brooklyn waterfront." So the model redistributes credit in favor of the "Bike tour New York" 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.
Depending on data availability, the last click and data-driven attribution models can have the same results in certain situations.
For more detailed information on how data-driven attribution works, download the Data-driven attribution methodologyPDF (which is only available in English).
Most conversion actions are eligible for data-driven attribution, regardless of conversion or interaction volume. Only eligible conversion actions can be upgraded to data-driven attribution.
Some types of conversion actions need at least 300 conversions and 3,000 ad interactions in supported networks within 30 days to be eligible. Once you're using data-driven attribution for these types of conversion actions, you won't be able to continue using this model if your data drops below 2,000 ad interactions in supported networks or below 200 conversions for the conversion action within 30 days. You'll receive an alert when your data drops below this level. After 30 days of continued low data, your conversion action will be switched to the "Last click" 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 everything is working properly.
If data-driven attribution isn't available for a particular conversion action, select one of the other attribution models.
How to set up data-driven attribution for your conversions
Data-driven attribution is the default attribution model for most conversion actions. Follow the instructions below to update an existing conversion action's attribution model to "Data-driven":
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- Click the tools icon , then select Measurement > Conversions.
- In the table, click the conversion action you want to edit, then click Edit settings.
- Select Data-driven from the "Attribution model" drop-down menu.
- Click Save, then click Done.
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.